Ovechkin hit 50 goals, but Capitals lose 4-3 to Vegas in overtime

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Ovechkin hit 50 goals, but Capitals lose 4-3 to Vegas in OT originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals had a whirlwind night in Las Vegas as captain Alex Ovechkin hit more milestones, but they came in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Golden Knights.

Washington rallied to tie the game at 3-3 in the third period, after Vegas had taken a 3-2 lead with two goals early in the period, but an overtime winner sent the Capitals leaving Sin City disappointed.

The Capitals are now 43-23-11 on the season with five games left. Here are a few takeaways from the night in Vegas:

A disappointing end

Defenseman Shea Theodore scored a pretty game-winning goal on a nifty backhand over the glove of Ilya Samsonov, which gave the Capitals a 4-3 overtime loss.

The Capitals earned a point, however, and moved into a tie for third place in the Metropolitan Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins with five games left to play.

Ovechkin hits 49 and 50

Ovechkin had another milestone-laden night, as he set the single-season record for most goals by a player 36 or older (49) with a second period tally.

In the third period, he unleashed a wicked slap shot to tie the game at three for his 50th goal of the season. That gave him his ninth-career 50-goal season, which is now tied for the most 50-goal campaigns in NHL history with Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy.

You can read more about Ovechkin's historic night here.

His 50th goal also was his 90th point of the season, the first time he's scored that many points since the 2009-2010 season.

Now with 780 career goals, he's also inching closer to No. 800 and second-place Gordie Howe. But for now, the milestones keep coming.

A mad minute

The Golden Knights scored twice in 49 seconds in the third period to rally and give themselves a 3-2 lead.

The first goal came from Evgenii Dadonov on a wrist shot that snuck by goalie Ilya Samsonov. Almost immediately after play resumed, Nic Dowd committed a penalty and the Capitals went on a power play. Then, former Capital Chandler Stephenson scored on the power play just after Samsonov had lost his stick trying to make a post-to-post save.

Washington rallied to tie, but it was the last time it held the lead all night.

Samsonov between the pipes

Coach Peter Laviolette and the Capitals appeared to have a leader for the No. 1 goalie job come the postseason entering Thursday’s game. If not, they’re certainly giving Samsonov a lot of runway.

Samsonov, who made 26 saves on 30 Vegas shots, started once again on Wednesday in his sixth start in the team’s last eight games.

Now with just five games left in the season, the Capitals are nearing the point where they must choose a goalie to begin the playoffs.

A must-win? 

The Capitals, by virtue of having clinched a playoff spot, will not have any true must-win games until the postseason begins. But if they want to make life easier for themselves, the final five games are going to be crucial.

They are tied with the Penguins for the third spot in the Metropolitan Division and two behind the Bruins (with one more game played). And while the potential opponents are still unknown, the Capitals will certainly head on the road for Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs.

If they don’t want that to be against the top-seeded Panthers, they’ll need a strong finish to the season. And considering the team’s next game will be against the 32nd ranked Coyotes, that’s a game the Capitals need two points from.