Ovechkin hits milestone, B’s take a hit
By KEN POWTAK
The Associated Press | March 02,2014
BOSTON — Alex Ovechkin collected his 800th career point and raised his league-leading total to 43 goals with a pair of power-play scores, leading the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.
Joel Ward and Eric Fehr also scored, and Braden Holtby made 36 saves for the Capitals, who won their fourth straight in their chase for one of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spots.
Ovechkin had the go-ahead goal and two assists in a 5-4 win at Florida on Thursday. It’s his first season of 40-plus goals since collecting 40-plus in his first five seasons from 2005-06 to 2009-10.
Patrice Bergeron and Shawn Thornton had Boston’s goals. Goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots in his first start since winning the bronze medal with Finland at the Sochi Olympics. It was just the Bruins’ second regulation loss in their past 13 games (8-2-3).
The Capitals opened a 3-0 lead on second-period goals by Ovechkin and Ward. Similar to his first score of the game, Ovechkin one-timed a blistering shot over the right shoulder of Rask inside the far post from the left circle for his milestone point.
Ward stole a puck near the blue line from defenseman Johnny Boychuk, broke in alone and shifted to his backhand before tucking a shot behind Rask for an unassisted score midway into the period.
The Bruins cut it to 3-1 on Bergeron’s power-play goal 41 seconds later when he snapped off a shot from the slot that beat Holtby inside the left post.
Thornton’s centering pass was inadvertently tipped past Holtby by defenseman Mike Green as he was skating hard to the net battling for position with Bruins’ forward Gregory Campbell at 17:32. The goal was originally credited to Campbell, but changed early in the third.
But the Capitals made it 4-2 when Fehr scored on a clean breakaway midway into the third. He poked the puck into an open area near center ice from his own blue line, skated in on Rask and beat him between the pads.
Holtby made a key pad save on Chris Kelly’s breakway bid while his team was on a power play with 3:06 to play.
Washington led 1-0 after one on Ovechkin’s first goal. He one-timed John Carlson’s pass from the left circle inside the far post at 18:39.
The Capitals held Boston to one shot on goal when they were short-handed for a full two minutes after Jay Beagle was called for holding and Tom Wilson high-sticking during the delayed penalty early in the first period.
NOTES: Capitals RW Martin Erat, who had to leave Thursday’s game after injuring his left foot, tried to skate during pregame warmups but came off quickly and was not in the lineup. ... Washington C Mikhail Grabovski was also out after re-injuring his left ankle Thursday. ... It was the first of three meetings between the teams. ... Nicklas Backstrom collected an assist on Ovechkin’s first goal to pass Peter Bondra for seventh place on the club’s all-time list with 354 assists. ... It was the second game since the Olympic break for both teams. ... Boston faces the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night and the Capitals host the Philadelphia Flyers in the afternoon. ... Washington’s entered the game with the league’s second-best power play.