Alex Ovechkin lifts Capitals past Canucks, 3-2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) For 55 minutes, Washington star Alex Ovechkin couldn’t get anything past Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller. Not on odd-man rushes. Not on pretty one-timers.
Finally, Evgeny Kuznetsov fed Ovechkin on a 2-on-1 for a final attempt that fluttered up and over Miller, off the crossbar and in with 4:55 left to give the Capitals a 3-2 victory over Thursday night.
”Muffin shot by me and it goes in,” Ovechkin said: ”Lots of opportunities today to get more, but that’s why they have goalies. Lucky one.”
The Russian has five goals in five games this season, all victories. He sat out Washington’s lone loss against San Jose after he overslept and missed a practice.
”We haven’t had success in this building in a long time,” Ovechkin said. ”Mentally, it’s huge for us to get these two points.”
Jay Beagle pulled the Capitals even at 5:42 of the third and Ovechkin finished off the Canucks for Washington’s fourth straight victory. Washington has beaten Chicago, Carolina and Calgary on its streak.
Jason Chimera scored in the first for the Capitals, but Radim Vrbata and Henrik Sedin each had a goal and an assist in the second for Vancouver.
Washington’s Braden Holtby made 23 saves. He stopped Daniel Sedin on a 2-on-1 midway through the third and made a save against Bo Horvat with less than 7 minutes left.
”That’s my job,” said Holtby. ”A team like Vancouver, they are going to get chances. They are pretty skilled, creative, and that’s one thing we knew coming into the game.”
Vancouver lost its third straight to fall to 3-2-2. The Canucks are 0-2-2 at home and have dropped the first three of a five-game homestand.
”It’s disappointing. I felt we played well enough to win,” Henrik Sedin said. ”They have a good team over there. It’s not good enough to be OK. You have to be great. Today we were good, but it wasn’t enough.”
Miller stopped 32 shots for Vancouver.
The Capitals tied it when Vrbata gave the puck away behind his own net, with Beagle eventually tipping John Carlson’s point shot past Miller.
”It somehow tipped up and hit me and came out and I took a swing at it,” said Beagle. ”It was a melee, a nice grinder goal.”
Notes: Washington is at Edmonton on Friday night. … Vancouver hosts Detroit on Saturday night.