Ovechkin scores in overtime to give Capitals a 4-3 win
NEW YORK (AP) Alexander Ovechkin scored his second goal of the game and the 499th of his career at 1:25 of overtime and the Washington Capitals rallied to beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Saturday.
The Capitals got the win after blowing a two-goal third-period lead and then tying the game in the waning seconds.
Nicklas Backstrom forced overtime by sliding the rebound of Justin Williams' shot under Henrik Lundqvist with 5.7 seconds left in regulation.
Braden Holtby prevented the Rangers from winning just seconds before Ovechkin scored. The Washington goaltender stopped Rick Nash in close and then combined with defenseman Nate Schmidt to stop Derek Stephan on the rebound attempt.
Ovechkin, playing in his 800th game, got the puck, skated the length of the ice on the left side before cutting across the middle and beating Lundqvist. Ovechkin will try to reach the 500-goal milestone on Sunday at home against Ottawa.
Williams also scored for the Capitals and Holtby made 23 saves as Washington improved to 12-1-1 in its past 14 and 19-2-2 in the past 23. Holtby is 19-0-2 in his past 22 starts.
Viktor Stalberg, Kevin Hayes and Oscar Lindberg scored for the Rangers, who were within seconds of beating the Western Conference leading Dallas Stars and the NHL-best Capitals in consecutive games.
They nearly became the first team to beat the Capitals in regulation in a game in which Washington (now 22-0-1) held a lead after two periods. Instead they lost and Washington continued its amazing run.
Stalberg seemingly had the game winner when he deflected Ryan McDonagh's shot past Holtby with 6:49 to play.
Washington coach Barry Trotz asked for a review of the goal because of a missed offside, but it stood until Backstrom got his 13th to tie the game.
Ovechkin and Williams scored to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead.
It didn't last though.
Lindberg cut the margin to 2-1 at 5:54 of the third with his 11th goal of the season and Hayes tied the game at 9:48 on a rebound of McDonagh's shot. It came 7 seconds after Hayes stepped out of the penalty box.
Ovechkin got a gift power-play goal late in the first period with the help of Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi.
With New York killing off a penalty, Girardi took a puck from Lundqvist circling the net and seemingly wanted to slide a soft pass to center Dominic Moore. What he didn't see was Ovechkin well below the left circle with his stick down. His shot was in the open net a second later for his 23rd goal and 498th of his career.
Williams added a breakaway goal in the second period.
Holtby made at least five good saves before Lindberg woke up the Madison Square Garden crowd and made the game interesting at 5:54 of the third period. McDonagh kept the puck in at the point, sent a pass along the side boards to Moore, who found Lindberg for a shot from the right circle for his 11th goal.
Hayes scored on a rebound with just over 10 minutes to go and then Stalberg put New York ahead until Washington responded after McDonagh missed a wide open net on an odd-man rush.
NOTES: Capitals F Marcus Johansson sat out the first game of a two-game suspension for a hit in a game against the Islanders earlier this week. ... Rangers F Chris Kreider missed his second straight game with a hand laceration. ... The Capitals are back home Sunday to face Ottawa. ... The Rangers face the Boston Bruins at home on Monday.