Ovechkin’s hat trick gives Capitals 4-3 win over Panthers



WASHINGTON (AP) – Alex Ovechkin scored two of his three goals in 56 seconds in the second period and the Washington Capitals beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Friday.

Ovechkin has 18 goals, most in 21 games in a season by at least one player in his 17th season. He is 19 goals behind Jaromir Jagr’s pass for career third after his 28th hat trick.

Ovechkin was hit in the face by a puck deflected by Radko Gudas of Florida during the first five minutes of the game, but after a quick visit to the locker room for a few stitches he returned for his next shift three more minutes. late.

“It was kind of a wake-up call,” Ovechkin said. “Thank goodness I haven’t lost any teeth. It wasn’t that important.

Ovechkin passed Guy Lafleur and Brendan Shanahan for 26th place on the career points list. In Wednesday’s win against Montreal, he collected three assists.

“If I had a chance to shoot it, I shoot,” Ovechkin said. “If I have a chance to succeed, I pass. A simple game, you know?

It was Ovechkin’s 153rd multi-goal game. His next will put him tied with Mario Lemieux for third place in the career list.

Capitals coach Peter Laviolette marvels at 36-year-old Ovechkin

“He’s a pretty motivated guy,” said Laviolette. “I don’t know if that’s something he’s looking at and that’s what keeps him going. He comes to the rink, he wants to play and he wants to be a contributor. “

Washington won eight of 10 and ended Florida’s four-game winning streak. Ilya Samsonov stopped 19 shots for the Capitals.

Sergei Bobrovsky allowed Tom Wilson’s eighth goal, tying 1 to 1:34 from the second, and Ovechkin’s first goal. Bobrovsky left after Ovechkin’s goal at 2:50 but returned after Ovechkin scored against Spencer Knight at 3:46.

Ovechkin’s third goal came at 4:02 in the third period.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists for Washington, including two on goals from Ovechkin.

“It’s becoming normal for us, you know? Kouznetsov said.

Sam Reinhart of the Panthers scored his fourth goal at 6:49 of the second, and Bobrovsky walked away and came back with 2:42 left in the second.

Bobrovsky stopped 19 of 22 shots and Knight made six saves on seven occasions.

Panther’s interim coach Andrew Brunette said Bobrovsky left due to a concussion protocol, but there was confusion over the timing and procedures.

“We were told he had not been assessed or had not gone beyond protocol,” Brunette said. “It got really gray over there for a while. I am not sure what happened.

Jonathan Huberdeau’s seventh goal gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with 32 seconds left in the first.

Carter Verhaeghe scored 5:36 of the third to reduce Washington’s lead to 4-3.

REMARKS:

Panthers: F Anthony Duclair was eliminated late in the game with a lower body injury. … F Alexsander Barkov missed his fourth game in a row with a lower body injury. … Huberdeau has four goals in six games and has scored in six straight games.

Capitals: Dr Justin Schultz was retired after injuring his upper body in Wednesday’s game against Montreal. He was replaced by Dennis Cholowski, who played his second game this season. … F TJ Oshie (lower body) is on the injured list for the second time this season. … F Conor Sheary (upper body) missed his third straight game. … F Lars Eller, who hasn’t played since November 14, is out of COVID-19 protocols but not ready to play.

FOLLOWING

Panthers: Host the Seattle Kraken on Saturday.

Capitals: Visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

By RICH DUBROFF
Associated press



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