Mon, Dec 17, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Ovechkin’s shootout winner pushes Capitals past Sabres


Alex Ovechkin, left, of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring in a shootout in their NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena in Washington on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 29th goal of the season, extended his point streak to a career-best 14 games and had the shootout winner on Saturday to help hosts the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.

The Russian superstar and reigning playoff Most Valuable Player continued one of the best runs of his career and fell two goals shy of becoming the first player in league history to record a hat-trick in three consecutive games.

“It would be nice to get another hatty or whatever,” Ovechkin said. “But nothing you can do about it.”

Ovechkin did just about everything he could, putting eight shots on net and beating Buffalo goaltender Carter Hutton for the tying goal in the second period. He has 17 goals and six points during his point streak and has scored in six games in a row.

An audible gasp came from the crowd each time Ovechkin had the puck on his stick in the offensive zone, and the goal was his 10th in the past six games. Yet, Ovechkin sounded like a player who came up empty.

“I have pretty good chances, but today, it was not my day,” Ovechkin said. “You can’t score every night.”

Ovechkin is testing that limit. He is six ahead of the next-closest player in the league, Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, and is on pace to surpass 60 goals at age 33.

“Such a threat, especially when he’s confident and he’s shooting the puck where he wants,” said Brett Connolly, who scored the Capitals’ first goal. “He’s a bull out there, it seems like he keeps getting better and better every year.”

With their captain leading the way, the defending Stanley Cup champions are on a five-game winning streak and have won 12 of their past 14 games.

In Saturday’s other games, it was:

‧ Predators 2, Devils 1

‧ Penguins 4, Kings 3

‧ Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 3

‧ Ducks 2, Blue Jackets 1

‧ Islanders 4, Red Wings 3

‧ Flames 2, Wild 1

‧ Canadiens 5, Senators 2

‧ Canucks 5, Flyers 1

‧ Avalanche 6, Stars 4

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