NHL roundup: Ovechkin, Capitals continue late rush

Alex Ovechkin was everywhere. He scored a goal. He had an assist. He played on two lines and was on the ice for nearly half the game. And, when the Minnesota Wild had a shorthanded break, he hustled back and slid to break up Mikko Koivu’s shot on the 2-on-1 break.

“It was a great slide. Like he was playing ‘D’ all his life,’’ Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter said.

Ovechkin is Alexander the Great once again, and his resurgence couldn’t be more timely for the Capitals, who beat the Wild, 3-0, Sunday in Washington to pull back into the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.


“I think today, I think [it was] probably like two years ago,’’ Ovechkin said. “I feel pretty good. I feel sharp.’’

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Ovechkin has nine goals in seven games, and the Capitals are tied again on points with the Sabres for eighth in the East, with Washington holding the tiebreaker. The teams meet in the nation’s capital Tuesday night with just six games to go in the regular season.

Penguins 5, Devils 2 - Sidney Crosby scored in his second straight game and added an assist to help spark host Pittsburgh. Crosby, who snapped out of a career-long 12-game goal drought Saturday, gave the Penguins breathing room with a wrist shot by goalie Martin Brodeur early in the third period. Evgeni Malkin also had a goal and an assist for the Penguins.

Blues 4, Coyotes 0 - Brian Elliott made 20 saves for his eighth shutout - and a franchise-record 14th of the season - as visiting St. Louis pushed its NHL-leading point total to 103, 2 more than the Rangers.

Predators 6, Blackhawks 1 - Pekka Rinne made 24 saves and visiting Nashville ended Chicago’s five-game winning streak.


Islanders 3, Panthers 2 - Frans Nielsen scored the only goal in the shootout to help visiting New York hand Florida its third straight loss.

Oilers 6, Blue Jackets 3 - Ryan Jones had a goal and two assists as visiting Edmonton won a matchup of the league’s worst teams.