ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Alexander Ovechkin is reason enough to
watch the last-place Washington Capitals.
Ovechkin completed his first career hat trick 2:04 into
overtime, and the Capitals snapped a six-game losing streak Friday
night with a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. It was just
the fifth road win this season for the fifth-place club in the
"My teammates gave me great chances to score," Ovechkin said
after his sixth multi-goal game and first since Nov. 8 at Toronto.
"I'm happy to score three goals and win this game. It's my first
hat trick in the NHL, and it feels like my first goal in the NHL."
Ovechkin's 30 goals and 55 points are the most among rookies.
The No. 1 pick in the 2004 draft has scored at least one goal in 12
of his last 18 games.
"He keeps on doing stuff like this," Washington coach Glen
Hanlon said. "Just when I thought I've seen it all, he does
something else. He did a lot of things tonight that were pretty
impressive. I think you got a pretty good idea of what a force he
Capitals in the only meeting between the teams this season. Brent
Johnson made 32 saves in his first start since Dec. 28 at New
Jersey when he injured a groin muscle.
the Ducks' leading scorer, missed his first game of the season
because of a groin strain.
"That's no excuse," Lupul said. "Injuries happen. The guys
have to step up when a guy like Teemu goes out, and tonight that
Ovechkin got the puck from Zubrus along the left boards at the
Anaheim blue line, skated in on rookie defenseman Francois
Beauchemin and sent a 20-foot wrist shot through the legs of
Beauchemin and goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere for his fourth winner
-- not counting the three goals he has scored to decide shootouts.
"We got beat by a very special player," Anaheim coach Randy
Carlyle said. "He did everything he had to do to dominate the game
in the goal-scoring department. He's a dominant young player. He's
the real deal."
Ovechkin scored on three of his four shots. He opened the
scoring at 1:45 of the second period, finishing off a 2-on-1 rush
with a short backhander. Ovechkin began the play by knocking the
puck off the stick of Anaheim's Todd Fedoruk inside the Washington
blue line, and Clark skated most of the way with it before setting
up his linemate.
Lupul tied it less than 3 minutes later with a wrist shot from
the top of the left circle that nicked the webbing of Johnson's
glove as it headed for the top right corner of the net.
Washington regained the lead when Ovechkin got the puck at the
top of the right circle, stickhandled through the slot past
defenseman Ruslan Salei and did a complete spin before beating
Giguere with a short wrist shot.
"I was impressed with how hard he worked," Lupul said. "He
skated hard and he finished his checks. And when you have that much
talent, goals are going to come. But we've got to do a lot better
job on him as well."
Ovechkin has recorded a NHL-high 208 shots -- 112 more than his
closest teammate, defenseman Jamie Heward. The 6-foot-2, 216-pound
left winger is on pace to break the NHL rookie record of 387, which
Selanne set with the Winnipeg Jets in the 1992-93 season.
Anaheim pulled even for the second time at 17:44 of the second
with Moen's third goal of the season, a slap shot from the right
circle that beat Johnson high to the glove side.Game notes
The Russian-born Ovechkin will play in his first Winter
Olympics next month in Turin, Italy. His mother, Tatiana, won two
Olympic gold medals while competing for the Soviet basketball team
in the 1976 Summer Games at Montreal and in 1980 at Moscow. ... The
Ducks have lost the last four times they have played on Friday the
13th, dating to a 5-4 victory over the Capitals in December 1996 at
Anaheim. ... Jeff Friesen, who played 96 games with Anaheim,
returned to the Capitals lineup after missing 28 games with a groin
injury. ... Two of the Capitals' five road wins have been in
Southern California. They beat the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 14.
... The Capitals are 4-8 when Ovechkin scores their first goal. ...
Washington is 10-0 when allowing fewer than three goals. ...
Anaheim C Rob Niedermayer missed his fourth game because of a