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02/03/2014 10:06 AM EST
Ovechkin scores in OT; Capitals top Reds Wings 6-5
WASHINGTON 6, DETROIT 5 (OT)

By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the second time in three days, Alex
Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 39th goal late against the
Detroit Red Wings.

This one won't be taken away.

Ovechkin's one-timer from the left circle on a power play 2:37
into overtime gave the Capitals a 6-5 win Sunday over the Red
Wings, earning a split of a home-and-home set and tightening up
things even more in the bottlenecked bottom half of the Eastern
Conference.

Ovechkin was originally credited with the goal that tied the
score with 7 seconds left in regulation on Friday in Detroit - a
game the Red Wings eventually won in a shootout. The NHL has
since reviewed the play and decided it instead belongs to Joel
Ward on a deflection.

Ward kept it up Sunday, getting two goals and an assist as he
again benefited from the extra attention paid to Ovechkin,
particularly on the power play.

In overtime, however, the power play is 4-on-3, and that left
plenty of space for the Russian Olympian to drive home the
game-winner after Brendan Smith was sent off for tripping.

"I was pretty much open," Ovechkin said. "Sometimes it's kind of
boring when they put one guy close to you and you're basically
out of the game, but Wardo and everybody do a great job."

Jason Chimera, John Carlson and Troy Brouwer also scored for the
Capitals, who got a touchdown's worth of goals in their fifth
consecutive Super Bowl Sunday home matinee. Michal Neuvirth made
25 saves.

The Capitals and Red Wings are bunched in a six-team pack in
which two points separate eighth place from 13th place in the
East. Washington had lost seven of nine and three in a row at
home.

"It'll go right down to the end," Washington coach Adam Oates
said. "That's why you've got to get as healthy as you can. Every
point matters. Hopefully your wave will come, and it'll come at
the right time."

Ward has 17 goals, matching his career high for a season and
making him the unlikely No. 2 scorer on the Capitals.

"I definitely know I've got a role on this team, and that's
obviously to try to chip in as much as I can," Ward said. "But
by no means I'm not trying to be no superhero or Batman. I'm
just trying to help the team win."

Gustav Nyquist had his first career hat trick and added an
assist, and Tomas Tatar and Justin Abdelkader also scored for
the Red Wings, who at least managed to end a long scoring
drought away from home. Jimmy Howard stopped 22 shots.

Nyquist's goal at 11:40 of the first period ended the Detroit's
road scoreless run at 194:14. The Red Wings had been shut out
for three consecutive away games, a streak equaled in franchise
history only by the 1927-28 Detroit Cougars.

It was one of those games where a trip to the concession stand
was a risky proposition. The first period included three
power-play goals in just 53 seconds of man-advantage time. In
the second period, Tatar and Ward scored 19 seconds apart.
Nyquist finished his hat trick just 42 seconds into the third
period.

"It was an old-fashioned pond hockey game out there," Howard
said. "Every once in a while those games happen. The only thing
we've got to take out of this is we found a way to get a point,
and a lot of guys played well."

Notes: Capitals D Mike Green missed his second consecutive game.
He has been evaluated for concussion-like symptoms since getting
hurt against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. ... Capitals
F Brooks Laich sat out with a lower-body injury.

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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