March 31, 2019 / 2:17 AM / 6 months ago

Ovechkin breaks 50-goal mark in Caps' win over Lightning

EditorsNote: deletes extra word in lede

Mar 30, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) warms up before the gameagainst the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s Alex Ovechkin scored twice to eclipse the 50-goal mark, and Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie each had two goals and an assist as the Capitals beat the host Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 on Saturday night.

Ovechkin scored from the low slot at 14:35 of the third period, marking the eighth time he has reached the 50-goal milestone, and his 51st came less than two minutes later on the power play.

Only Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy, each with nine, have more 50-goal seasons.

Goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots to win his 31st game for the Capitals, who have won 14 of their last 19 and salvaged the final meeting in the three-game season series (1-1-1) over 15 days against Tampa Bay.

John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each notched two assists for Washington.

J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov a goal each, and Mikhail Sergachev two assists for the Lightning, who played their home finale and lost for the first time in five games in their arena.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for the Lightning, who suffered only their third loss in 24 contests against a Metropolitan Division opponent.

The NHL presented the Lightning with the Presidents’ Trophy before the game, recognizing the club for owning the league’s best mark (59-15-4, 122 points), but Backstrom and Oshie silenced the sellout crowd in a three-goal first period.

Backstrom led a four-on-two rush and fed Tom Wilson on his right wing. Wilson swung around a defenseman and dished it back to Backstrom, who popped in his 20th goal at 7:24 to become Washington’s seventh 20-goal scorer.

Oshie, who missed Thursday’s game with an illness, first tallied three minutes after Backstrom’s goal when he backhanded in a rebound. Then at 16:00, Carlson’s point shot on the power play struck Oshie and caromed in for his 25th goal.

Backstrom made it 4-0 with his second at 7:53 of the second period on a pass from Dmitry Orlov.

Miller put Tampa Bay on the board when he deflected in his 13th goal of the season at 17:25 to make it 4-1.

Johnson scored his 28th at 3:36 of the third period on a breakaway, and Kucherov scored on the power play.

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (upper body) did not play the last two periods.

—Field Level Media

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