October 23, 2018 / 5:07 AM / 23 days ago

Ovechkin collects 4 points as Caps clip Canucks

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and added two assists as the Washington Capitals downed the host Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Monday night.

Ovechkin netted the winner in the second period and added an insurance marker as the defending Stanley Cup champions earned only their second victory in the past five games.

John Carlson had a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who got a goal and an assist from T.J. Oshie. Evgeni Kuznetsov also scored and Nicklas Backstrom furnished three helpers.

Troy Stecher and Sven Baertschi tallied for the Canucks.

Washington goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 22 of 24 shots for the win. Vancouver counterpart Anders Nilsson turned aside 28 of 32.

The Capitals converted two of five power-play chances, while the Canucks were good on one of three.

The Capitals led 1-0 after the opening period and 3-1 after two, forcing the Canucks to play catch-up the entire game.

Carlson opened the scoring 2:20 into the contest. The defenseman jumped into the rush and redirected Jakub Vrana’s cross-ice pass through Nilsson.

Stecher put Vancouver on the scoreboard at 7:30 of the second period as his long wrist shot went in off the glove of Washington forward Nic Dowd, a former Canuck. The goal was Stecher’s first of the season and matched his entire 2017-18 production. He had not scored since Dec. 30, 2017, against Los Angeles.

The deadlock did not last long.

Kuznetsov gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead on a power play 1:59 later as he one-timed Carlson’s pass behind Nilsson. Ovechkin earned the second assist on the play as he and Carlson quickly moved the puck from one side of the ice to the other. The goal came while Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson was in the penalty box for cross-checking Oshie.

Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead 3-1 in the final minute of the middle frame as he got credit for deflecting the puck in after Oshie took a shot from close range.

Baertschi reduced Vancouver’s deficit a power play just 20 seconds into the third period as he one-timed Brock Boeser’s long rebound past Holtby.

Just over four minutes later, Ovechkin put the Capitals up 4-2 as he scored from his favorite spot — the left faceoff circle — on a one-timer off a pass from Carlson.

Oshie closed out the scoring in the final two minutes on an empty-netter set up by Ovechkin.

—Field Level Media

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