Ovechkin Doesn't Have to Carry Capitals

Thursday, December 7th 2006, 6:30 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Alex Ovechkin is doing his part again for the Washington Capitals. Here's what's different this season: The reigning rookie of the year is getting a lot more help.

Ovechkin and linemate Dainius Zubrus had three assists apiece, and Chris Clark scored twice to lead Washington past the Ottawa Senators 6-2 Wednesday night for its fourth consecutive victory.

The Capitals have averaged 5 1/2 goals during wins over Tampa Bay, Dallas, Buffalo and Ottawa _ and 11 players scored at least once in that span. Ovechkin still leads the club with 17 goals and 31 points, but five teammates have as many or more goals as he does (two) during the winning streak.

``This just shows we have the quality of guys to score goals. It's not just one or two guys,'' said Clark, Washington's captain. ``Over this streak, it's four lines that have been scoring. We showed we have four quality lines.''

The Capitals haven't had a five-game winning streak since March 3-11, 2001. They'll try to match that Friday at home against NHL-leading Anaheim.

``I have great team, and we play well,'' Ovechkin said. ``Right now, we play well. Enjoy it.''

Olie Kolzig made 35 saves to help Washington end Ottawa's four-game winning streak.

In other NHL games Wednesday night, it was: New Jersey 2, Montreal 1 in overtime; Dallas 3, Phoenix 0; Edmonton 3, Carolina 1; and Anaheim 4, Nashville 0.

Washington has won three in a row at home for the first time since Feb. 24 to March 2, 2003. Its latest victory came in a penalty-filled game, with each team whistled 11 times.

``I'm not supposed to comment, but (during) the first goal, Ovechkin was offsides, and we watched it. His foot was well over the line, and his other foot was in the air,'' Senators coach Bryan Murray said. ``The third goal, with an icing call ... that's what we were yelling about, and they call it a clean play.''

Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher scored for Ottawa, which played without captain Daniel Alfredsson, injured in Tuesday night's win against the New York Islanders.

The Capitals continued their pattern of playing their best against some of the NHL's top teams: They're 8-3 against clubs that topped 100 points last season _ including 2-0 against Ottawa _ and 4-6-6 against everyone else.

The Senators had been pretty much unstoppable lately, winning eight of nine heading into Wednesday. Top goalie Ray Emery had won six of seven decisions, but he allowed all of the goals against Washington, and the announced crowd of 10,926 chanted his name sarcastically during the hosts' three-goal third period.

``We'll just have to regroup and start another streak,'' said left wing Peter Schaefer, who assisted on Fisher's goal.

Clark lost a couple of teeth when a puck hit him in the mouth during a game against Boston on Nov. 15, which came in the midst of a six-game winless drought for the Capitals.

Now things are better for Clark and his team.

``Getting the two goals and the win is a fantastic feeling. Coming off the injury, and then the losing streak _ it was tough,'' Clark said. ``Being able to contribute like this is a great feeling.''

Devils 2, Canadiens 1, OT

Patrik Elias scored a power-play goal with 7.3 seconds remaining in overtime to lift New Jersey over visiting Montreal.

Zach Parise scored with 5:48 left in regulation for the Devils, 10-1-1 at home.

Montreal scored 4 minutes into the game on a seemingly harmless dump-in to the New Jersey zone. Alexander Perezhogin backhanded a centering pass into the slot to Radek Bonk, who tipped the puck in.

Stars 3, Coyotes 0

Marty Turco made 25 saves for his 27th NHL shutout, and Sergei Zubov scored an early power-play goal to lead Dallas.

Mike Ribeiro and Philippe Boucher added goals for the host Stars, who've won three straight.

Boucher's one-timer from the left point while Dallas held a two-man advantage extended the lead to 3-0 with 2:30 remaining.

Turco preserved his second consecutive shutout and third of the season with a sliding stop on a rebound attempt by Shane Doan with 13:50 left.

Ducks 4, Predators 0

Teemu Selanne had two goals and an assist, Chris Kunitz had a goal and three assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere recorded his 25th NHL shutout as Anaheim beat visiting Nashville in a matchup between the Pacific and Central division leaders.

Ryan Getzlaf also scored and Andy McDonald had two assists for the Ducks, who have a league-leading 46 points. Giguere made 21 saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season.

The Predators lost their third straight game, matching their longest skid this season. They were 17-2-2 in between the losing streaks.

Oilers 3, Hurricanes 1

At Edmonton, Alberta, Jason Smith's first goal of the season snapped a second-period tie and lifted the Oilers over the Hurricanes in a rematch of last season's Stanley Cup finals.

Brad Winchester and Fernando Pisani also scored for the Oilers, the defending Western Conference champions who lost Game 7 in Raleigh, N.C., this spring.

Craig Adams had the lone goal for the visiting Hurricanes.