April 17th, 2024

Ovechkin scores as Washington Capitals edge Vancouver Canucks 2-1

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on March 16, 2024.

Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, front left, celebrates his goal as Vancouver Canucks' Pius Suter, bottom centre, and Filip Hronek, back, lie on the ice during second period NHL hockey action in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, March 16, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – Alex Ovechkin inched his way closer to the top of the history books Saturday with a goal that lifted his Washington Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Ovechkin now sits at 841 career goals, 54 behind Wayne Gretzky on the NHL’s all-time goals list.

Tom Wilson also scored for the Capitals (32-25-9), who sit one point out of the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

Brock Boeser had the lone goal for the Canucks (42-18-8).

Washington goalie Charlie Lindgren stopped 21-of-22 shots and Casey DeSmith made 22 saves for Vancouver.

The Canucks remain atop the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of the Dallas Stars.

Vancouver pulled DeSmith with two minutes left on the game clock but couldn’t beat Lindgren with the extra attacker.

After a listless second period, the home side fought to get back in the game by outshooting the Capitals 11-4 across the third.

Ovechkin gave Washington the lead 7:54 into the second with his 19th marker of the season. After a slow start to the campaign, the legendary Russian winger has 11 goals in his last 20 outings.

DeSmith came out of his crease, anticipating a shot from the slot. Instead, Connor McMichael found an unmarked Ovechkin stationed at the side of the net and Ovechkin poked it in to put the Capitals up 2-1.

Washington had levelled the score a minute and 53 seconds earlier.

Moments after the Canucks were called for icing, the puck went off Wilson’s skate in front of the net and was collected by Ivan Miroshnichenko. He used a backhand pass to feed Wilson at the side of the net and the burly forward tapped it in.

Vancouver got on the board just 1:11 into Saturday’s game when Quinn Hughes launched a rocket from the faceoff circle and Boeser tipped it in through Lindgren’s legs for his team-leading 36th goal of the season.

With an assist on the play, Hughes collected his 77th point (13 goals, 64 assists) of the campaign, setting a new career high. The Canucks captain also broke the franchise record for points for a defenceman that he set last year when he tallied 76.

OSHIE OVATION

Capitals right-winger T.J. Oshie played his 1,000th regular-season NHL game. The feat was announced over the loud speaker during the game’s first TV timeout, drawing loud cheers from the crowd as Oshie waved from the bench. The 37-year-old American was picked 24th overall by St. Louis in the 2005 draft, has 301 goals and 388 assists across his career, and helped Washington win its first-ever Stanley Cup in 2018. Oshie is the 390th skater – and the 41st active player – to hit the 1,000-game milestone.

WELCOME BACK

Tyler Myers returned to the Canucks lineup after missing six games with an upper-body injury. The six-foot-eight defenceman has 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in 63 games this season.

NEXT UP

Canucks: Continue a nine-game homestand Tuesday when they host the Buffalo Sabres.

Capitals: Close out a five-game road swing against the Calgary Flames on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2024.

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