WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 39th goal on a power play 2:37 into overtime, and the Washington Capitals beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-5 Sunday to earn a split of a home-and-home set and tighten up things in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference.
Ovechkin’s one-timer from the left circle was no match for goaltender Jimmy Howard, who had only three teammates on the ice with him after Brendan Smith was sent off for tripping 1:26 into the extra period.
Joel Ward had two goals and an assist, and 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.
Washington lost in a shootout at Detroit on Friday. The Capitals and Red Wings are tied at 59 points, in the middle of 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.
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 score away from home after getting shut out in their past three road games. Jimmy Howard stopped 22 shots for Detroit.
Ward has 17 goals, matching his career high for a season. He’s become the unlikely No. 2 scorer on the Capitals, well behind Ovechkin. The pair are a little closer after a scoring change from Friday’s game, with Ovechkin’s game-tying goal in the waning seconds was credited instead to Ward after a day-after scoring change.
JETS 2, CANADIENS 1
MONTREAL (AP)—Michael Frolik scored in the third period to give Winnipeg a victory over Montreal.
Tobias Enstrom also scored for the Jets and Al Montoya stopped 30 shots.
Brian Gionta scored for Montreal. Carey Price, playing his second game in as many days, made 33 saves.
Frolik scored the winner just over a minute into the third. After a Winnipeg dump-in, Price mishandled the puck outside his crease and lost possession to Andrew Ladd. The Jets’ captain found a streaking Frolik in front of the net, and Price couldn’t make it back in time to stop the shot.
The Jets have won eight of 10 since Paul Maurice took over as head coach on Jan. 12.