BOSTON – Alex Ovechkin looks as if he’s ready to carry the Washington Capitals to one of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spots.
Coming off a strong game two days earlier, Ovechkin collected his 800th career point and raised his league-leading total to 43 goals with a pair of power-play scores, leading the Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.
I think we’re just playing more solid right now, said Ovechkin, who became the 150th player to collect 800 points. We don’t have time to make mistakes. Every point right now is very important for us.
Joel Ward and Eric Fehr also scored, and Braden Holtby made 36 saves for the Capitals, who won their fourth straight in their push for the playoffs.
I think we were missing our swagger a little bit, Ward said of his team’s play before the Olympic break. When our team plays with a little bit of cockiness we seem to get wins. We were missing that before the break. We’re finding ways to win. The bottom line is we’re winning games.
Ovechkin had the go-ahead goal and two assists in a 5-4 win at Florida on Thursday. It’s his first season of 40-plus goals since collecting 40-plus in his first five seasons from 2005-06 to 2009-10.
The Capitals’ star winger even impressed Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with his second goal.
The second one it seemed like he was going short side and it just kind of knuckled in, Rask said, breaking into a slight smile to show how impressed he was with the shot.
I was trying to ask him and he was kind of shaking his shoulders. It’s funny when you see those. He was kind of leaning into it. It’s like impossible to go the other way and it goes the other way. You’re like, Come on, buddy.’
DEVILS 6, ISLANDERS 1: In Uniondale, N.Y., Jaromir Jagr became the seventh player to score 700 NHL goals, sparking New Jersey’s four-goal second period, and Martin Brodeur earned the win in his first start in more than a month.
FLYERS 4, RANGERS 2: In Philadelphia, Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist to lead Philadelphia.
Vincent Lecvalier, Sean Couturier and Luke Schenn also scored for Philadelphia.
Chris Kreider and Derick Brassard scored for the Rangers, who lost for just the second time in their past nine games.
BLUE JACKETS 6, PANTHERS 3: In Columbus, Ohio, Artem Anisimov scored a short-handed goal late in the second period and Columbus’ special teams provided four goals.
David Savard, Cam Atkinson and R.J. Umberger added power-play goals – the Blue Jackets were 3 for 4 with a man advantage – while Jack Johnson had three assists. Savard also had an assist.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 17 shots as Columbus ended a three-game losing skid.
LIGHTNING 4, STARS 2: In Dallas, Martin St. Louis scored two goals for the second consecutive game to lead Tampa Bay.
The Lightning had lost five of their previous seven games.
Goalie Ben Bishop cooled off Dallas by making 39 saves for his 29th win.
Nate Thompson and Sami Salo also scored for Tampa Bay.
JETS 3, PREDATORS 1: In Nashville, Tenn., Olli Jokinen, Andrew Ladd and Devin Setoguchi scored and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 39 shots for Winnipeg .
The Jets, ranked sixth in the NHL in penalty kills coming into the game, didn’t allow a goal on six Nashville power plays.
KINGS 3, HURRICANES 1: In Los Angeles, Alec Martinez scored the tiebreaking goal on a power play with 11:45 to play, Jonathan Quick made 24 saves, and the Los Angeles won for the third time in four days since the Olympic break.
Mike Richards scored his second goal since Thanksgiving and Justin Williams added an empty-net goal for the Kings, who have roared out of the break with three wins in three cities.