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NHL Game Summary - Boston at Washington



(Monday, March 3rd)

Final Score: Washington 10, Boston 2

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alexander Ovechkin recorded the fifth hat trick of his career to reach the 50-goal mark on the season and added two assists as the Washington Capitals dominated the Boston Bruins, 10-2, at Verizon Center.

Nicklas Backstrom added a goal and three assists, Matt Bradley had two goals and an assist, and Brooks Laich scored twice for the Capitals, who have won three of their last four games.

Cristobal Huet started the game in net and allowed two goals on 22 shots in two periods of work, but left the game with an apparent back injury. Olaf Kolzig played the third period and stopped all five shots he faced.

The win gives Washington 70 points on the season, bringing the team three points behind Carolina for first place in the Southeast Division. Also, the Capitals trail the Flyers by four points for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Ovechkin, who notched his third hat trick of the season, now has 90 points (52 goals, 38 assists) on the season, which leads the league and is two better than Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin.

"You are going to score lots of games, and some you aren't," Ovechkin said. "Today, everything just went to the net. I'm very excited, very happy and think that we played a great game."

Marco Sturm and Dennis Wideman each had a goal for the Bruins, who had a season-high six-game winning streak snapped.

Tim Thomas and Alexander Auld each saw time in net, with Thomas allowing seven goals on 24 shots and Auld making seven saves on 10 shots in 23:30 of ice time.

Boston has 76 points on the season and currently sits in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference.

It was all Washington in the first period as the team scored four times in the first 8:29 of the contest.

"Unfortunately, we weren't ready for it, and when you're not ready for it, you just can't turn the switch on and adjust," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "The damage was done in the first eight minutes. We even talked about that before the game - how important the first 10 minutes were going to be. We definitely didn't respond to that, and the rest is history."

Just 32 seconds in, Matt Cooke grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the right wing and rifled a wrister past Thomas.

At the 6:18 mark the Capitals again lit the lamp. Backstrom fired a pass from his own blueline to Ovechkin, who got behind the defense and lifted a shot into the right corner of the net for his 50th goal this season.

Just 50 seconds later, Ovechkin's one-timer from the slot found the back of the net.

Bradley got on the scoreboard at the 8:29 mark of the frame as his slap shot from the right circle beat Thomas to the short side. Thomas was pulled from net after the goal and replaced by Auld.

Washington wasn't done, though, as the team scored twice more in the period.

On the power play, Alexander Semin had the puck at the left circle and threw a pass across the ice to Ovechkin, who snuck in from the point and tapped the puck into the net to complete the hat trick with 4:29 left in the frame.

Again on the power play, Viktor Kozlov sent a backhand pass from behind the net to the slot where Laich one-timed it past Auld with 1:17 left in the first.

The Bruins got on the board just 36 seconds into the second period on the power play. Marc Savard held the puck at the right circle and sent it to the high slot, where Wideman one-timed it through traffic for his 10th goal of the season.

Washington, though, got the goal back seven minutes later during a Boston line change. Ovechkin had the puck in his zone and spotted Backstrom all alone near the Boston blueline. Backstrom skated into the Boston end and went to the backhand as he got off a weak shot that trickled under the pad of Thomas, who came back into net at the start of the second.

Donald Brashear got on the scoresheet with 3:29 left in the second period as his shot from the left circle beat Thomas over the right shoulder.

Boston made it an 8-2 game just 32 seconds later as Shane Hnidy blasted a shot from the right circle that Huet stopped, but Sturm was on the doorstep to knock home the rebound.

On the power play, Washington took a 9-2 lead at the 2:03 mark of the third as Ovechkin blasted a shot from the left point that Laich, in the low slot, tipped past Thomas.

Bradley's second goal of the game, which came just after a 5-on-3 power play for the Caps ended, completed the scoring with 1:45 to play,

Game Notes

Ovechkin had 52 goals in 2005-06, which was his rookie season. In 230 career games, he has 150 goals...Washington plays in Buffalo on Wednesday...Boston hosts Florida on Tuesday...Boston had won five straight and eight of nine overall against Washington coming into the game...Boston hasn't posted seven consecutive wins since closing out the 1992-93 season with eight wins in a row from March 30-April 14.

03/04 00:06:12 ET


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