NHL Game Summary - Washington at Atlanta
(Friday, December 15th)
Final Score: Washington 3, Atlanta 2 (OT)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Alexander Ovechkin completed his hat trick just six seconds into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
With time winding down in the game and trailing 2-1, Washington pulled its goaltender in the final minute of the game and the move paid off. Dainius Zubrus retrieved a loose puck and skated down to the low left side where he flicked a pass to Ovechkin, who one-timed it into the net with 31 seconds left.
Ovechkin picked up a loose puck after the opening faceoff in the extra session and from the right circle fired a laser over the glove of Kari Lehtonen to win the game.
"You have to be ready when he's coming down," said Lehtonen. "He just shot a knuckle-ball puck and it kinda turned, its one of the hardest one's to try and stop. I just missed that one."
Zubrus had two assists and Brent Johnson finished with 28 saves for the Capitals, who have won two of their last three games.
The Capitals organization suffered a loss on Thursday night when Joshua Freeman, a real estate developer and minority owner of Washington, was killed in a helicopter accident Thursday night.
Jon Sim and J.P. Vigier each scored a goal and Lehtonen stopped 30 shots for the Thrashers, who have dropped their last four games.
The Capitals grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period with a power-play goal when Zubrus flicked a cross-ice pass to Ovechkin, who one-timed it into the net from the left circle at the 8:55 mark.
Atlanta sent 12 shots towards Johnson in the first period, but he turned them all aside.
In the second, the Thrashers tied the game when Ilya Kovalchuk slid a pass from the left circle to the right, where Sim kicked it from his skate to his stick and wristed it between the pads of Johnson for a power-play goal with 8:52 left in the middle stanza.
Atlanta took the lead with just 5:55 to play in the third period. Niko Kapanen skated into the Washington zone and left a drop pass for Vigier, who skated to the low right side and snapped a wrister between the pads of Johnson for a 2-1 lead.
The Caps return home to square off against Philadelphia on Saturday...Atlanta hits the road for a game against the Islanders in New York...Atlanta had won the previous four games against Washington...The Capitals went 2-for-5 on the power play while Atlanta connected on one of its three power plays...It was the first hat trick of the season and second in Ovechkin's career.
12/16 00:03:54 ET