Ovechkin scores 30th, helps Capitals snap 3-game skid
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season and got his 500th career assist to help the Washington Capitals snap a three-game skid with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Ovechkin is the sixth player in NHL history with at least 30 goals in 13 or more consecutive seasons at any point in his career.
Brett Connolly, John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom also scored for the Capitals. Braden Holtby stopped 32 shots.
Denis Malgin scored both goals for Florida, which has lost three straight. Harri Sateri made 42 saves in his second NHL start.
Carlson gave the Capitals their first lead when he one-timed the puck over Sateri with 2:22 left in the second to make the score 3-2.
Connolly stretched the lead to 4-2 on his power-play goal 1:52 into the third. Connolly has four goals in his past five games.
The Panthers killed off a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes early in the third period, with Sateri blocking seven shots.
Malgin's second goal put the Panthers ahead 2-1 at 6:40 of the second. Malgin bounced the puck off the post and into the net on Holtby's stick side from the left side of the crease.
Ovechkin tied it at 2 when he tipped a shot by Brooks Orpik in the low slot and into the net at 7:51 of the second.
Malgin gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 11:02 of the first when his shot from the high slot beat Holtby.
The Capitals tied it a 1 on a power-play goal by Backstrom, who redirected a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov past Sateri on the stick side. Ovechkin's assist on the goal was his 500th. Ovechkin is the 15th active player in NHL history to reach that mark, and the second in Capitals history. Backstrom has 568 assists.
NOTES: Backstrom's goal moved him into fifth place on the Capitals' career list with 198. ... Panthers G James Reimer is expected to miss at least two weeks with a pulled groin. ... D Keith Yandle played in his 680th consecutive game, passing Henrik Sedin (679) for sole possession of seventh place. ... Panthers F Jamie McGinn left in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. ... Panthers D Ian McCoshen has been loaned to AHL Springfield.
Capitals: Host Philadelphia Flyers next Wednesday.
Panthers: Visit New York Islanders on Tuesday.