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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 1:00 am

Washington 3 Winnipeg 2

Ovechkin scores 600th goal; Capitals win

STEPHEN WHYNO | Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin scored twice to reach 600 goals and Evgeny Kuznetsov had the overtime winner as the Washington Capitals returned to first place by beating the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Monday.

Ovechkin scored in each of the first two periods to get to 42 this season. The Russian winger became the 20th player and fourth-fastest in NHL history to 600 goals and is on pace to lead the league in goals for the seventh time.

Kuznetsov made it a night of celebration for Washington by scoring on a breakaway 4:11 into overtime.

Ovechkin's historic performance was crucial on a night when Jets winger Patrik Laine scored his 16th in the past 12 games to get to 41 this season.

Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 26 shots in his third consecutive start.

The anticipated showdown between the NHL's top goal scorers lived up to its billing from the drop of the puck. It was Ovechkin who struck first. With the Capitals on a 5-on-3 power play, Ovechkin settled the puck and fired a wrist shot past Hellebuyck 4:35 into the game. Just 58 seconds later, an inexplicable turnover by Washington's Lars Eller put the puck on Ehlers' stick for the tying score.

Ovechkin put three shots on goal and had eight total attempts in the first period, looking determined to track down his milestone score. At the 5:33 mark of the second period, Ovechkin got three chances at the side of the net and put a rebound past a sprawling Hellebuyck to become just the fourth player in history to score 600 in under 1,000 games.