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Lightning Can’t Stop Ovechkin 4 Goal Night, Falls To Caps 6-5 In Shootout

DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored four goals, including the equalizer with 32.4 seconds left in regulation, and the Washington Capitals rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 in a shootout Tuesday night.

Ovechkin increased his NHL-leading total to 26 goals and became Washington’s career leader in power-play goals, scoring twice with the extra man to pass Peter Bondra, who had 137.

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and four assists, and Troy Brouwer beat Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop in the fifth round of the shootout to provide the Capitals with their fifth win in six games.

Martin St. Louis and Tyler Johnson each had a goal and two assists for the Lightning, who squandered a three-goal lead in losing their sixth straight at Washington.

Ondrej Palat scored on a wrist shot between the circles after taking Johnson’s centering pass from behind the net to put Tampa Bay up 5-4 at 8:36 of the third period.

It appeared that would hold up until Ovechkin scored from the left circle after Washington pulled goalie Philipp Grubauer.

Washington trailed 4-2 when Tampa Bay’s Richard Panik received a 5-minute major for boarding at 16:31 of the second period. Panik rudely sent Karl Alzner into the side boards, and soon after Alzner headed to the locker room for treatment, Washington went to work.

Ovechkin scored 7 seconds into the penalty and added a wrist shot from the left circle at 18:48 to tie it. An instant after the red light flipped on behind the goal, fans showered the ice with hats.

Early on, it seemed unlikely the Capitals would even make it close.

Washington defenseman Mike Green was called for four penalties during the first period and had a 10-minute misconduct tacked to the ledger, all of which helped Tampa Bay get off to a torrid start.

With Green serving a double-minor for high-sticking, St. Louis fired a shot past screened goalie Braden Holtby for a 1-0 lead at 2:26.

Green was later called for tripping, and Nikita Kucherov scored from high between the circles at 10:49. That matched the number of power-play goals (two) the Lightning had in 30 shots over their previous 10 games.

Just 18 seconds later, Nate Thompson converted a 2-on-1 rush with J.T. Brown to make it 3-0 and chase Holtby.

Ovechkin answered at 14:15 with a drive from the right circle immediately after Backstrom won a faceoff.

Backstrom got Washington to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 6:24 of the second period, but Johnson tapped in the rebound of a shot by Palat at 12:41 at the end of a 3-on-2 break for a two-goal cushion.

NOTES: Tampa Bay C Steven Stamkos missed his 13th consecutive game with a broken right leg. … It was the third game in which Washington scored at least three power-play goals. The Capitals have 18 power-play goals in their last 19 games. … Bishop came in with a 1.98 goals-against average.

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