Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ovechkin's 499th Goal Gives Washington a Huge OT Win over the Rangers

The Capitals blew a two-goal lead in the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, but got it all back in under two minutes.

First, Niklas Backstrom tied the game with Braden Holtby pulled at 19:54, then Alexander Ovechkin won it when he finished off an end-to-end rush by burying a snipe past Henrik Lundqvist at 1:25 of the extra session.

Ovechkin's goal, his 24th of the season and 499th of his career, would not have been possible if it hadn't been for the clutch stick of Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt, who poked the puck off Derek Stepan to take away a point-blank chance for the Rangers.

The Russian moves into a tie for the NHL goal lead, and now the OVI-500 watch begins.

The Capitals improve to an NHL-best 31-7-3 with the win. They are three points ahead of second-place Dallas in the overall NHL standings with two games in hand on the Stars.

The Rangers remain tied with the Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division with 49 points. They have a game in hand on the Islanders and will meet their crosstown rivals in a big battle at Barclays Center on Thursday.