NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Alexander Ovechkin took a spot from the great Gordie Howe in the NHL record book and closed in another.
Ovechkin scored his 783rd career goal in a big second period and the Washington Capitals beat New Jersey 6-3 Monday night, ending the Devils’ three-game winning streak.
Ovechkin’s third goal of the season gave Washington a 4-1 lead and it turned out to be his 122nd game winner, passing Howe (121) for second overall behind Jaromir Jagr (135).
“Yeah. It’s pretty cool obviously to be in that company and pass those legends, it’s a pretty cool moment,” Ovechkin said.
The Great Eight needs four more goals to pass Howe (786) for the most goals in NHL history with one franchise.
Caps coach Peter Laviolette is handed a piece of paper every time Ovechkin passes a mark.
“It’s unbelievable. That’s when you stand the test of time over the years,” he said. “He’s been able to just constantly contribute offensively and score goals. I guess if you do it well enough and long enough, you’re gonna bring down some milestones and so we give it a quick shout at the end of the game when things like that happen.”
Garnet Hathaway, Conor Sheary and Nick Jensen also scored in the four-goal period for Washington. Backup goalie Charlie Lindgren made 37 saves in winning for the first time since signing with the Caps as a free agent.
Nic Dowd also scored for Washington, which scored five times on 18 shots in driving Mackenzie Blackwood from the net after 40 minutes. Aliaksei Protas added an insurance goal late after the Devils pulled to 5-3.
Nathan Bastian, Tomas Tatar and Jesper Bratt each scored their first goal of the season for New Jersey, which was looking for its first four-game winning streak since October 2018.
“If you don’t play 60 minutes it’s hard to win games in this league,” Devils captain Nico Hischier said. “We had a hard time finding our legs and they made us pay.”
Washington has won six straight at the Prudential Center and is 13-2-1 in the last 16 games here. Overall, the Caps are 26-3-3 in the last 32 games against the Devils.
After Bastian and Dowd traded goals in the opening period, the Capitals blew the game open with two, two-goal spurts in the middle stanza.
Hathaway gave Washington the lead after stealing a puck from defenseman Damon Severson along the side boards and beating Blackwood with a quick 25-foot shot at 9:16.
Sheary scored short-handed 47 seconds later as he stole a pass by Bratt in the Devils’ zone and beat Blackwood from between the circles.
Ovechkin stretched the margin to 4-1 with a power-play goal from his office in the left circle at 17:14. Jensen scored on a shot from the point 33 seconds later.
Tatar and Bratt got the Devils within two goals early in the third period and Lindgren, who had faced Toronto earlier this season, had a made a spectacular pad save on Yegor Sharangovich with about six minutes to go.
“So they fired a lot of biscuits at the net,” said Lindgren, whose brother Ryan plays for the Rangers. “But I do like feeling the puck, I feel like I get into the game, and it felt awesome to get the win tonight.”
NOTES: F Beck Malenstyn, who was playing in his first game of the season with Connor Brown hurt, got his first NHL assist in 16 games on Dowd’s goal. … Former Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek played the third period for New Jersey and made three saves. This was Washington’s first win on the road in three games. New Jersey was 0 for 4 on the power play.
Capitals: at Dallas on Thursday in the second stop on a four-game road trip.
Devils: at Detroit on Tuesday night.
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