Ovechkin scores 2, Caps rally from 4-0 to beat NYR

By: AP
By: AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alex Ovechkin finally had his Broadway breakout.

Ovechkin, who came in with only two career points in six games at Madison Square Garden, showed off his MVP form with two goals and an assist Tuesday night and rallied the Washington Capitals from a four-goal deficit to a 5-4 overtime victory over the New York Rangers.

Shaone Morrisonn scored his first of the season on the only shot in overtime to win it 59 seconds in. New York led 4-0 and carried a three-goal lead into the third period, but couldn't hold it. The only other time the Rangers lost at home after leading 4-0 was March 27, 1979.

Ovechkin had never enjoyed a road victory against the Rangers, and the Capitals hadn't won in New York in nearly five years. They started their comeback in the second period on Ovechkin's first of the night and got even with 7:22 left in regulation on his second. He celebrated with an enthusiastic jump-slam into the glass in the corner.

Tomas Fleischmann and Viktor Kozlov added power-play goals in the third period against the Rangers' suddenly leaky penalty killers. New York had turned aside 32 of 34 short-handed situations in nine games before allowing two power-play goals in each of their past two games.

Chris Drury had three assists for the Rangers, but he turned over the puck to Ovechkin at the New York blue line - giving the reigning NHL MVP a breakaway that was converted into the tying goal against Henrik Lundqvist.

Ryan Callahan scored two goals for the Rangers in their first home appearance following a successful three-game California road trip.

Callahan pushed the Rangers' lead from 2-0 to 4-0 with goals in each of the first two periods against struggling netminder Jose Theodore, who was yanked in the opening frame but came back in to start the second and earned a most unlikely win.

Markus Naslund put New York ahead 3:38 in, before Michal Rozsival and Callahan struck 11 seconds apart midway through the period. Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau spent his timeout when it was 3-0 at 11:15 and sent in Brent Johnson, who was battling a cold and a sore hip.

New York, which won at Anaheim and Los Angeles last week before finishing the trip with a loss at San Jose on Saturday, was seeking its fourth win in five games. Lundqvist made 31 saves.

While Johnson was sick, Theodore seemed to be allergic to the puck early - allowing three goals on five shots in the first period. He rebounded and finished with 21 saves on 25 shots.

Theodore, the 2002 NHL MVP, got the surprise start after a relief outing Saturday in which he yielded four goals on 15 shots in the third period of Washington's 7-1 loss at Philadelphia. The Capitals were 0-6-1 in their seven previous trips to the Garden since Jan. 28, 2004, including six with Ovechkin.

Nicklas Backstrom assisted on the first three Capitals goals.

Ovechkin was beaten by Callahan on the New York forward's second goal and 11th of the season at 4:48 of the second.

Ovechkin answered at 12:35 with a shot that deflected off the stick of Rozsival and sailed into the top right corner of the net. Ovechkin came in with only one goal and one assist in New York.

The Capitals avoided their second straight loss following a stretch of five consecutive wins that helped them build a 10-point lead in the Southeast Division.

Notes:@ Rangers D Paul Mara played in his 600th NHL game. ... Injury-depleted Washington recalled D Bryan Helmer and RW Andrew Gordon from Hershey (AHL) and had both players in the lineup. Gordon, who saw his first NHL game at Madison Square Garden when he was 9, made his NHL debut.


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