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Ovechkin posts 12th career hat trick in leading Capitals to 4-3 victory over Panthers.

Saturday, 04.06.2013 / 10:25 PM The Canadian Press

SUNRISE, Fla. - Alex Ovechkin recorded his 12th career hat trick and added an assist, and the surging Washington Capitals survived a late rally by the Florida Panthers for a 4-3 victory on Saturday night.

Ovechkin scored twice from in close on the power play, and weaved through traffic for his other goal, as the Capitals (19-17-2) improved to 8-2-1 in their last 11 games in completing a four-game season sweep of the Panthers.

Washington struck quickly with a pair of goals from Mike Ribeiro and Ovechkin within a 1:41 early in the second period.

Braden Holtby made 27 saves in posting his fifth career victory over the Panthers (12-20-6) without a loss.

The Panthers rallied in third period behind two goals from Tomas Kopecky and another by Peter Mueller.

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