WASHINGTON - Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 39th goal on a power play 2:37 into overtime, and the Washington Capitals beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-5 Sunday to earn a split of a home-and-home set and tighten up things a bit more in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference.
Ovechkin's one-timer from the left circle was no match for goaltender Jimmy Howard, who had only three teammates on the ice with him after Brendan Smith was sent off for tripping 1:26 into the extra period.
For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.
— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday