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Ovechkin Named NHL Player of the Week

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
Rangers' Lundqvist is Top Defensive Player

Washington, DC - January 23, 2006 - Washington Capitals forward  Alexander Ovechkin, who tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in three games, has been named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday, January 22. New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who led the Rangers to three victories with a 1.62 goals-against average and .946 save percentage, is the League's Defensive Player of the Week.

Ottawa Senators forward Dany Heatley, who posted six points (3-3-6 in three games) and Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (2-4--6 in three games) were runners-up for offensive honors, while goaltenders Alex Auld of the Vancouver Canucks (3-0-0, 1.68 GAA) and John Grahame of the Tampa Bay Lightning (2-0-0, 0.50 GAA) were runners-up for the defensive award.

Ovechkin recorded points in all three Capitals games as Washington went 3-0-0 for the week. He tallied two goals, including a diving, highlight-reel effort, and added one assist in a 6-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes Jan. 16, record a goal and an assist in a 5-4 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues Jan. 19 and posted two assists in a 5-2 win over Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 21, snapping the Hurricanes' nine-game winning streak.

Ovechkin leads the Capitals and all rookies in scoring with 62 points (33 goals, 29 assists) and ranks second in the League in goal-scoring behind Atlanta Thrashers forward and Russian Olympic teammate Ilya Kovalchuk (35). The Capitals (17-24-5, 39 points) put their four-game winning streak on the line tonight against the Boston Bruins (7 p.m., ET, OLN) before road games against Pittsburgh Wednesday and Boston Thursday.

Lundqvist began the week with a 28-save performance in a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 19, made 29 saves in a 3-2 shootout victory against the Boston Bruins Jan. 21 and turned aside 31 of 32 shots in a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils Jan. 22.
Appearing in 33 of New York's 49 games this season, Lundqvist has posted a record of 20-6-5 with a 2.14 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. The Rangers are second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference with 63 points (28-14-7) and host Buffalo Tuesday and Pittsburgh Saturday (2 p.m., ET, NBC).
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