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Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals beat Tampa Bay Lightning 7-4 @NHLdotcom

WASHINGTON - Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists and the Washington Capitals beat Tampa Bay 7-4 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory and seventh in a row over the Lightning.

Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon and Mike Green had a goal and an assist each, Sean Collins scored his first NHL goal, and David Steckel and Chris Clark added goals to help Washington improve to 16-1-1 at home.

Vincent Lecavalier scored twice for Tampa Bay, 4-0-1 in its previous five games. Ryan Malone and Mark Recchi added goals.

Lightning defenceman Jamie Heward, a Capital from 2005-07, left the ice on a stretcher with 13:15 remaining after being checked hard into the glass by Ovechkin.

Heward was face-down and motionless on the ice for about four minutes before being carefully rolled onto a backboard by paramedics and doctors. Ovechkin skated over to check on his former teammate, who was taken to hospital because of a concussion.

Collins swept a wrist shot from the right point that dribbled through Mike Smith's pads 3:58 into the game. About three minutes later, Steckel got a step on defenceman Andrej Meszaros and deflected Bradley's cross-rink pass at the left post, making it 2-0.

The Capitals then took advantage when the Lightning defence collapsed along the left wing, trying to pen Ovechkin along the boards. Ovechkin deftly slid a pass to Green, who scored his ninth goal from the right circle at 18:29.

Lecavalier and Malone scored 1:39 apart early in the second period for Tampa Bay. Lecavalier scored his 15th goal from the left side off a right-wing pass by Vaclav Prospal and Malone, the trailer on a 3-on-2 rush, zipped a wrister from between the circles at 2:37.

But Bradley restored Washington's two-goal lead 11 seconds later, converting a shovel pass from Boyd Gordon, who picked off Smith's poor clearing try.

Capitals goalie Brent Johnson gloved Adam Hall's penalty shot attempt midway through the second after Hall had been tripped by Green on a breakaway.

Lecavalier struck again with 16 seconds left in the period. Martin St. Louis rode Collins off the puck behind the net and fed Lecavalier in front.

Gordon capitalized on another wobbly clearing attempt by Smith with 11:53 left in the game, intercepting the puck and scoring before Smith could dive back into the crease.

Recchi got Tampa Bay within a goal with 7:38 left, but Clark responded with his first goal 25 seconds later. Ovechkin got his team-high 26th with 1:46 left.

Notes: Five of Steckel's 10 career goals have come against the Lightning. ... Tampa Bay didn't score first for the first time in five games. ... Earlier Thursday, the Capitals sent D Tyler Sloan to Hershey of the AHL.

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