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Capitals-Bruins Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Washington Capitals (25-40-12) at Boston Bruins (29-35-14).

TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EDT.

With the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins out of the playoff race, the spotlight will again be on Caps star rookie Alexander Ovechkin when the teams meet at TD BankNorth Garden.

Ovechkin is attempting to become the second NHL rookie to record 50 goals and 100 points in a season, but the Capitals were shut down in a 5-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2004, the 20-year-old Ovechkin has 48 goals and 99 points, but had his 11-game point streak snapped in the defeat despite being double-shifted early in the game.

"It's been a lot of fun this season for me, but I'd like to win more," Ovechkin said. "We must forget this game and move forward to the next game."

Only Pittsburgh has fewer points in the Eastern Conference than Washington and Boston, leaving Ovechkin as the main attraction for Monday's game. The other rookie to reach 50 goals and 100 points was Teemu Selanne, who had 76 goals and 132 points for the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93.

"He tries this way in practice, he tries this way in Game 1, and he's trying this way now," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said of Ovechkin's effort. "He's more concerned about winning games and winning the Stanley Cup."

The Capitals have lost four in a row and 13 of 16.

The Bruins have also been struggling, with five losses in their last six games, including a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night that completed a season sweep for the Rangers.

"I thought our effort was sound today," Boston coach Mike Sullivan said. "It was an even hockey game. We had a game plan going in and we wanted to execute and bring that necessary energy and focus to give ourselves a chance to win. I thought we did that tonight. I can't fault the effort and intensity of our players."

Rookie Brad Boyes scored two goals for the Bruins, who had a two-goal lead in the second period before the Rangers rallied.

Boyes has 26 goals and 67 points this season. His goal total is the fifth-highest among rookies, and the 23-year-old center ranks third in points among first-year players, trailing Ovechkin in both categories.

"I have pretty high expectations of myself and I wanted to go in and help the team as much as possible," Boyes said. "The focus was just to earn some ice time and adapt to the NHL level. I wanted to improve everyday. Right from the start that was the plan. I've learned a lot and had a lot of fun."

Boston hasn't lost at home to Washington since Dec. 2, 2000.

STANDINGS: Capitals - 62 points, 5th place, 46 PB, Southeast Division. Bruins - 72 points, 5th place, 36 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals - Ovechkin, 48 goals, 51 assists and 99 points; Chris Clark, 108 PIM. Bruins - Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm, 28 goals; Bergeron and Boyes, 41 assists; Bergeron, 69 points; Hal Gill, 120 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Capitals - Power play: 14.9 percent (69 for 462), 27th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.2 percent (409 for 523), 30th. Bruins - Power play: 15.4 percent (62 for 404), 24th. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (383 for 459), 13th.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (18-27-11, 3.56 GAA); Brent Johnson (7-12-1, 1 SO, 3.68). Bruins - Tim Thomas (12-11-8, 1, 2.68); Andrew Raycroft (8-19-2, 3.71).

SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 26; Bruins, 3-2. At Boston, Sturm scored in the third period to lead Boston to its third straight win.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 10-22-5 on the road; Bruins - 16-14-9 at home.

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