WASHINGTON (AP) - Alex Ovechkin called it the worst game of his career.
Not so much because the reigning rookie of the year only took two shots and went pointless for a third consecutive outing, his longest NHL drought - although that clearly bothered him. What really disappointed Ovechkin about his Washington Capitals' 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night was the penalty he was assessed in the third period, leading to Patrice Bergeron's game-tying power-play goal.
"So it's my fault we lost game," Ovechkin said.
Phil Kessel flipped a backhander past goalie Olie Kolzig to give Boston a 2-1 edge in the shootout and its second consecutive victory following a five-game losing streak.
"He's a great goalie," Kessel said, "so you have to go out there and get lucky."
Alexander Semin put Washington ahead 1-0 in the shootout, and Bergeron evened it, before Kessel ended it. Ovechkin and Eric Fehr missed for Washington in the shootout; Brandon Bochenski missed for Boston.
Ovechkin is mired in the first mini-slump of his NHL career. During his Calder Trophy-winning rookie season of 2005-06, the Russian never went more than two consecutive games without an assist or goal - and he only had three droughts of that length, each time snapping it with a multiple-point game.
Ovechkin, who entered Tuesday tied for the league lead with 33 goals, hadn't even been held without a point in two consecutive games this season until the current stretch.
"Is he doing anything differently? I don't think so. Not off the top of my head," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "I'm not concerned about it, because we know he's going to score."
Asked if there was something he could point to as an explanation, Ovechkin said: "I feel good. I don't know. Sometimes it happens, you know."
A big reason for his problems Tuesday was Boston defenceman Zdeno Chara.
"He's a good defenceman," Ovechkin acknowledged. "I just don't have chances to shoot."
Said Bruins coach Dave Lewis: "Z did a great job. It's hard sometimes getting the matchups you want, but our guys were changing on the fly."
Boston led 1-0 heading into the final period, thanks to Bochenski's goal in his Bruins debut. They acquired him from the Chicago Blackhawks for a minor leaguer Saturday.
"It was nice to get some ice time and get my wind back," said Bochenski, who recently missed three weeks with a hand injury.
Washington's Brooks Laich scored an unassisted goal only 21 seconds into the third to tie it, and Eric Fehr put the Capitals ahead 2-1 at the 7:48 mark.
Boston tied it at 2 on a power play with 6:45 left in regulation on Bergeron's 17th goal. It came with Ovechkin in the penalty box after being whistled for delay of game.
"It's not my game," Ovechkin said. "That's it."
Notes: Boston killed off all three power plays for Washington; the Capitals are 0-for-11 the last three games. ... The Bruins' leading goal scorer, Glen Murray, was scratched because of a groin injury. ... Savard had two assists. ... Washington fell to 1-6 in shootouts this season, while Boston improved to 6-3.