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WASHINGTON (AP) -Bidding for a third consecutive MVP award, Alex Ovechkin took over the NHL lead in goals and points Friday night, scoring twice to reach 50 goals and adding an assist in the Washington Capitals' 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Ovechkin set up Nicklas Backstrom's goal in the first period, then scored himself in the second and third. With one regular-season game left, Ovechkin leads Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby by one goal, and Vancouver's Henrik Sedin by one point. Neither the Penguins nor the Canucks played Friday.

Backstrom and Jason Chimera scored in the third period for the Capitals.

Artyukhin and MacArthur scored in the second for Atlanta.

NEW YORK (AP) - Marian Gaborik broke a second-period tie with his 42nd goal and the Rangers stayed alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race in the first half of a home-and-home series that will determine both teams' postseason prospects.

Gaborik converted Chris Pronger's turnover in the Philadelphia zone into a drive that hit Flyers defenseman Matt Carle and caromed past goalie Brian Boucher to give the Rangers a 4-3 edge with 3:06 left in the second.

Henrik Lundqvist made that stand up, setting up a one-game showdown Sunday in Philadelphia on the final day of the regular season.

Richards scored two goals and Daniel Briere had one for the Flyers.

Chris Drury, Jody Shelley and Brandon Dubinsky also scored for the Rangers.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Todd Bertuzzi scored on a backhand in the fourth round of the shootout to lift Detroit past Columbus and give the Red Wings at least 100 points for the 10th year in a row.

Rick Nash scored in the first round and Pavel Datsyuk followed him with a matching goal before the goaltenders stopped the next two shooters for each team. After Jimmy Howard turned aside Columbus' R.J. Umberger, then Bertuzzi, 4 of 8 in shootouts this season, faked the forehand and netted the backhander past Steve Mason for the decisive goal.

Howard, a top Calder Trophy candidate as the NHL rookie of the year, had 22 saves. Mason, last year's Calder winner, had a season-high 45 saves.

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