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Ovechkin gets goal No. 50 in Caps' win

by John Kreiser
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals reached the 50-goal mark for the third time in his four NHL seasons when he scored 7:43 into Thursday night's game at Tampa Bay.

Ovechkin became the first player in the League to reach the 50-goal mark this season when he took a pass from Nicklas Backstrom, raced down the right wing, cut toward the middle and zipped a shot past goaltender Mike McKenna from inside the right circle to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.

''It feels pretty good actually,'' Ovechkin said after the Caps' 5-2 win. ''Today was a lucky goal, I think. It's done right now. No pressure. Nothing.''

Ovechkin is well-known for jumping into the glass after scoring goals. But this time, he followed through with a plan to put his stick on the ice and pretend to warm his hands over it -- a move that didn't go over well with everyone.

''I think he's a terrific player. He went down a notch in my books after that,'' Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet said. ''It's not something I like. It's hard for me to accept, to see something like that in our building.''

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said he planned to speak to Ovechkin about the orchestrated showmanship.

''He has never done that with me that I've seen,'' Boudreau said. ''He celebrates, but I think that was a little planned out.''

Ovechkin, 23, scored 52 goals as a rookie in 2005-06, when he won the Calder Trophy. He had 46 in 2006-07 and zoomed to 65 last season, becoming the first player to break the 60-goal mark in more than a decade. That earned him both the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal-scorer and the Hart Trophy as League MVP. He also took home the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer with 112 points.

Ovechkin surpassed the 200-goal mark earlier this season, and Thursday's goal was his 213rd in 315 regular-season games, all with the Capitals, who chose him No. 1 in the 2004 Entry Draft.

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