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Ovechkin helps beat Rangers; Marleau leads Sharks @NHLdotcom

Alex Ovechkin needed a breakout performance on Broadway to make Washington a winner against the New York Rangers.

Patrick Marleau and the San Jose Sharks took the easy route to victory over Vancouver.

Ovechkin, who came in with only two career points in six games at Madison Square Garden, showed off his MVP form with two goals and an assist Tuesday night and rallied the Capitals from a four-goal deficit to a 5-4 victory.

Shaone Morrisonn scored his first goal of the season on the only shot in overtime to win it 59 seconds into the extra session.

"They stopped playing hockey," a jubilant Ovechkin said. "They probably believed 4-0 they'd win the game. They tried to play conservative, but we play a different way. We play a hard, physical game and take lots of shots. You see the results."

The only other time the Rangers led 4-0 at home and didn't win was in a tie against Philadelphia on March 27, 1979.

Marleau had a goal and two assists during the Sharks' five-goal barrage in the first 21 minutes, and Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves to keep San Jose unbeaten in regulation at home this season with a 5-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks

"It's kind of hard to come back from a 3-0 deficit when it's bing-bang-boom, right off the start," the Sharks' Devin Setoguchi said. "We knew what they were feeling like, and we put it right on them from the start. You look over at their bench and they've got long faces and they're holding their heads down, and that's what you want."

In other NHL games Tuesday, it was: Atlanta 4, N.Y. Islanders 2; Los Angeles 3, Columbus 0; Boston 2, New Jersey 0; Philadelphia 6, Ottawa 4; Dallas 8, Toronto 2; Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 0; Florida 3, Nashville 0; Detroit 4, St. Louis 1; Minnesota 3, Carolina 2; Calgary 4, Anaheim 3; and Colorado 5, Phoenix 4 in overtime.

At New York, Ovechkin tied it at 4 with his 22nd goal of the season with 7:22 left in regulation. He celebrated with an enthusiastic jump-slam into the glass in the corner.

Chris Drury had three assists for the Rangers, but he turned over the puck to Ovechkin at the New York blue line - giving him a breakaway that was converted into the tying goal.

"Whenever you have a lead, especially at home, you have to find a way to put it away," Drury said. "We got loose with the puck and got away from the game plan."

At San Jose, Setoguchi and Joe Thornton each had a goal and an assist while the Sharks tormented goalie Cory Schneider, who gave up three goals in the first 7:09 and two more in the opening minute of the second period before being yanked.

Rob Blake and Tomas Plihal also had goals as the Sharks improved to 27-4-3 while setting a franchise record for the quickest five goals to open a game.

Curtis Sanford stopped 16 shots in relief for Vancouver, which fell out of the Northwest Division lead with its fifth straight loss to the Sharks, coupled with Calgary's win. After grinding out a win over the Ducks in Vancouver on Monday, the Canucks had little left for San Jose.

"I don't think that's really an excuse for us," Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "We had a tough start to the game. They came out flying, like we knew they would. They're obviously a good team at home, and we put ourselves in a bad position right away with the penalties. They made us pay."

At Newark, N.J., Tim Thomas made 25 saves, Milan Lucic broke a scoreless tie early in the third period and Boston extended its winning streak to six.

The Bruins' Phil Kessel had his point scoring streak snapped after 18 games.

At Toronto, rookie James Neal scored three goals for his first career hat trick and 15 Dallas players had at least one point.

Steve Ott, Fabian Brunnstrom, Brad Richards, Krystofer Barch and Mike Ribeiro also scored for the Stars. Jere Lehtinen, Landon Wilson, Trevor Daley and Stephane Robidas added two assists each. Even goalie Marty Turco had an assist.

At Denver, Brett Clark scored with 3:12 left in overtime for Colorado.

Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists each and Andrew Raycroft made 18 saves for the Avs to win his fourth start in a row.

At Pittsburgh, Mike Smith made 15 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and Paul Szczechura had a goal and an assist.

Matt Pettinger had a goal and Mark Recchi recorded two assists for the Lightning, who won for the second time in 14 games.

At Uniondale, N.Y., Bryan Little scored his second goal of the game on the power play in the third period and Atlanta kept the Islanders winless in 10 games.

Ilya Kovalchuk had an assist for his 500th NHL point in his 500th game.

At Columbus, Ohio, Raitis Ivanans and Peter Harrold scored their first goals of the season and Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots for his first career shutout for the Kings.

Steve Mason stopped 39 shots for Columbus, which had won its last five at home.

At Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk had two goals and an assist and Ty Conklin made 33 saves.

Nicklas Lidstrom had a goal and an assist and Tomas Holmstrom also scored for Detroit, which won for the eighth time in 10 games.

At Philadelphia, Jeff Carter scored his NHL-best 26th goal and Simon Gagne got the winner late in the third period.

Ottawa scored twice in the third against Antero Niittymaki to even the score, then Gagne scored his 18th goal with 5:30 left.

At Sunrise, Fla., Tomas Vokoun made 27 saves for his second consecutive shutout and Michael Frolik scored twice. The Panthers are 7-1-2 in December, tying a franchise record for victories in the month.

ST. Paul, Minn., Stephane Veilleux capped off Minnesota's three-goal second period with a short-handed goal and the Wild withstood Carolina's two-minute 5-on-3 advantage in the third period.

Marian Gaborik and rookie Cal Clutterbuck also notched second-period goals, helping Minnesota erase a 2-0 deficit and win for just the third time in December (3-7-1).

At Calgary, Alberta, Brett Sutter, Marc Giordano and Mike Cammalleri scored consecutive goals in the third period to lift the Flames.

David Moss also scored for Calgary and Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 30 shots.

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