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Ovechkin scores in return for Caps, while Semin sits

by Dan Rosen /
NEW YORK  --  Alex Ovechkin wasted little time doing what he does best -- putting the puck in the net.

Ovechkin returned to the Washington Capitals' lineup on Tuesday night and needed just 15:06 to score a goal, beating Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with a power-play slap shot to tie the game at 1-1.

But while Ovechkin returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an upper-body strain Nov. 1 against Columbus, Alexander Semin has been sent home with an apparent right wrist injury. He will consult with a doctor back in the D.C. area.

Jay Beagle, who was called up Tuesday morning, is centering the fourth line between Matt Bradley and Quintin Laing. David Steckel, who was questionable after taking a shot off his foot in Monday's practice, is also in the lineup and centering the third line with Mathieu Perreault and Eric Fehr.

Ovechkin is skating on Washington's top line with center Nicklas Backstrom and right wing Chris Clark. He has had chemistry with Backstrom over the past two seasons and used to have chemistry with Clark when the two played together in Ovechkin's first two seasons.

Semin apparently was playing through his wrist injury while Ovechkin was out, but it was not improving, so he went home. It is believed that he injured his wrist in a game against Florida last week and the severity is not known. Semin practiced with the team Monday, but was not on the ice for Tuesday's morning skate.

After tonight's game, the Capitals don't play again until they host Montreal on Friday night.

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