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Ovechkin shines in Caps' win

by Brian Compton
With some of the best players in the world sharing the same sheet of ice on Wednesday night, Alex Ovechkin let his play do the talking.

The Russian superstar scored twice in the third period and finished with a three-point night as the Washington Capitals won an intense 6-3 decision against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena.

''Today was very emotional game for us,'' said Ovechkin, who snapped a four-game goal-less streak and fired 10 shots on net. ''We lost three in a row and had to go on the road to play against a tough team, and we bounced back.''

Meanwhile, the Pens have lost eight of their last 10 games and six of seven on home ice. But they may have lost a lot more than just a game. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby, who had two assists, was forced to leave the game following a collision with Washington's Dave Steckel in the third period. Crosby limped off the ice, favoring his left leg.

The Penguins also lost defenseman Rob Scuderi (slap shot to the face) and forward Maxime Talbot (undisclosed) during the game. No word was available on their conditions.

But the first question during Penguins coach Michel Therrien's postgame news conference was about No. 87.

"I haven't seen the doctor yet," Therrien said when asked about Crosby's status.

The game was tied 2-2 after 40 minutes, but the Capitals -- who outshot the Pens by a margin of 42-29 -- scored four times in the third period. Ovechkin gave Washington a 3-2 lead at 1:48 on a power-play tally, as he flipped his own rebound over Marc-Andre Fleury for his 28th goal of the season.

''When he gets in a slump and then breaks the slump, he doesn't break it just to break it,'' Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. ''He gets two or three. ... That's what Alex does. He's a real emotional guy and he plays on that passion. And when he gets going, he's pretty hard to stop.''

Pittsburgh tied it less than two minutes later, when Crosby fed Ryan Whitney for his first goal since Feb. 21, 2008. But Tomas Fleischmann scored what proved to be the game-winner, as he fired a diving shot from the slot off Ovechkin's rebound with 11:49 to play. It was his 15th goal of the season.

''There was a puck laying there and open ice,'' Fleischmann said. ''The only way I could reach it was by diving.''

Ovechkin added an insurance goal at 11:27, and Jeff Schultz put the game away with an empty-net tally -- his first goal of the season -- at 18:54.

Miroslav Satan had a goal -- the 350th of his career -- and an assist for the Pens, who are now just 9-9-2 at Mellon Arena.

"I don't think it's the system," said Satan, who has 13 goals but only one in his last 14 games. "We gave them too many power-play opportunities. They were able to use it, and we got behind.

Jose Theodore made 26 saves for the Capitals, who will look to make it two in a row on Saturday night against the Boston Bruins at the Verizon Center. Eleven of Theodore's stops came in the third period.

"We had chances," Therrien said. "We had breakaways, we had 2-on-1's. We didn't score. You need those goals."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.

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