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Ovechkin sparks Caps' six-goal second period

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Alex Ovechkin came to Calgary frustrated about his offensive struggles and those of his teammates. Ovi and the Washington Capitals headed home in a much better frame of mind.

Ovechkin scored two power-play goals 12 seconds apart during Washington's six-goal second period as the Capitals spotted the Flames a two-goal lead before scoring seven unanswered goals to stun the Scotiabank Saddledome crowd with a 7-2 victory on Saturday night.

"It was a rocky beginning, but, I thought, a great end," Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Last season's highest-scoring team has been struggling to score -- Ovi vented his frustration after Thursday's 2-1 loss at Minnesota -- and the Caps looked lethargic while allowing the Flames to jump to an early 2-0 lead. Olli Jokinen scored on a deflection 44 seconds into the game, and Curtis Glencross beat Michal Neuvirth at 11:05.

That was about the last thing to go right for the Flames all night.

Nicklas Backstrom started the comeback with the first of Washington's three power-play goals, beating Miikka Kiprusoff at 15:22.

"We have a good power play," Ovechkin said. "We got three power-play goals, but that first one was big."

Then the dam burst.

Ovechkin cashed in two power-play chances in short order, beating Kiprusoff with a one-timer at 3:43 during a 5-on-3 power play and again at 3:55 during a one-man advantage.

"The power play started going and the guys were feeding off of that," Boudreau said.

The Caps hit Calgary with a knockout punch midway through the period when Mike Green and Mark Bradley scored 13 seconds apart for a 5-2 lead. Ovechkin's perfect feed set up Alexander Semin's goal at 13:55, and David Steckel scored on a penalty shot at 18:23 after being hauled down on a shorthanded breakaway.

"All the time I've said we have the skills, I think we have more guys with the best skills in the league and sometimes we just haven't used it," Ovechkin said. "We try to be too casual and tonight's game we played pretty good."

Boudreau was rewarded for his decision to put Ovechkin and Semin back together on the same line.

"I knew they were excited about playing with each other," Boudreau said. "When we got the power-play goal and Nicky and Mike (Knuble) and Semin and Alex were all in on the play, I thought, "OK, something good is going to happen.

"When they scored on the 5-on-3, I said, 'OK, I've seen this picture before.' They could probably have had a few more. They were feeling good today."

The six goals were the most by any team in a period so far this season. The seven-goal outburst matched the most goals by a team in a game this season.

"That's us at our best for sure. Now we need to keep playing like that throughout the season," Green added after scoring his first of the season. "We're going to have our ups and downs, but it's good for us to have a game like that."

Flames coach Brent Sutter replaced Kiprusoff with rookie Henrik Karlsson after Semin's goal. then put his starter back into the game for the third period, during which the Caps managed just six shots. But by then, the outcome was long since determined.

"We actually played a real good first period, as good of a period as we've played all year," Sutter said. "When you put a team like that on a 5 on 3 you're in dangerous territory and they certainly capitalized on it. We took some bad penalties and they nailed us for it."

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