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game recap

Alex Ovechkin gets to 1,001 points in Capitals win

Scores twice against Penguins to become 84th NHL player to pass milestone

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin reached 1,000 NHL points with his first of two goals, starting the Washington Capitals on their way to a 5-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

Ovechkin scored 35 seconds into the first period and 8:06 into the second to give Washington a 2-0 lead.

"I kind of [thought] about it before the game: Everybody's here and it will be nice to get [my] 1,000th point at home," Ovechkin said. "Pretty excited that it happened. It's a big moment for [the] organization, for myself and the fans."

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Capitals highlights

 

Justin Williams, Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller scored for the Capitals (27-9-5), who have won seven in a row. Braden Holtby made 30 saves.

Ovechkin, who has 35 points this season, is the 84th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points and the 37th player to score that many with one franchise. He played his 880th NHL game.

After Ovechkin scored, Williams asked the referee if they could have a minute to let the milestone sink in. Behind Ovechkin on the bench, Backstrom, who assisted on the goal, nudged him to stand up.

 

Get it: Exclusive Ovechkin milestone T-shirt

 

"He was sitting down on the bench and I just pushed him up," Backstrom said. "He should be honored like that if you reach 1,000 in the amount of games he has. It's pretty impressive. All the credit to him. He's an unreal player and he's been fun to watch."

Video: PIT@WSH: Ovechkin blasts PPG for second of the game

Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for the Penguins (26-9-5), who had won five in a row.

Williams made it 3-0 at 4:31 of the third period. He redirected Evgeny Kuznetsov's behind-the-net pass past Fleury.

Malkin scored a power-play goal from the right circle to make it 3-1 at 7:46 of the third. Backstrom made it 4-1 at 13:11.

"We had our chances to get back into it," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "Their goalie made some saves and we weren't able to capitalize."

Hornqvist's power-play goal with 2:36 remaining made it 4-2. Eller scored an empty-net goal with 18 seconds left.

Video: PIT@WSH: Malkin fires PPG from the circle in the 3rd


 
Goal of the game

Ovechkin dangled into the slot for his milestone goal, his 20th of the season.

Video: PIT@WSH: Ovi pots beauty for 1,000th NHL point

 

Save of the game

Fleury stopped Matt Niskanen's shot and then beat Williams to the post for a second save.

Video: PIT@WSH: Fleury denies slapper, sticks with rebound

 

Highlight of the game

Backstrom scored on the rush off a pass from T.J. Oshie after a faceoff win at the opposite end of the ice.

Video: PIT@WSH: Backstrom drives the net, pads lead with PPG

 

Unsung moment of the game

Defenseman Kris Letang played a Penguins-high 26:19 with three shots on goal and two blocked shots. Letang took John Carlson's slap shot off his left arm in the third period and didn't miss a shift.

 
They said it

"Everybody was happy. I mean, it didn't take him very long to get it done. That was a great start for him and for us. He sort of had that look in his eye once he touched the puck that something good was going to happen. So real happy for him. I know the guys were thrilled for him and a little history. I said to him in Montreal, I said that, 'It was really sort of cool that [you] tied Maurice Richard in Montreal, but I think it's only fitting that you get the 1,000th point here for our fans.' So he did it, and he didn't take much time." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin

 

"Every night he plays hard, so nothing new. He wants to score goals and he wants to help the team as much as he can. It wasn't really any surprises there, but the only thing that was a little surprising was maybe 35 seconds. That's all it took. But that's typical [of] a guy like him though." -- Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom on Alex Ovechkin

 

"It was probably the difference in the game. We were climbing back in it. We had momentum, we had energy. Our power play gave us a boost in the third. We were right there. That was a big turning point for me." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of hitting a crossbar before Nicklas Backstrom's power-play goal

 

Video: PIT@WSH: Crosby sets up Hornqvist for PPG late in 3rd

 

Need to know

Ovechkin has 546 goals and 455 assists (21 and 14 this season). He passed Maurice Richard for 29th place in NHL goals with his first Wednesday. … Trotz coached his 1,401st NHL game, passing Pat Quinn for eighth place; he won his 685th NHL game win to move past Quinn for seventh place (685-532-124, 60 ties).

 

What's next

Penguins: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; ROOT, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CSN-CH, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Ovechkin records 1,000th point, nets two goals in win

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