ATLANTA (AP) - As sluggish as his team looked in the first two periods, Marian Hossa could only hope the Atlanta Thrashers would wake up.
"It took one hour to get into the net," Hossa said. "But it did."
Hossa scored 1:49 into overtime, wristing a shot past Olaf Kolzig as the Washington goaltender was face down and giving the Thrashers a 3-2 victory over the Capitals on Saturday night.
Ilya Kovalchuk handed the Thrashers their first lead at 7:08 of the third period with a wrister from the left side of the slot, but Washington rookie Alex Ovechkin forced the extra period with 25.2 seconds left in regulation.
"It's too bad that we gave up that goal at the end, but that's going to happen," said Atlanta coach Bob Hartley, whose team improved to 4-0-2 against the Capitals. "We found a way to come back and win it, which is a sign of a team that is desperate, but we're still on a mission."
Ovechkin and Kovalchuk each scored their 39th goals to remain tied for second in the NHL behind Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers.
Marc Savard had three assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves for Atlanta, which won for the fifth time in seven games and moved into a ninth-place tie in the Eastern Conference following Boston's 3-2 loss to Buffalo.
"This was a big two points for us," Hossa said. "We picked it up in the middle of the game."
The Thrashers, who were just 1-for-6 on the power play, had an advantage end just before Hossa won it with his 29th goal. Taking Savard's pass as he skated toward the right side of the crease, Hossa beat Kolzig, who faced 34 shots and lost his fourth straight start.
"It was very disappointing," Kolzig said. "We had a chance to make it 2-0, but we couldn't capitalize. I was seeing everything great, and if you can see it, you can stop it."
Washington had a two-man advantage when Ovechkin tied it with Kolzig pulled in favor of an extra skater.
Ovechkin was in the slot as he turned to wrist a shot over Lehtonen's left shoulder, but Savard blamed himself for causing the situation with a tripping penalty. Just 1:38 remained when Savard let his emotions take over behind Washington's net.
"The trip - it happens," Savard said. "He scored on the power play. We capitalized on the power play early."
Jaroslav Modry tied it at 1-1 on the power play, firing a slap slot just inside the center of the blue line. Hossa appeared to block Kolzig's vision as the puck went past him stick-side low.
"The effort was there," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "It just gets hard at this stage of the season not to get a win out of it."
Ovechkin also assisted on Brian Willsie's 13th goal that gave Washington a 1-0 lead early in the first.
Willsie scored on the power play after his shot from the left circle deflected off the skate of Atlanta defenseman Andy Sutton.
The Capitals have lost 10 of 13.
"We didn't have the jump that we needed in the middle of the game," center Jeff Halpern said. "We didn't generate a ton of 5-on-5 to take some pressure off Kolzig at key times."
Notes: Capitals D Jamie Heward didn't return after apparently injuring his head when Eric Boulton checked him into the rear boards at 6:44 of the second period. After lying face down for a few minutes, Heward skated off the ice under his own power. ... Willsie has three goals and four points in five games. ... Atlanta played a home game for the first time since Feb. 4. ... The Thrashers are 5-6 in overtime. Washington is 7-6.