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game recap

Ovechkin scores No. 725, Capitals sweep season series from Devils

Ties Brett Hull for second-most power-play goals in NHL history

by Harvey Valentine / Independent Correspondent

Ovechkin ties Hull with 265th PPG

WSH@NJD: Ovechkin nets 265th career PPG to tie Hull

Alex Ovechkin deposits a power-play goal by the back post, tying Brett Hull for 2nd on the NHL's all-time list with 265, making it 3-1 Capitals

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Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists, and the Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-4 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Sunday to complete a sweep of the eight-game season series.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist, and T.J. Oshie scored his fourth goal in five games for the Capitals (25-9-4), who have won five of their past seven games, including four straight against the Devils since March 25. Ilya Samsonov made 35 saves.

Ovechkin has scored 725 NHL goals, six behind Marcel Dionne for fifth place in NHL history. He tied Brett Hull for second-most power-play goals in NHL history with 265, nine behind Dave Andreychuk for first.

Washington outscored New Jersey 32-19 going 8-0-0 against one opponent in a single season for the first time in its history.

"I don't even think you think about that at the beginning of the year," Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. "You think about going one game at a time and, hopefully, get one win. They are a really good, young team. They've got a lot of skill and they're dangerous and you could see it at times."

Travis Zajac scored twice, and Ryan Murray had three assists for the Devils (13-17-6), who finished 0-6-2 against the Capitals. Mackenzie Blackwood made 14 saves.

"I would say tonight we probably created the most opportunities we've had all year, and at the end of the night, we didn't win the game," New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. "You start with your foundation; our foundation was good. We made a few mistakes, yes, but there was a lot of good stuff inside that game."

Video: WSH@NJD: Hagelin nets Hathaway feed for SHG off rush

Carl Hagelin gave Washington a 4-2 lead when he scored a shorthanded goal off a Garnet Hathaway pass at 2:41 of the third period.

"'Hath' did a good job, winning his battle, beating his guy up the ice," Hagelin said. "I just tried to get open on the 2-on-1, and Hath made a good play through [P.K.] Subban's stick there, and I just tried to get the puck in the net."

Ovechkin fed Kuznetsov for a tap-in at 5:31 to increase the lead to 5-2.

Video: WSH@NJD: Kuznetsov finishes Ovechkin's sweet set-up

Jesper Bratt scored from just outside the crease to pull the Devils within 5-3 at 10:15, and Zajac made it 5-4 with a one-timer from the left face-off circle at 15:53.

"That's one thing we have done well, we've battled to the end," Zajac said. "It's a good character to have in a group. Obviously, we'd like to be in control of games and in the lead and have those type of games, but it's not always that easy."

Zajac gave the Devils a 1-0 lead at 3:17 of the first period when he scored on a one-timer from the high slot.

Oshie tied it 1-1 at 9:16. After Ovechkin deflected Brenden Dillon's pass into the Devils zone, Oshie outraced defenseman Dmitry Kulikov to the puck and scored with a high backhand shot.

Conor Sheary's one-timer from the right circle deflected off Damon Severson and fluttered past Blackwood to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead at 3:21 of the second period.

Ovechkin made it 3-1 at 8:09 when he tucked in the rebound of Nicklas Backstrom's shot on the power play.

Yegor Sharangovich pulled the Devils within 3-2 with a wrist shot on the rush at 17:42, but Samsonov made a glove save against Severson at 18:19 to preserve the lead.

"They had plenty of chances to score, but I think 'Sammy' today was unstoppable," Ovechkin said. "Obviously, he gave us the victory. We respond when they score a goal. We kind of regroup and then get a lead 3-1, and then give them opportunity to come back to the game, but again Sammy was very good tonight." 

The Devils outshot the Capitals 31-12 in the first and second periods.

"We had so many shots at the net and couldn't get them to go," Murray said. "We had some good chances, and then they had some chances and they capitalized on them. We liked the way that we played I think, but obviously those chances that we have, it's tough when they're not going in."

NOTES: Forward Kyle Palmieri was held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons, the Devils said. … It was Ovechkin's 115th three-point game in the NHL. … Zajac tied Bobby Holik for third place in Devils history with 202 goals, behind Patrik Elias (408) and John MacLean (347). … The Capitals went 7-0-0 against the New York Islanders in 1990-91. … The Capitals are 14-0-4 in one-goal games, the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss by one goal.

Video: Ovechkin ties Hull on PPG list in Capitals' 5-4 win

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