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game recap

Ovechkin scores hat trick to climb NHL goals list, Capitals top Islanders

Passes Lemieux, ties Yzerman for ninth place; Washington gets five goals in third

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Ovechkin's historic hat trick

WSH@NYI: Ovi passes Lemieux, ties Yzerman with hatty

Alex Ovechkin records his 26th career hat trick and the 692nd goal of his career to tie Steve Yzerman for 9th place on the NHL's all-time list

  • 01:40 •

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Alex Ovechkin scored his second straight hat trick to tie Steve Yzerman for ninth place on the NHL all-time goals list, and the Washington Capitals rallied to defeat the New York Islanders 6-4 at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.

The Capitals scored five goals in the third period after trailing 4-1.

Ovechkin scored his 690th NHL goal to tie Mario Lemieux for 10th place at 10:22 of the first period off a stretch pass from Nicklas Backstrom to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. He scored his second of the game at 5:18 of the third to get the Capitals within 4-3, and his empty-net goal with 56 seconds remaining was his 692nd goal. 

 

[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Islanders highlights]

 

"It's great players there. It's something special. It's history. It's pretty cool," Ovechkin said. "It's great names. I still have a year and a half [on my contract] and then we'll see what's up. I just left out everything there that I had because I have a week off. Now it's time to regroup and get ready for the second half of the year."

Ovechkin has 34 goals this season, including eight in his past three games, and is two goals behind Mark Messier for eighth in NHL history. He will be suspended for the Capitals' first game (at the Montreal Canadiens, Jan. 27) following the League-mandated five-day break for choosing to not participate in the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

"Nobody wants to lose," Ovechkin said. "We put ourselves in that position when we were down 4-1. Everybody was kind of [ticked off] but it's a good thing about this group of guys, we never give up no matter what the score is."

Video: WSH@NYI: Ovi scores to pass Lemieux on all-time list

Carl Hagelin and Tom Wilson scored in the third for the Capitals (33-11-5), who have won three straight. Ilya Samsonov made seven saves on seven shots in the third period in relief of Braden Holtby, who made 18 saves on 22 shots in the first two periods. Samsonov won his 10th straight decision.

"It's amazing. It's something special," Capitals forward Jakub Vrana, who scored the game-winning goal, said of Ovechkin. "It's obviously really nice to see him getting these records. ... He's got a special shot. The best shot I've ever seen. I'm really happy for him."

Hagelin got the Capitals within 4-2 at 2:33 of the third after scoring on a touch pass from Richard Panik. Wilson scored at 14:32 to tie the game at 4-4.

Vrana scored the go-ahead goal for a 5-4 lead with 2:30 remaining.

Video: WSH@NYI: Vrana roofs snap shot from left circle

"We have a really strong group here, we believe in each other and as you guys know even if we are down three goals, we kept pushing and lots of people maybe think the game was over but … we stick with our game and it's nice to get the win," Vrana said.

Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Jordan Eberle and Devon Toews scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves for the Islanders (28-15-4). 

"It's a tough loss, no question," Islanders forward Josh Bailey said. "The first two [periods] we had put ourselves in a good position to win the game. We just needed to stick to our game like we had talked about."

Nelson tied the game 1-1 at 13:11 of the first with a wrist shot from the slot.

Cizikas gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 15:49 when his pass deflected off Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas' skate and past Holtby.

Eberle made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 9:31 of the second period.

Video: WSH@NYI: Eberle nets PPG after backhand pass attempt

Toews scored his first goal in 17 games to give New York a 4-1 lead at 17:25 of the second.

"We learned a lesson. Not that we should have to have one, but that's a team over that's been extremely successful for a reason and they won a championship for a reason," Islanders forward Anders Lee said. "They exemplified that in the third." 

The Islanders lost for the second time in regulation this season when scoring at least three goals (24-2-2).

"They raised their level, they came out flying down in the game," Islanders forward Anders Lee said. "They got one early and then it just snowballed. We got to stop the bleeding, we got to dig in and find a way. We can't accept that."

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Ovechkin's 26th hatty

 

They said it

"It's good we didn't give up and forget about the first two periods and came back hungry in the third." -- Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov

"After the second, we talked about how that team has championship pedigree. They've come back in a number of games this year. You can't take your foot off the pedal. We had to make hard plays. We didn't do that." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

 

Need to know

This is the third time -- all in the past three seasons -- Ovechkin has had hat tricks in consecutive team games. He is the third player in NHL history to that do that; Joe Malone did it four times, and Wayne Gretzky did it three times. … It was the third time in Islanders history that they lost a game in regulation when leading by three or more goals after two periods. ... Washington is 20-1-3 when scoring first this season. … Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier had the primary assist on Cizikas' goal and has a four-game point streak (four assists) against the Capitals.

 

What's next

Capitals: At the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 27 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, RDS, TSN2, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Islanders: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-CR, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Ovi nets historic hatty, Capitals rally by Islanders

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