WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored the 827th goal of his NHL career and the Washington Capitals handed the Columbus Blue Jackets their eighth consecutive loss, 4-3 on Saturday night.
The Capitals have won four in a row and eight of 10. Ovechkin’s fifth goal of the season put him 67 back of Wayne Gretzky’s career record.
Hendrix Lapierre and Aliaksei Protas each had a goal and two assists. Sonny Milano also scored and Charlie Lindgren made 33 saves for Washington, which got several players back on the ice.
Anthony Mantha returned from a ruptured left ear drum, Trevor van Riemsdyk came back from a lower-body injury and Joel Edmundson made his Capitals debut seven weeks after breaking his right hand in a training camp scrimmage.
Dylan Strome set up Ovechkin’s goal for his first assist this season to go with his team-leading seven goals. The Capitals kept winning despite the absence of No. 2 center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was replaced in the lineup by Lapierre.
Columbus’ skid continued despite goals from Johnny Gaudreau in the second period and Ivan Provorov and Justin Danforth in the third. Johnny Hockey, benched twice this season by first-year coach Pascal Vincent, ended a seven-game goal drought.
Provorov’s goal with 12:59 left stood after Capitals coach Spencer Carbery challenged for goaltender interference. Washington did not allow a goal on the ensuing power play, extending its streak of successful penalty kills to 23.
Elvis Merzlikins allowed four goals on 26 shots. Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner skated in his 675th regular-season NHL game, breaking a tie with Rick Nash for the most in franchise history.
Blue Jackets: Visit Philadelphia on Sunday, hoping to halt the Flyers’ winning streak at four.
Capitals: Look to extend their winning streak to five when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl