|WSH||1||6||0||(0 - 0)||7|
|CGY||2||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Alex Ovechkin thinks his Washington Capitals are the most skilled team in the NHL. After the second period Saturday night, the Calgary Flames might agree.
Ovechkin had two power-play goals in a 12-second span and Washington scored six times in the second for a 7-2 rout of the Flames.
"All the time I've said we have the skills. I think we have more guys with the best skills in the league and sometimes we just haven't used it," Ovechkin said. "We try to be too casual and tonight's game we played pretty good."
Washington's captain entered the night with one goal in his previous six games, while the typically high-scoring Capitals had been held to 10 goals in their past five.
But they got back to their high-flying ways at the expense of a Calgary team that blew a two-goal lead for the second straight game.
The Capitals trailed 2-1 after the first, but the turning point came early in the second when Curtis Glencross was penalized with Calgary already down a man.
Ovechkin beat Miikka Kiprusoff on the ensuing 5-on-3 with a wicked one-timer off a pass from Mike Green at 3:43 to tie it. The two-time MVP netted his seventh of the season 12 seconds later, taking a pass from Alexander Semin and beating Kiprusoff just inside the far post.
"When you put a team like that on a 5-on-3, you're in dangerous territory and they certainly capitalized on it," Flames coach Brent Sutter said.
Washington scored twice more to make it 5-2 before the Flames even registered a shot in the period.
At 10:28, Green joined Semin on a 2-on-1 rush and ripped a wrist shot into the top corner for his first of the season.
Just 13 seconds after that, Flames defenseman Cory Sarich, trying to whack the puck away from Matt Bradley in the slot, had his clearing attempt deflect off Bradley's stick and zip past a stunned Kiprusoff into the top corner of his own net.
"Anytime we're working hard, we're getting opportunities to score. When we're sitting back and making those lazy plays, that's when we get in trouble and we have no chemistry," Green said. "Tonight everybody was working hard, and that's why we had the momentum to go and win."
Green, who also had two assists, led NHL defensemen in scoring each of the past three seasons.
"That's us at our best for sure. Now we need to keep playing like that throughout the season," he said. "We're going to have our ups and downs, but it's good for us to have a game like that."
Washington went 3 for 4 on the power play after going 0 for 16 in the previous five games.
After Semin converted Ovechkin's pass on yet another dangerous Capitals rush at 13:55, Sutter pulled Kiprusoff and replaced him with Henrik Karlsson.
The 26-year-old Swede didn't fare any better, giving up a goal on the only shot he faced before Kiprusoff returned for the third period.
At 18:23, David Steckel was tugged to the ice from behind by Mark Giordano on a short-handed breakaway. Steckel was awarded a penalty shot and fired a shot under the crossbar for his first goal of the season.
It was the sixth time the Flames have given up six goals in a period and the first since Jan. 7, 1984, when they yielded six to the Los Angeles Kings in the third period of a 7-1 loss.
"It doesn't seem like we're learning our lesson," Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr said. "For us, we have to take pride in playing the way we do at the start of the game and just continue on. It's a hard way to play but that's the way we have to do it.
"When we get away from that, we're no good and we lose games."
Nicklas Backstrom, who had a goal and three assists, scored in the first period for Washington.
Olli Jokinen and Glencross scored for the Flames, who have lost consecutive games on their five-game homestand, squandering a two-goal lead in each. They also blew a three-goal lead Tuesday only to escape with a shootout victory against Edmonton.
"We've got to be a smarter team. When you're at this level, you can't play a dumb game," Sutter said. "Tonight we took some bad penalties and they nailed us for it and then it snowballed."
Calgary opened the scoring 44 seconds in when Jay Bouwmeester flung a shot toward the net that hit Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner in the upper body. The puck caromed off Jokinen skating through the slot and past Michael Neuvirth.
Glencross made it 2-0 at 11:05 but Backstrom got the Capitals on the board with a power-play goal at 15:22.
Notes: Washington coach Bruce Boudreau shook up his lineup, sitting forwards Eric Fehr and rookie Mathieu Perreault and inserting Boyd Gordon and D.J. King. ... The Capitals' top two lines also had a new look, with Semin replacing Mike Knuble on the top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom. The second line was Brooks Laich centering Tomas Fleischmann and Knuble. ... Knuble played his 900th NHL game. ... Flames RW Tim Jackman scrapped with Matt Hendricks and has now fought in four straight games. ... Calgary D Brendan Mikkelson had an assist, his first point with the Flames.
|Olli Jokinen (2) Deflected shot - ASST: Jay Bouwmeester (3)|
1 - 0 CGY
|Curtis Glencross (3) Slapshot - ASST: Brendan Mikkelson (2), Brendan Morrison (7)|
2 - 0 CGY
|PPG - Nicklas Backstrom (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Green (3), Brooks Laich (3)|
2 - 1 CGY
|PPG - Alex Ovechkin (6) Slapshot - ASST: Mike Green (4), Nicklas Backstrom (4)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Alex Ovechkin (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Alexander Semin (4), Jason Chimera (2)|
3 - 2 WSH
|Mike Green (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Alexander Semin (5), Nicklas Backstrom (5)|
4 - 2 WSH
|Matt Bradley (1) Deflected shot - ASST: NONE|
5 - 2 WSH
|Alexander Semin (6) Snap shot - ASST: Alex Ovechkin (6), Nicklas Backstrom (6)|
6 - 2 WSH
|SHG - PS - David Steckel (1) Snap shot - ASST: NONE|
7 - 2 WSH
|Robyn Regehr Holding against Alexander Semin|
|Boyd Gordon Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Matt Hendricks Fighting (maj) against Tim Jackman|
|Tim Jackman Fighting (maj) against Matt Hendricks|
|Matt Hendricks Roughing against Tim Jackman|
|Alex Tanguay Hooking against John Carlson|
|Olli Jokinen Too many men/ice - bench|
|Curtis Glencross Tripping against Mike Green|
|Matt Hendricks Tripping against Tim Jackman|
|Nicklas Backstrom Boarding against Niklas Hagman|
|Jeff Schultz Tripping against Jarome Iginla|
|John Carlson Interference against Alex Tanguay|