Ovechkin rescues Capitals with game-winner

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Ovechkin rescues Capitals with game-winner

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Alex Ovechkin silenced the Madison Square Garden crowd that had been taunting him for two games. If he can fire up the fans back at home, too, the Washington Capitals could be in store for a deep run in the NHL playoffs. Ovechkin scored a power-play goal with 7:27 remaining to end a tie and give the Capitals a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers that squared the Eastern Conference semifinal series 1-1 on Monday. Just under 6 minutes after Ryan Callahan got the Rangers even with a power-play goal, Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead for good after they squandered a 2-0 lead. Whether Ovechkin heard the derisive chants that greeted him every time there were 8 minutes left -- matching his uniform number -- in each period or not, they certainly didn't knock him off his game. Despite diminished minutes in the playoffs, Ovechkin is still every bit as dangerous during crunch time. "Ovi is a team guy and he is cheering his guys on," Capitals coach Dale Hunter said. "He knows what these guys are going through at the end of the game. They've got to go out and slide and block shots. He appreciates that. "The one thing is that he has been real fresh for the power play." Ovechkin struck off a clean faceoff win by Nicklas Backstrom, firing a shot from inside the blue line past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. "First I saw it, then I didn't see it, and then I saw it," Lundqvist said. "It was a hard shot. It was a good shot. Unfortunately, someone got tied up and he got a free lane. It's the wrong guy to get that opportunity." Ovechkin was also surprised to find room to maneuver. "Nicky wins the faceoff, and I kind of turned and felt like I was going to have some pressure," he said, "but when I turned, I saw that nobody came to me."

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Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky recreate 'Step Brothers' for team photo

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Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky are very close friends.

The two Capitals forwards have an unlikely bond that transcends language.

On Monday, the friendship between the 35-year-old NHL veteran and 22-year-old Austrian dynamo was on display at Capitals team picture day at Kettler Ice Plex.

Team picture day is a special one for Justin Williams. After all, its' where the man formerly known as "Mr. Game 7" became an internet sensation thanks to what we can only describe as the best "bed head" in the history of modern photography.

While Williams' hair wasn't nearly as unkempt as in seasons' past, Burakovsky joined him in on the fun with double the bed head for a photo straight from the "Step Brothers" movie poster.

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NHL Power Rankings: Are the Caps the team to beat again?

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The Capitals put a scare in the fans with a four-game losing streak early in March, but they appear to be right back on track with a six-game point streak that includes five wins.

What’s more impressive is the teams they are beating.

In their last six games, Washington has wins over Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Calgary and Columbus. That’s a pretty difficult stretch, especially in the wake of the team’s struggles. And it’s a good thing they have turned things around too, because the Caps need every one of the 11 points they have earned in those six games.

SEE THIS WEEK’S NHL POWER RANKINGS HERE

Washington has maintained their hold over first place in the Metropolitan, but just barely. They now sit three points ahead of both Columbus and Pittsburgh.

Having the three best teams in the NHL all hail from the Metro has made the race for the division a very interesting one. Now instead of cruising to the finish line, the Caps find themselves playing in meaningful games at the end of March.

They may be the team everyone is chasing in the standings, but have the Caps really established themselves as the team to beat? Find out in this week’ NHL Power Rankings.