NHL Scores: Alex Ovechkin scores twice to lift Capitals, Maple Leafs lose again, and more

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Mar 19, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA;Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) scores the go ahead goal on New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) in the third period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers were cruising through two periods in Washington but could only muster one power play goal off the stick of Artemi Panarin. Up to that point the Blueshirts defense were keeping Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals in check. This was emphasized in the second period when Ryan Lindgren rocked Ovechkin with a hit that not only broke his stick in half, it sent him to the bench in discomfort.

NHL Scores: Ovechkin hits back – on the scoreboard

While the Rangers completely controlled the game, it took 3:09 for Ovechkin to score twice and give his team the win. The 2-1 final puts the Capitals in sole possession of first place in the East. It also gave Vitek Vanecek a 32 save performance as his big stops stole a win from the up and comers from New York.

“Sometimes you have to get those really gritty ones,” Ovechkin said. “It’s still the same whether it’s a goal from my spot [left circle], or whatever. It’s [a] most important goal and I’ll take it.”

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The two goals now gives Ovechkin 14 on the season and a five game goal scoring streak (6G). He now has 720 total tallies in his Hall of Fame career and closes the Gretzky Gap to 174. The Great 8 needs 11 more tallies to tie Marcel Dionne for 5th All-Time.

NHL Scores: Maple Leafs fall for 6th time in 7 games – concern growing

maple leafs slump
Mar 19, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk (19) and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl (3) fight during the second period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Darryl Sutter picked up his 4th win in five games as the Flames took out the Maple Leafs 4-3. Mark Giordano scored the game-winner on the PP and left the Leafs looking for answers.

“You want it to flip and get the results, but that doesn’t do us any good,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We’ve got to just regroup here and recognize this as an opportunity for us to realize how it is we need to play and how consistent we need to be.”

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Toronto is now sharing first place with the Edmonton Oilers as they each have 40 points. Winnipeg is just two points behind them as well. However, the Montreal Canadiens are just five points back in 4th place with a game in hand. Are the Leafs in jeopardy of missing the playoffs? Probably not, but the Vancouver Canucks picked up the extra point last night by beating the Habs 3-2 in OT thanks to J.T. Miller’s 9th.

The North Division is getting real interesting.

NHL Scores: Guess what? Golden Knights win again

The Vegas Golden Knights simply don’t like losing streaks this season. So far they have only lost more than one game in a row twice this season, and never more than two. Right now they are riding a five game winning streak after beating the Kings 4-2. Max Pacioretty scored twice (15,16) to lead the way with Robin Lehner picking up the 23 save win. His first game since February 7th.

“Everybody on our team played a strong game tonight, and Robin obviously included,” Golden Knights forward¬†Max Pacioretty¬†said. “It’s not easy to come back after such a long time off, and he kind of picked up and fit in right away, which is nice to see.”

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And in the final game of the evening, the St. Louis Blues edged the Sharks 2-1 in a shootout. Jordan Binnington picked up the win to increase the Blues 4th place hold over the Kings to 5 points.