St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the
season and added two assists, leading the Washington Capitals to a 4-1 victory
over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and Mikhail Grabovski also scored for the
Capitals, who have won two games in a row on the heels of a five-game losing
Washington remains alive -- if only just -- in the hunt for a wild-card spot
in the playoffs, trailing Columbus by four points with three games remaining.
"All we can do is control our own situation," said Caps coach Adam Oates.
Braden Holtby had 28 saves in the win as the Caps swept the two-game season
series with St. Louis.
Maxim Lapierre scored for the Blues, who have lost three games in a row as
they cling to a one-point lead over Anaheim for first place in the Western
Conference, and a small lead over Colorado in the Central Division.
St. Louis hasn't scored more than two goals in its last six games, but not
everyone is worried by the recent paltry output.
"The last few we haven't been scoring but we've had guys scoring all year,"
said Blues forward Alexander Steen.
Ryan Miller gave up four goals on 22 shots.
Ovechkin reached the 50-goal plateau for the fifth time in his career -- and
first time since 2009-10 -- with a one-timer from the left circle on a power
play with 2:06 left in the opening period.
"I'm pretty sure my family's happy and my teammates are happy for me," said
Ovechkin. "I appreciate everyone who gives me the opportunity to be in the
Lapierre tied it 2:39 into the second period, scoring on a rebound after Steve
Ott's shot from the high left side.
But the Caps scored three in a row to end the game, beginning with Grabovski's
slap shot from the left circle 8:52 into the second period.
Backstrom's first goal from the slot on Ovechkin's assist came with 1:10 left
in the second and he added a power-play goal 16 seconds into the third period,
again off an assist from Ovechkin, who found his teammate on a cross-ice pass
to the right side.
The Capitals play Carolina on the road Thursday ... The Blues also have three
games left. They start a two-game road trip Thursday against Minnesota.