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Ovechkin helps do in Atlanta
By Wire services
Published April 18, 2006
WASHINGTON - Rookie Alex Ovechkin scored the tying goal and assisted on the go-ahead goal, leading the Capitals past the Thrashers 6-4 on Monday. The loss eliminated the Thrashers from playoff contention and clinched berths for the Lightning and Canadiens.
Five of Washington's goals were against Mike Dunham, who was yanked after two 23 seconds apart in the first. The goals came after Bobby Holik put Atlanta up 1-0 11 seconds into the game.
Dunham returned for a scoreless second after Michael Garnett's pulled groin flared up but allowed three goals in the third. Dunham entered having won four consecutive starts in place of the injured Kari Lehtonen.
"It's just one of those nights where the bounces were funny bounces," Dunham said. "It's a bad time to have one of those nights. What else can you say?"
Atlanta trailed 3-2 after the first, but defenseman Garnet Exelby tied it 6:40 into the second with his first goal of the season, a slap shot through traffic.
Peter Bondra, Washington's career leader in several scoring categories, put Atlanta up 4-3 2:09 later. He came in on the right wing, and with defenseman Shaone Morrisonn leaning on him the whole way, slid the puck past Olie Kolzig.
Ovechkin, whose 52 goals and 105 points are third all-time among rookies, scored from the left slot on a pass from Ben Clymer to tie it 2:36 into the third. He then found Brian Willsie open during a two-man advantage for the score that made it 5-4 with 10:02 left. Matt Pettinger tacked on an insurance goal 3:28 later, his 20th of the season.
"You do not play that way in big games. It's unacceptable," Holik said.
"Six goals against, trying to get in the playoffs," he added, his voice trailing off.
PENGUINS 6, ISLANDERS 1: Sidney Crosby had three assists for host Pittsburgh, becoming the youngest to record 100 points. With 62 assists and 38 goals, he joined Mario Lemieux (100 in 1984-85) and Dale Hawerchuk (103 in 1981-82) as the only 18-year-olds with 100 points. After feeding Andy Hilbert on a two-on-one in the first, Crosby assisted on goals by Tomas Surovy and Ryan Malone 25 seconds apart in the second.WINGS 3, STARS 2: Tomas Holmstrom tipped in Henrik Zetterberg's pass with 44.3 seconds left for host Detroit. The Red Wings have won eight in a row and not lost in regulation in 20 games (17-0-3).OILERS 4, AVS 2: Jarret Stoll scored short-handed with 5:14 left as host Edmonton denied Colorado a shot for sixth in the West. Jose Theodore lost his third in a row for the Avs, and his giveaway led to Stoll's goal.ATLANTIC: Robert Esche will start in goal for the Flyers tonight against the Islanders in a game that will help decide the division title. He didn't play Saturday because of the flu and was pulled for Antero Niittymaki after allowing three goals in 22:24 on Sunday. Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist will start in goal for the Rangers against Ottawa. He has missed seven games with a hip flexor strain.LEAFS: Forward Chad Kilger signed a three-year, $2.7 million extension. He has a career-high 17 goals this season.RED WINGS: Leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk said he hopes to be ready for the playoffs. The center, who has 28 goals and 59 assists, hasn't played since sustaining a left knee injury on a check April3.SABRES: Center Adam Mair is out for the season with post-concussion symptoms. He collieded with Phoenix's Tyson Nash on Jan.12 and missed 31 games. Mair, who has two goals and five assists in 40 games, returned for two this month before the symptoms returned.