NHL: Ovechkin's hat trick leads Caps past Devils
Washington • Alex Ovechkin produced his first hat trick in more than two years Saturday, leading the struggling Washington Capitals to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Ovechkin entered the game with five goals in 16 games this season, only good enough to be tied for third on his own team, which began the day with a 5-10-1 record and 11 standings points, the fewest in the 30-team NHL.
But the two-time NHL MVP broke out in a big way, turning in his first three-goal game since a 4-1 victory at Toronto on Jan. 22, 2011.
Ilya Kovalchuk's goal with 37.5 seconds left in the second period tied the game for New Jersey, but Ovechkin put Washington ahead to stay 1:23 into the third.
Pens' Malkin will miss at least 1 game
Reigning NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin was still undergoing tests following a scary crash into the boards during Friday night's 3-1 win over Florida. The Pittsburgh Penguins star will miss at least one game.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma ruled Malkin out for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay. Bylsma declined to elaborate Saturday on what is being called an "upper body" injury but added that Malkin is not hospitalized.
Pittsburgh's second-leading scorer slammed hard into the end boards early in the third period against the Panthers after getting nudged by Florida's Erik Gudbranson. Malkin's back hit the boards at full speed and his head snapped back.