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Ovechkin fuels Capitals' win
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sunrise, Fla. • The Washington Capitals resorted to a familiar formula against the Florida Panthers — find Alex Ovechkin and let him do the rest.

Ovechkin recorded his 12th career hat trick and added an assist, and the surging Capitals survived a late rally by the Panthers for a 4-3 victory on Saturday night.

Ovechkin scored twice from in close on the power play, and weaved through traffic for his other goal, as the Capitals (19-17-2) improved to 8-2-1 in their last 11 games in completing a four-game season sweep of the Panthers.

The Southeast Division-leading Capitals, who scored at least five goals against Florida in their previous three games, struck quickly with a pair of goals from Mike Ribeiro and Ovechkin within 1:41 early in the second period.

Braden Holtby made 27 saves in posting his fifth career victory over the Panthers (12-20-6) without a loss.

Holtby continues to be impressed with Ovechkin, who has 13 goals in his last 10 games.

"He brings us energy. He's doing what we expect him to do," Holtby said. "That's the player we expect out of him and he's doing a great job of it."

Ovechkin, who has 23 goals this season, started his night by beating Jacob Markstrom from the stick side following a 5-minute boarding penalty to Panthers' defenseman Erik Gudbranson in the first period. Ovechkin tipped in a cross-ice pass from Ribeiro just over a minute following the major.

"The guys did a great job to find me. I just had to put it in the net," Ovechkin said. EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Pittsburgh 39 29 10 0 58 127 95

Rangers 38 19 15 4 42 93 90

Islanders 39 19 16 4 42 113 119

New Jersey 38 15 14 9 39 90 103

Philadelphia 38 17 18 3 37 106 118

Northeast Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Montreal 38 25 8 5 55 120 91

Boston 37 24 9 4 52 102 79

Toronto 38 21 13 4 46 117 106

Ottawa 37 19 12 6 44 93 83

Buffalo 38 15 17 6 36 102 116

Southeast Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Wash. 38 19 17 2 40 113 108

Winnipeg 40 19 19 2 40 98 120

Carolina 37 16 19 2 34 97 115

Tampa Bay 37 16 19 2 34 119 110

Florida 38 12 20 6 30 94 131

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Chicago 37 28 5 4 60 123 80

Detroit 38 19 14 5 43 99 100

St. Louis 36 20 14 2 42 105 98

Columbus 38 16 15 7 39 91 101

Nashville 39 15 16 8 38 93 104

Northwest Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Vancouver 38 21 11 6 48 103 95

Minnesota 37 21 14 2 44 100 97

Edmonton 38 16 15 7 39 100 106

Calgary 37 13 20 4 30 99 133

Colorado 38 12 21 5 29 89 121

Pacific Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Anaheim 38 25 8 5 55 117 95

L.A. 38 22 13 3 47 111 92

San Jose 37 20 11 6 46 94 89

Phoenix 38 17 15 6 40 105 104

Dallas 37 17 17 3 37 99 113

NOTE: Two points for a win, one point for overtime loss.

Saturday's games

Winnipeg 4, Philadelphia 1

Chicago 1, Nashville 0

Los Angeles 4, Edmonton 1

Montreal 2, Boston 1

Toronto 2, New Jersey 1

N.Y. Islanders 4, Tampa Bay 2

N.Y. Rangers 4, Carolina 1

Washington 4, Florida 3

Phoenix 4, Colorado 0

Vancouver 5, Calgary 2

Sunday's games

St. Louis at Detroit, 10:30 a.m.

Dallas at San Jose, 2 p.m.

Ottawa at Florida, 4 p.m.

Minnesota at Columbus, 4 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Washington, 5 p.m.

Nashville at Chicago, 5 p.m.

New Jersey at Buffalo, 5:30 p.m.

Los Angeles at Anaheim, 7 p.m.

Day in the NHL • Russian forward scores three goals as Washington holds off Florida.
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