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Ovechkin, Caps tip B's in shootout

The Sports Xchange
December 28. 2017 11:44PM
Boston Bruins center Noel Acciari (55) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the first period at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., Dec. 28, 2017. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin scored the only goal of the shootout and the Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Thursday night for their 12th straight victory over Boston.

Ovechkin, Washington’s third shooter, made a move to his right and fired high over Boston goalie Anton Khudobin, and Boston’s Riley Nash failed to convert on the Bruins’ final attempt.

Boston had won five straight while the Capitals had lost three in a row.

David Backes’ second goal of the night gave Boston a 3-2 lead at 7:19 of the third period, but Washington tied it on Brett Connolly’s eighth goal of the season during a scramble in front with 8:38 remaining.

Backes had given the Bruins (20-10-6) a 1-0 lead early in the first period and Noel Acciari made it 2-0 shortly thereafter.

Lars Eller’s second-period goal broke a 177:32 Washington scoreless streak and Ovechkin’s 24th goal of the season tied it. Braden Holtby made 31 saves for Washington (23-13-3).

Danton Heinen had two assists for Boston and Khudobin made 31 saves.

Washington has won seven straight at home and Holtby (14-2 in his career vs. the Bruins) has yet to lose two straight games this season.

The Bruins roared out to a 2-0 lead before the Capitals got their first shot on goal.

First, Nash won a battle for the puck in the corner to the left of Holtby. He then sent a perfect feed into the slot and Backes one-timed the puck past Holtby for his sixth goal of the season at 1:23.

Less than a minute later, Acciari won a battle behind Holtby, came around to the goaltender’s left and scored off his own rebound at 2:12.

Head coach Barry Trotz shook up his lines to start the second period, moving Devante Smith-Pelly up to the top line with Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Tom Wilson went to the third line and Andre Burakovsky from the third to the fourth.

Eller got Washington on the board at 12:31 when he fired a wrister over Khudobin’s left shoulder from high in the slot for his fifth goal. Wilson got the assist.

Less than two minutes later, with Washington on a power play, Ovechkin blasted a one-timer past Khudobin from his usual spot in the left circle at 14:07 to tie it. It was Washington’s first power play goal in over five games.

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