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Alex Ovechkin surpasses 900 points, Washington Capitals add to Calgary Flames' woes

By Laurence Heinen, The Sports Xchange

CALGARY, Alberta -- It took Alex Ovechkin 764 games to surpass the 900-point plateau with the Washington Capitals.

And the veteran left winger isn't even close to being done yet.

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"I'm still 30," said Ovechkin, who tallied a goal and an assist on Tuesday to lead the Capitals to a 6-2 win over the Calgary Flames. "Still a long way to go.

"Honestly, I didn't know it was 900. It's a special moment for me and this team. Now we just have to keep going."

Ovechkin reached the memorable milestone with his 479th career goal early in the second period and then helped set up a right winger T.J. Oshie for his third of the season a bit later for good measure.

"It's absolutely amazing and impressive," said Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, who scored a pair of goals to help the Capitals improve their record to 4-1-0. "His shot, it's amazing. I mean he keeps scoring almost every game. It's impressive what he's done so far, but he's not done yet."

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Left wingers Andre Burakovsky and Jason Chimera also scored for Washington, while center Evgeny Kuznetsov chipped in with three assists and goaltender Braden Holtby made 17 saves.

Center Sean Monahan and defenseman Mark Giordano scored for the Flames (1-5-0), who lost all four of their home games at the Scotiabank Saddledome so far this season.

"Again, we just unraveled," said Giordano. "It's everything. It's not one thing. If we can put our finger on one thing we would stop this, but it's all of us making bad plays, bad decisions and getting outbattled. Bottom line is this is as disappointing of a stretch as I can remember in a long time and we've got to turn it around."

Goalie Kari Ramo started in net for the Flames, but was pulled at 11:37 of the second period after giving up four goals on 18 shots. Back-up netminder Jonas Hiller went on to make 10 saves on 12 shots in a relief effort.

"It's up to us to decide," said Calgary coach Bob Hartley, of what it will take for the Flames to turn around their season after such a bad start. "It's within the locker room. That's where it starts. We're not going to get any help. We have to figure it out by ourselves. That's why we're pros. That's why we're playing in the best hockey league in the world."

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Giordano's goal at 3:09 of the third period was his first point of the season and it cut Washington's lead to 4-2.

Only 3:43 later, Chimera wired a perfect shot over Hiller's blocker and into the top corner to put the Capitals back up by three before Backstrom rounded out the scoring with his second of the night with 3:46 left on the clock.

Monahan put the Flames up 1-0 at the nine-minute mark of the first when he converted a feed from left winger Johnny Gaudreau, who picked up a turnover by Capitals defenseman John Carlson in the Washington zone to set up the goal.

Burakovsky then replied with a goal for the Capitals at 16:02 of the opening period when he one-timed a backhanded centering pass from Kuznetsov past Ramo. Kuznetsov stripped Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman of the puck to set up Burakovsky's first of the season.

Ovechkin gave the Capitals their first lead of the game just 30 seconds into the second period when he picked up his own rebound and deposited a backhand shot in behind Ramo the milestone point in his 11th season.

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The Capitals kept pouring on the pressure and were rewarded with two quick goals by Backstrom and Oshie to go up 4-1. Backstrom one-timed a pass from right winger Justin Williams past Ramo at 10:56 of the second, while Oshie redirected a pass from Kuznetsov just 41 seconds later.

"We capitalized on their mistakes there in the second period and it gave us a three-goal lead there," said Backstrom. "We knew they could come back so we tried to finish off strong."

NOTES: After missing Calgary's first five games of the season with a broken thumb, C Joe Colborne returned to the Flames' lineup on Tuesday and played on a line with LW Michael Ferland and RW David Jones. ... C/LW Sam Bennett also made his return with the Flames after missing Calgary's 5-2 loss at home to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday with an upper-body injury. ... The Flames reassigned C Markus Granlund to the Stockton Heat of the AHL and scratched G Joni Ortio and RW Mason Raymond. ... After playing their first four games of the season at home, the Capitals became the second last NHL team to play a road game this season. The Los Angeles Kings, the lone team yet to play on the road, will visit San Jose to play the Sharks on Thursday. ... C Michael Latta, RW Stanislav Galiev and D Nate Schmidt were scratched for Washington.

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