x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Ovechkin leads the way

The sixth Russian captain in NHL history winger took to the ice for Tuesday's home game and made a winning start to his reign with a 4-2 victory over Montreal.

Alex Ovechkin warms up before the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Verizon Centre.
Alex Ovechkin warms up before the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Verizon Centre.

Alex Ovechkin agreed to become the Washington Capitals' first European team captain. "I'm proud. It's a big honour for me," Ovechkin said after the Capitals' 4-2 victory over Montreal on Tuesday night. "I'm going to do my best, but still I don't want to concentrate on just having the 'C' on my heart.

"I'm going to do the same thing. I'm very happy and very excited." The Russian winger took to the ice for Tuesday's home game against Montreal wearing the captain's "C" on his red sweater. Ovechkin, the two-time league MVP, is only the sixth Russian captain in NHL history. He replaces Chris Clark, who was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets last month. Ovechkin was held pointless for the second stragith game by Montreal, the first time that has happened to him all season, but it did not matter as Alexander Semin scored twice and Fleischmann added a goal and two assists in the victory.

Meanwhile in other action, the Chicago Blackhawks took over the NHL points lead after a comfortable 4-1 demolition of the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks had 63 points, two more than the San Jose Sharks and the Eastern Conference-leading New Jersey Devils. Marian Hossa scored twice, while Patrick Kane extended his scoring streak to nine games with a powerplay tally. The Calgary Flames earned their fifth straight victory when they beat Nashville Predators 3-1 in Tennessee.

David Moss and Olli Jokinen each scored in the second period for the Flames to end long goal droughts. Martin Brodeur saved 28 shots to extend his NHL career record for shutouts to 106 as the New Jersey Devils comfortably beat the Dallas Stars 4-0. Patrik Elias scored twice as the Devils won for the ninth time in 10 games. Jordan Staal was twice on target as Pittsburgh Penguins ended their five-game losing streak with a 5-2 defeat of Atlanta.

"It's nice to get on the winning side again," Staal said. Alex Burrows scored a hat-trick as the Vancouver Canucks thrashed Columbus 7-3. * With agencies end