Newark , N.J. — Alexander Ovechkin just took over the game as soon as his blades touched the ice.
Ovechkin scored his 783rd career goal in a big second period and the Washington Capitals beat New Jersey 6-3 Monday night, squashing the Devils’ three-game winning streak.
Ovechkin’s third goal of the season gave the Caps a 4-1 lead and it turned out to be his 122nd game winner, passing Gordy Howe (121) for second overall behind Jaromir Jagr (135). The great one needs four more goals to pass Howe (786) for the most goals in NHL history with one franchise.
“Yeah. It’s pretty cool obviously to be in that company and pass those legends, it’s a pretty cool moment,” Ovechkin said.
Nathan Bastian, Tomas Tatar, and Jesper Bratt each scored their first goal of the season for the Devils, which was looking for its first four-game winning streak since October 2018. Former Caps goalie Vitek Vanecek played the third period for New Jersey and made three saves.
The Capitals has won six straight at the Prudential Center and is 13-2-1 in the last 16 games here. Overall, Washington is 26-3-3 in the last 32 games against New Jersey.
Nic Dowd also scored for the Caps, which scored five times on 18 shots in driving Mackenzie Blackwood from between the pipes after 40 minutes. Aliaksei Protas added an insurance goal late after NJ trim the lead to 5-3.
Caps coach Peter Laviolette is handed a piece of paper every time Ovechkin passes a mark.
“It’s unbelievable. That’s when you stand the test of time over the years,” he said. “He’s been able to just constantly contribute offensively and score goals. I guess if you do it well enough and long enough, you’re gonna bring down some milestones and so we give it a quick shout at the end of the game when things like that happen.”
Hathaway gave the Caps the lead after stealing a puck from defenseman Damon Severson along the side boards and beating goalie McKenzie Blackwood with a quick 25-foot shot at the 9:16 mark.
Conor Sheary scored short-handed 47 seconds later as he stole a pass by Bratt in the Devils’ zone and beat Blackwood from between the circles.
Ovechkin stretched the margin to 4-1 with a power-play goal from his office in the left circle at 17:14 mark. Nick Jensen scored on a shot from the point 33 seconds later.
Garnet Hathaway, Sheary and Jensen also scored in the four-goal period for Washington. Backup goalie Charlie Lindgren made 37 saves in winning for the first time since signing with the Caps as a free agent.
“If you don’t play 60 minutes it’s hard to win games in this league,” Devils captain Nico Hischier said. “We had a hard time finding our legs and they made us pay.”
Capitals: at Dallas on Thursday in the second stop on a four-game road trip.
Devils: at Detroit on Tuesday night.