Eller scores in overtime as Capitals beat Canucks 4-3

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Lars Eller scored 42 seconds into overtime and the Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Friday night.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored three goals for his second career hat trick and Alex Ovechkin had two assists for the Capitals, who are 4-0-1 in their last five games. Vitek Vanecek stopped 23 shots.

Bo Horvat scored twice, Quinn Hughes also scored and JT Miller had two assists as the Canucks snapped a three-game winning streak. Thatcher Demko finished with 30 saves.

In the extra period, John Carlson forced a deep turnover in Vancouver territory and raced down the ice with Eller on a 2-on-1, then sliced ​​a clean pass to Eller, who put a shot in the pads of Demko .

“That’s how it goes. These overtimes, I feel like it’s almost better to force the turnover than to get possession sometimes,” Eller said. “Whoever forces that turnover, he’ll get the 3v2 or 2v1 or a breakaway and that’s usually where the best quality chances come. Today we were on the safe side. Sometimes we We’re not. It was a big character win for us today.

Washington tied the score at 3-3 with a power-play goal with 4:53 left in regulation after Vancouver’s Tyler Myers was called for a head check by Kuznetsov.

A scramble in front of the Vancouver net set the stage for the equalizer, with Kuznetsov tipping a loose puck between Demko’s skate and the post for his third of the night.

Vancouver went into third down 2-0 but turned things around with three quick goals.

The Canucks cut the deficit just 57 seconds from the start of the period when Hughes fired a shot just inside the blue line and beat Vanecek on his blocker side.

Miller notched an assist on the play, extending his points streak to 11 games. The Canucks forward has seven goals and 16 assists since Feb. 9.

Less than two minutes later, Horvat tied the game at 2-2 on the power play after Eller was called off for tripping.

Miller passed the puck to the Canucks captain at the top of the slot and he sent a one-timer into the top corner of Washington’s net.

Horvat added his 20th goal of the season at 4:59 and gave Vancouver the lead, backhanding the slot side.

The comeback effort was solid, Horvat said, but losing in overtime still stung.

“At the end of the day, we wanted those two points and every point from now on is going to be huge for us,” he said. “I thought it was great character of us to come back all the way and get that point. Too bad we couldn’t do the job. »

Demko was key in keeping the Canucks in the game, making big saves during a scoreless second period.

Ovechkin got a partial breakaway early in the period, only to see the Vancouver goalie stretch his left pad to make the save.

The All-Star guard also robbed TJ Oshie before the second was up, snatching his point-blank shot in the air.

Ovechkin briefly appeared to score on a power play early in the first period after Vancouver’s Nils Hoglander was called for holding. The Washington captain fired a rocket from the top of the face-off circle and the puck dribbled past Demko before a Kuznetsov dive knocked it over the goal line to make it 2-0.

Ovechkin remained at 766 career goals, tied with Jaromir Jagr for third on the NHL’s all-time goalscoring list.

Washington’s first of the night came less than a minute early and surprised just about everyone on the ice.

The puck came off the post behind the Vancouver net, then ricocheted off and hit the shoulder of Kuznetsov, stationed in front of the net, before bouncing past Demko.

“Coach is telling us to go more in front of the net, so I’m just going to be there and skate over there. And you know, a lucky rebound,” Kuznetsov said. “He’s one of those that almost every player wants to score those kind of goals. Those always feel good, you know. You don’t do anything and you get the goalkeeper. That’s always the one of the best feelings.

The goal extended Kuznetsov’s points streak to five games. He has four goals and three assists on the streak.

NOTES: Both teams went 1 for 3 on the power play. … Kuznetsov’s only other NHL hat-trick came against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 23, 2015. … Ovechkin was booed as he hit the ice for warm-ups and on his first shift, but the crowd did not continue to express their displeasure. The Russian superstar received much frostier receptions in Edmonton and Calgary – cities with large Ukrainian populations – earlier this week.


Capitals: Host the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Canucks: hosts Tampa Bay on Sunday.

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