WASHINGTON – Rookie Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and three assists, Olaf Kolzig stopped 37 shots, and the Washington Capitals ended the New York Rangers’ six-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory.

Ovechkin had gone six games without a goal before converting a New York mistake into his 16th of the season at 12:11 of the first period. He added assists on Washington’s next three goals, helping the Capitals snap a five-game skid.

Kolzig lost a bid for his 34th career shutout when Petr Prucha scored a power-play goal with 1:43 left.

But Kolzig fared far better than New York’s Henrik Lundqvist, who came in with a 2.00 goals-against average. Lundqvist was pulled midway through the third period with the score 5-0.

Dainius Zubrus, Steve Eminger, Jeff Halpern and Matt Pettinger also scored for the Capitals, who won for only the second time by more than one goal.

Two of New York’s eight defeats have come against Washington, and the first-place Rangers needed a 15-round shootout to beat the Capitals at home last week.

Fortunately for New York, the teams don’t play again until March.

Rangers star Jaromir Jagr was booed by the hometown fans every time he touched the puck. Jagr, who came in tied for second in the NHL with 40 points, spent 21/2 unremarkable seasons with the Capitals before being traded to New York in January 2004.

“I want to forget my time in Washington,” he said recently. “It was a good experience. But I am happy I’m here.”

He had little reason to smile after enduring his third straight game without a goal.

Ovechkin, on the other hand, put an abrupt end to his drought. After blocking an attempted clearing by Ville Nieminen, Ovechkin gained control of the puck and fired a wrist shot from the middle of the left circle for a 1-0 lead.

Zubrus made it 2-0 at 16:23, taking a pass from Ovechkin before firing a shot from deep on the right side that glanced off Lundqvist’s pads and into the net.

Ovechkin played a prominent role in Washington’s next goal, too. Ovechkin weaved through the New York defense into the right circle before releasing a centering pass that Eminger converted for a 3-0 lead at 8:01 of the second period.

Late in the period with the Capitals on the power play, Ovechkin skated toward the goal and fell to the ice after shooting. He got back up and fed the puck to Halpern, who beat Lundqvist for his second goal of the season.

Notes: Washington recalled C Graham Mink from Hershey (AHL) and sent C Jakub Klepis to the same club. … New York’s power-play goal was only its second in five games. … The Capitals are 8-3 when Eminger scores a point.

AP-ES-12-03-05 2134EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.