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Capitals blast Devils as Alex Ovechkin scores twice

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Alex Ovechkin scored two more goals to continue his surge and the red-hot Washington Capitals cruised to a 4-0 victory over the visiting New Jersey Devils on Friday.

Ovechkin scored his 722nd goal early in the first period and his 723rd career goal late in the third to move within eight of Marcel Dionne for fifth on the all-time list. His two-goal night gave him 10 goals in his past 10 games as the Capitals improved to 9-1-0 over their past 10 contests and beat the Devils for the sixth time in as many meetings this season.

Nicklas Backstrom scored in the first period for the Capitals, who are on a 14-2-1 tear since a 4-1 home loss to the New York Rangers on Feb. 20.

Connor Sheary added a goal and an assist while Tom Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov collected two assists apiece in Washington’s second shutout of the season.

Washington goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 24 saves and notched his second career shutout.

The Devils dropped their second straight after winning four of their previous five games. New Jersey was blanked for the first time this season.

New Jersey goaltender Scott Wedgewood allowed four goals on 31 shots.

Ovechkin scored his first goal 5:58 into the contest, about three minutes after Jakub Vrana hit the post on a breakaway. He opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the right circle off a cross-ice feed from Kuznetsov, who got the puck after Ovechkin left a drop pass for him.

Washington doubled the lead after the Devils were unable to clear the puck from the defensive zone when Backstrom lifted Wilson’s cross-ice feed over Wedgewood’s right pad at 11:50 of the first.

The Capitals opened a three-goal lead 7:13 into the third period following a turnover by New Jersey’s Mikhail Maltsev at his own blue line. Maltsev made an errant pass that was intercepted by Wilson, and the puck quickly moved to Sheary, who skated in and scored on a wrist shot from the left circle.

Ovechkin finished it with 3:32 remaining by firing a one-timer from the left circle past Wedgewood.

–Field Level Media

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