Ovie breaks out in big way

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

Alex Ovechkin was bound to break out of his slump eventually.

Unfortunately for the sellout crowd at the Saddledome, it happened against their Calgary Flames.

He talked about improving after landing Friday in Calgary then did something about it in a 7-2 victory Saturday night over the Flames.

Scoring twice in a 12-second span on the powerplay to give the Capitals their first lead of the game, Ovechkin helped spark his club to a six-goal second period.

He came out of the locker-room post-game wearing a red hard hat for his effort, which included three points, seven shots and a plus-1 rating.

“First time this season,” Ovechkin said with a smile of donning the hat handed to the hardest working player.

But his sixth and seven goals of the season were more of a reward.

“It’s always nice to score goals,” Ovechkin said. “That was kind of momentum when we need it, so I’m pretty happy I scored two goals.”

So were his teammates.

“He gets grumpy when he doesn’t score. It was good for him to get a couple,” said a grinning Caps defenceman Mike Green, a Calgary kid who had a heck of a night himself with a goal and two assists in front of his friends and family. “And then it was good to see him play a great defensive game after he had those two goals, which in the past maybe we’ve been too aggressive and maybe they come back and scored a couple more that were unnecessary. It was good to see him play like that.”

Ovechkin didn’t get an assist on the Capitals’ first goal that cut the Flames lead to 2-1 late in the first period, but the Caps captain started the powerplay rush with a 100-foot pass. Seconds later, Nicklas Backstrom finished it with a shot into the top corner to swing momentum in favour of the visitors. That was capped by Ovechkin’s pair of powerplay one-timers in the first four minutes of the middle frame. The Caps piled on from there.

Ovechkin and linemates Backstrom and Alexander Semin combined for 10 points on the breakout night.

“Our line I think played well,” Ovechkin said. “We made simple plays, and it worked. We have to keep it simple.”

Simple to them apparently means touch passes at high speeds, capped off with shots aimed at the water bottle on the back of the net.

“I think it’s work ethic, to be honest with you,” Green said of the sudden surge in goal production. “Anytime we’re working hard, we’re getting opportunities to score. (Saturday night), everybody was working hard. That’s us. That’s us at our best, for sure.”

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