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Washington Capitals 7, New Jersey Devils 2: Ovechkin Leads Caps

Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Alex Ovechkin scored his first two goals of the 2010 season, and the Washington Capitals put on an offensive showcase to rout the New Jersey Devils, 7-2, in the home opener at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin, who has four 50-goal seasons in his first five full years in the league, recorded his second career penalty shot tally for the Capitals, who notched their first win of the season after dropping a 4-2 decision to Atlanta on Friday.

New Jersey native John Carlson added a goal and two assists for Washington, while Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and an assist in the victory. Brooks Laich, Eric Fehr and Jason Chimera also scored, while Michal Neuvirth stopped 31 shots.

Henrik Tallinder and Jason Arnott scored for the Devils, who lost to the Stars, 4-3 in overtime, in their season opener on Friday. Martin Brodeur lasted just two periods, allowing five goals on 20 shots, before Johan Hedberg finished the third period with seven saves.

Ovechkin gave the Capitals their first lead late in the second with his first goal of the season.

Skating into the Devils’ zone clearly outnumbered, Ovechkin fired the puck from the left circle while surrounded by four New Jersey skaters. The puck bounced off the ice and found its way through Brodeur for a 3-2 Washington lead with 5:29 on the clock.

Just moments later, Chimera took a cross-ice feed and cleanly beat Brodeur on the stick side from the right circle for a two-goal Caps advantage with 1:35 showing.

With seconds remaining in the period, Ovechkin was granted a penalty shot after being dragged down from behind in the offensive zone. On the free chance, he skated down the left side, drew Brodeur to the ice, then beat the veteran high on the glove side to increase the margin to three.

Laich’s short-handed tally and Fehr’s power-play marker were the third-period goals for Washington.

Both teams opened the scoring within the first three minutes.

New Jersey capitalized on an early Washington turnover in its own zone, as Arnott tapped in a rebound from in close after a Jamie Langenbrunner shot at 1:49. Less than a minute later, Carlson pumped a slapshot past Brodeur from the high slot on a quick rush to tie the game.

The Devils came right back with a short-handed tally from new acqusition Tallinder, who fired a slapper from the slot that beat Neuvirth with 6:16 remaining in the period.

Washington evened the score again on Fleischmann’s one-timer from down low just prior to the two-minute mark of the second.