Alex Ovechkin has hat trick, Capitals beat Sens 5-4 in SO
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin celebrates after scoring against the Ottawa Senators during the shootout in an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Alex Ovechkin put on a third-period show - at the Ottawa Senators' expense.
Ovechkin had a hat trick in a 6:33 span in the third period and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the shootout winner in the Washington Capitals' 5-4 victory over the Senators on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams. Ovechkin also had a shootout goal.
"We needed someone to pick us up and that line picked us up," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.
Ovechkin scored twice in a 1:23 span to tie it early in the third period.
Cody Ceci turned the puck over down low, allowing Kuznetsov to find Ovechkin for a shot he roofed past Craig Anderson. Then, the Senators were unable to clear the puck and the same line was able to move the puck quickly to allow Ovechkin to score.
"You give star players like that time and space, and especially Ovechkin with that shot, he's going to score," said Mark Stone, who scored twice for Ottawa.
Ottawa regained the lead 1:17 later when Stone tipped in Dion Phaneuf's shot.
Ovechkin tied it again with 9:12 left in the period, completing his 18th hat trick.
"In the end, it's three turnovers that cost us the game," Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. "The three last goals we've got the puck and we basically give it back to them and they took advantage of it. Obviously, when you've got a guy like Ovechkin on the other side taking advantage of it, it's bound to hurt you."
NOTES: The Senators held a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and for former Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray, who died in August. Murray started his NHL coaching career with the Capitals. ... Ottawa defenseman Johnny Oduya didn't play in the third period after leaving with a lower-body injury.
Capitals: Host Montreal on Saturday night.
Senators: Host Detroit on Saturday night.
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Updated October 6, 2017