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Posted at 12:14 AM ET, 03/20/2012

Alex Ovechkin is putting Capitals on his shoulders and carrying them

There have been times over the past seven seasons when Alex Ovechkin has put the Capitals on his broad shoulders and carried them.

It appears he’s trying to do it again.

Ovechkin scored two power-play goals — only 7 minutes 3 seconds apart — in a 5-3 win Monday over the Red Wings that helped the Capitals maintain a two-point lead in the race for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

On this potentially season-defining five game road trip, Ovechkin has five goals in four games, including a pair of two-goal efforts. The Capitals, meantime, are 2-2-0 with a showdown in Philadelphia looming on Thursday.

Alex Ovechkin controls the puck in front of Detroit Red Wings left wing Drew Miller during Monday’s game. (Carlos Osorio - Associated Press)
“I feel pretty good, you know?” said Ovechkin, who is on pace for 36 goals, which would be a four-goal improvement over last season but 29 fewer than his career high. “I don’t have so many chances to score goals. If I have a chance, I have to use it. Teams play against my line very hard. They put some pressure for me and for my partners. If I have a chance to score, I have to score.”

Against the Red Wings, that chance presented itself about eight minutes into the first period when Marcus Johansson sent him a crossing pass. And like that, the Caps were up 1-0.

“Perfect pass,” Ovechkin said. “I have time to see what the goalie is doing. I knew when he gave me the pass, I knew it was going to be in. I saw the net and I have lots of time.”

Ovechkin’s second goal also came on the power play and staked Washington to a 3-0 edge. It was the unit’s first multi-goal performance in 19 games — it had three tonight, including the final empty-net goal.

“He’s been scoring pretty regular right down the stretch,” Coach Dale Hunter said of Ovechkin. “We need him to score big goals and get our power play going, too.”

By  |  12:14 AM ET, 03/20/2012

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