Alex Ovechkin scores two goals but Capitals fall to Dallas Stars in shootout, ending home winning streak

Goalie Semyon Varlamov is left prone after allowing the game-winner in the shootout to the Stars' Loui Eriksson.
Goalie Semyon Varlamov is left prone after allowing the game-winner in the shootout to the Stars' Loui Eriksson. (Toni L. Sandys/the Washington Post)
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alex Ovechkin's slump is over. But so is the Washington Capitals' winning streak at Verizon Center.

Loui Eriksson scored in the fifth round of the shootout to lift the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 victory and hand the Capitals their first loss on home ice since Dec. 28, a 13-game run.

Ovechkin ended a six-game drought with a pair of goals, the second coming with 3 minutes 16 seconds remaining in regulation to force the game into overtime after a third-period "hiccup" that saw the Capitals squander a 2-0 lead.

The two-time MVP's timely tally, however, was not enough.

"I thought the entire team had a hiccup in the third period," said Coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team dropped to 4-4 in games decided by the shootout. They came on and thought, 'Hey, we're still in the game.' Once they got the first one, I knew it was going to be a dogfight."

Stars goalie Marty Turco, who at times looked unbeatable and was named the game's first star, made three of his career-high 49 saves in overtime. Then the Stars' 34-year-old veteran turned back four of the five shooters he faced in penalty shots.

"He's been struggling all year, then he comes in here," Capitals forward Eric Belanger said of Turco. "He came up huge for them."

Boudreau added: "It's not every day you fire 52 shots. It was a lot of long ones, but he made a lot of real good saves. He was one top of his game."

At the other end, Varlamov struggled in the third period. He stopped all 16 shots he faced in the first 40 minutes, but he yielded three goals -- including two on the power play -- on six shots in the span of 6:20 as Dallas seized a 3-2 lead early in the third period.

Brad Richards started the Stars' rally, blasting a one timer from the top of the circle past Varlamov with defenseman Mike Green was in the penalty box for hooking.

About two minutes later, Matt Bradley was banished for holding, and 61 seconds after he took a seat, Trevor Daley sent a wrist shot from the point over Varlamov's glove.

The Stars weren't done. James Neal beat Varlamov with a routine wrist shot at 7:53 to put the Stars ahead 3-2.

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