Washington Capitals: Alexander Ovechkin's Hat Trick Powers 5-1 Win over Devils

Barry Leonard@@barryleonardjrAnalyst IIIFebruary 23, 2013

February 23, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Ovechkin showed his superstar form on Saturday afternoon as the Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-1. Ovechkin entered the game with just five goals on the year, but exploded for a hat trick in the victory.

The talented winger got the scoring started in the second period with a goal assisted by Jason Chimera and team points leader Mike Ribeiro.

New Jersey star Ilya Kovalchuk struck late in the period to tie the game at one heading into the final frame.

That's when Ovechkin took over. He scored just over a minute into the period on a pass from Matt Hendricks and Jeff Schultz. That goal turned out to be the game winner. Eric Fehr scored shorthanded just two minutes later to add insurance.

Struggling for much of the year, Ovechkin returned to his old form, adding a power-play goal late in the game that brought the red-clad Verizon Center crowd to its feet and had hats flying onto the ice.

It was the 11th hat trick of his career.

As if that wasn't enough, just two minutes later, he assisted on a power-play goal by Troy Brouwer.

Washington got an all-around solid effort from the entire team en route to the impressive victory. It was the team's most complete game of the year so far. The Caps killed all three of the Devils' power-play chances and converted on two of their three in the game.

The Capitals once again got great production from Ribeiro. The great addition added two assists in the game.

Goaltender Braden Holtby also continued his solid play, stopping 21 out of the 22 shots that he faced and earning his fifth victory of the season.

Fans in DC can only hope that this is a sign of things to come, as the Caps need to turn their season around in order to make the playoffs.

Washington returns to action on Tuesday night when the Carolina Hurricanes visit the nation's capital.

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