National Hockey League

Alex Ovechkin's two goals help Capitals avoid sweep vs. Islanders

The Capitals needed a big game from their stars to avoid getting swept by the Islanders in the Stanley Cup playoffs first round — and they got it from their brightest one, Alex Ovechkin.

With his team in desperation mode, and trailing 2-0 in Game 4, the Capitals captain scored two goals to lead his squad to a 3-2 win and the chance to fight another day.

"I think he's always ready to make an impact and we know just how dangerous he is and just how much he can change the game on its head on his own," defenseman John Carlson said.

His second of the night — and the game-winner — came in the third period when he picked the puck up in the neutral zone and fired it past Semyon Varlamov from the right circle.

It was the emotion that he showed after he scored the goal that, that get in line because we're going and we're getting the result that we needed and now that's mandatory if you want to have success moving forward."

He is now 18th on the NHL's all-time playoff goal list and passed Gordie Howe (22 fewer games) and Sidney Crosby (33).

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