WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and passed Teemu Selanne for 11th on the NHL all-time list in the Washington Capitals’ 2-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Capital One Arena on Monday.
Ovechkin, who was tied with Selanne at 684 goals, is four behind Mario Lemieux (690) for 10th place.
Washington (31-11-5) avoided a third straight loss.
“He knew tonight was an important game for us, so I thought you saw him go to a different level,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. “To me, that’s Alex Ovechkin.”
Ilya Samsonov made 23 saves for his first NHL shutout. The rookie goalie is 13-2-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.
“He’s playing with some confidence right now. He’s worked hard in practice, same as [Capitals goalie Braden Holtby],” Ovechkin said of Samsonov. “I think we have the best two goalies in the League right now and I think we can see when they feel comfortable, when they feel good, we feel the same.”
Petr Mrazek made 28 saves for Carolina (27-17-2), which had won three straight games. The Hurricanes committed six penalties, including four in the first period.
“There was a lot of penalties, obviously, both ways. We never got going. It was hard to get any rhythm,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I don’t really know if we had a forward that had a good game. I was waiting for something to kind of get going, and we just never got any traction.”
Ovechkin passed Selanne when he gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 11:58 of the first period with a shot that went between Mrazek’s pads.
He scored on the power play for his second goal of the game, a one-timer from the top of the left face-off circle for the 2-0 final.
It was Ovechkin’s 28th goal of the season and 139th multi-goal game in the NHL.
“Everything just seems normal with him sometimes, just because he is passing someone and he is always climbing some leaderboard,” Capitals defenseman John Carlson said. “Maybe you get dull to it a little bit, but you know, certainly some special names that are close and when you look back at it, I think it will be a lot more meaningful for him as well.”
The Hurricanes finished 0-for-3 on the power play and were outshot 11-7 in the third period.
“It was 2-0, but it didn’t feel like we were going to have very much push,” Brind’Amour said. “It felt like we were a little gassed. It might be that time of year where it’s starting to catch up to you. That’s how it felt.”
They said it
“I think the first period we weren’t ready to go and if we’re not ready to go, we’re going to start taking penalties. We’re not moving our feet, too slow to pucks and it showed, 2-0. That’s all it kind of took, and it was an easy game for them after that.” — Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal
“The first five minutes of the game, we played in the offensive zone. We started to establish our identity early that we’re going to put pucks in and we’re coming at you all night. And when we get the puck, we’re going hang on to it and force you to defend. That was some of the things we talked about, and the guys did an excellent job.” — Capitals coach Todd Reirden
Need to know
Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin played in his 349th consecutive game, tying Eric Staal for the second-longest streak in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history behind Dave Tippett (419). … Washington forward Jakub Vrana had an assist on Ovechkin’s second goal to extend his point streak to six games (five goals, two assists). … Capitals forward Tom Wilson had an assist in his 500th NHL game.
Hurricanes: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-CR, NHL.TV)
Capitals: Host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7p.m. ET; NBCSWA, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)