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Updated: March 25th, 2012 10:28pm
Alex Ovechkin does it all as Capitals whip Matt Hackett, Wild

Alex Ovechkin does it all as Capitals whip Matt Hackett, Wild

by The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin was everywhere. He scored a goal. He had an assist. He played on two lines and was on the ice for nearly half the game. And, when the Minnesota Wild had a short-handed break, he hustled back and slid to break up Mikko Koivu's shot on the 2-on-1 break.

Ovechkin is Alexander the Great once again, and his resurgence couldn't be more timely for the Capitals, who beat the Wild 3-0 on Sunday to pull back into the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

The skinny

Matt Hackett made 20 saves for the Wild. He was playing because Niklas Backstrom didn't make the trip due to a lower-body injury and because Josh Harding played Saturday in a 3-1 loss at Buffalo.

The Wild were shut out for the eighth time this season and were without their latest injury casualty, center Matt Cullen, sidelined after breaking his right index finger Saturday night in a loss at Buffalo.

"There's no doubt that we're not quite there," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "I think we all know that. But I like a lot of the things that we have. If you want to look at guys we have in the lineup right now, we have a lot of guys that can win, not only to get to the playoffs, but the type of guys you want in your lineup when you do play in the playoffs."

Turning point

Ovechkin played 26 minutes, 19 seconds, his second highest total of the season. The most important sequence came during the Capitals' second-period power play, when he broke up the breakaway and then got the secondary assist on Perrault's goal that made the score 2-0.

A blast from the left circle in the third period was the Capitals' third goal of the game and Ovechkin's 36th of the season.

Health watch

• Wild D Jared Spurgeon missed his second game since sustaining a concussion on Thursday in a win over Calgary.
• LW Matt Kassian sat out his third straight with a groin injury.

Coming up

The Wild open a three-game homestand at 7 p.m. Tuesday against the New York Rangers.

© The Associated Press