Originally created 03/09/06

Capitals rookie outplays Crosby



WASHINGTON - The final round of the Ovechkin-Crosby rookie showdown went to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, who beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3 on Wednesday night with the 42nd goal of the season from their young Russian and a blooper score from Ivan Majesky.

Ovechkin also had two assists, while Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby did not score and had one assist, leaving Ovechkin 10 points ahead in the season-long race between the NHL's next-generation stars. Ovechkin has become the odds-on favorite to win the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, but Crosby had the better of him in the teams' first three meetings this season, all victories by the Penguins.

Ovechkin has scored in seven consecutive games, bettering his own franchise rookie-record streak of six earlier this season.

He has the most goals by a rookie since 1992-93, when Teemu Selanne set a record with 76.

FLYERS 3, HURRICANES 2 (SO)

In Philadelphia, Simon Gagne scored in a sudden-death shootout after Freddy Meyer tied it with 0.2 seconds left in regulation, leading Philadelphia to a victory over league-leading Carolina.

Peter Forsberg scored to extend the shootout, and R.J. Umberger had a goal in regulation for Philadelphia, which has won consecutive games in shootouts after a four-game losing streak.

THRASHERS 3, RANGERS 2 (SO)

In Atlanta, Marian Hossa scored in the shootout to give Atlanta its third consecutive win in extra time.

The Thrashers have won seven of nine games to close within one point of the Montreal for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New York has lost three in a row.

PANTHERS 6, SENATORS 2

In Sunrise, Fla., Jozef Stumpel and Nathan Horton scored two goals apiece as Florida defeated Ottawa.

Martin Gelinas and Rostislav Olesz also scored for the Panthers, and Roberto Luongo had 33 saves to help the Panthers snap a three-game losing streak.