Make room in the playoffs for MVP front-runner
Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH'-kihn) and the Washington Capitals.
Tomas Fleischmann, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin
(SEHM'-ihn) scored for the Capitals, who clinched the Southeast
Division title with a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. The
win was also the Capitals' seventh straight, the franchise's
longest in 15 years. The win elimates Carolina from the playoff
The Capitals finished last in the Southeast each of the last
three seasons and were still there as late as December 30th. They
ended the regular season by winning 11 of 12 and 14 of 18 and
became the first NHL team to make the playoffs after sitting at
14th or 15th in the conference at the halfway mark.
The Capitals earned their first postseason berth since 2003.
Ovechkin didn't find the net, but he'll end the regular season
as the NHL's runaway leading goal-scorer with 65. He's also a sure
bet to win the points title with 112, making him the fifth player
to lead the league in both in the last 35 years.