WASHINGTON (AP) — Marty Turco made 49 saves, Brad Richards had a goal and an assist, and the Dallas Stars scored three times in six shots early in the third period en route to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Capitals on Monday night, ending Washington's club-record home winning streak at 13 games.
Washington's Alex Ovechkin snapped a season-high, six-game goal drought by scoring twice to match Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the league lead with 44. Ovechkin's second goal came with 3:16 left in the third period and tied the game.
But Turco stopped Ovechkin in the opening round of the shootout, and the Stars went on to take it 2-1, with Richards and Loui Eriksson beating Semyon Varlamov.
It was a topsy-turvy game: The Capitals took a 2-0 lead after two periods thanks in part to Ovechkin's first goal. Then the Stars went ahead 3-2 before 8 minutes were gone in the third period.
And then Ovechkin — who else? — faked out defenseman Stephane Robidas and sent a shot under the crossbar, eliciting loud "M-V-P!" chants from the stands.
Entering the third period, the hosts were dominating play, holding a 42-16 edge in shots, and had yet to be called for a penalty. But things changed quickly as Richards, Trevor Daley and James Neal all scored.
First, with Mike Green off for hooking, Richards connected on a slap shot from the right circle for his 18th goal of the season, 1:33 into the period. Then, with Matt Bradley in the penalty box for holding, Richards helped set up Daley's fourth goal at the 4:46 mark.
And then, a little more than 3 minutes later, Neal netted his 25th. All in all, it was quite a quick turnaround. Consider: The Capitals last lost in Washington on Dec. 28, against Carolina.
Varlamov entered the night 8-0-0 at home this season, and there were other measures of how unlikely a result this was. Since the break for the Vancouver Olympics, Washington was 3-0, Dallas was 0-3. Plus, the Stars had been outscored 17-5 in those games.
But Turco hung in there after a rough start and through a game-long shotfest. Washington finished with 52 shots, twice as many as Dallas.
Things sure seemed to be going Washington's way, especially after Ovechkin watched his second-period wrist shot rip through traffic and into the net. He raised his stick, threw his head back and pumped both fists. It had been a month since he scored in an NHL game.
The drought ate up so much of the calendar because of the break for the Olympics. His last goal for the Capitals was Feb. 7 against Pittsburgh.
Defenseman Tom Poti scored in the first period for Washington.
NOTES: LW Tomas Fleischmann, RW Scott Walker and D Shaone Morrisonn were healthy scratches for the roster-heavy Capitals, who already have been sitting extra parts LW Quintin Lang and D Tyler Sloan, along with injured D Milan Jurcina. Fleischmann ranks sixth on the team with 18 goals. "It's just giving him a rest, because we've got 15 forwards," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I don't like scratching him, either, but we want to get everybody involved. I mean, there's still a lot of games left." ... C Keith Aucoin signed a two-year contract extension with Washington. He is currently in the minors with the Hershey Bears, leading the AHL in scoring with 84 points — 31 goals and 53 assists.