Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal in seven games, Jakub Vrana had two goals for the first time in his career and the Washington Capitals defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Ovechkin's 14th goal came in his first game this season as linemates with Nicklas Backstrom, who led the team in assists last season. Backstrom assisted on the play.


Evgeny Kuznetsov added a goal and two assists, and Alex Chiasson had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have earned at least a point against the Senators in nine consecutive meetings.

Braden Holtby made 29 saves to help Washington avoid its first set of back-to-back home losses this season.

Ryan Dzingle scored on a second-period power play for Ottawa before the Senators failed to capitalize later in the period on a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted 76 seconds.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz had resisted pairing Ovechkin and Backstrom this season, even though the two had played together frequently in each of their 10 previous campaigns in Washington.

But with both mired in long goal droughts, Trotz changed course Wednesday.

— Associated Press

Hornets rally, upend Wizards in OT

Dwight Howard had 26 points and 13 rebounds, including a key block at the end of regulation and a crucial offensive rebound in overtime, in the Charlotte Hornets' 129-124 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb each had 24 points for the Hornets, who overcame a nine-point fourth quarter deficit. The Hornets wrapped up a perfect three-game homestand.

John Wall had 31 points and 11 assists, and Bradley Beal added 22 points for the Wizards.

The Hornets battled back behind the gritty play of Walker. He made a driving layup with 17 seconds left and then added two free throws with 2 seconds remaining to tie it.

Howard blocked Beal's baseline jumper at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.

Charlotte carried the momentum into the extra period with Walker knocking down a leaning 3-pointer from the top of the key after a scramble for a loose ball. Lamb followed with a block and a coast-to-coast layup for a five-point lead.

The Wizards had allowed just 100 points in their previous seven games, but the Hornets shot 47 percent from the field.


— Associated Press

Men's college swimming and diving: The Coastal Collegiate Sports Association announced the addition of the Mount St. Mary's program, expanding the league's membership to seven programs for the 2018 championship meet. The Mount will compete at the CCSA Swimming and Diving Championships in Athens, Ga., on Feb. 14-17. The CCSA includes 22 members as far north as Newark, N.J., and as far west as San Antonio.

Concussion seminar: Health Quest Chiropractic & Physical Therapy will host a coach's reception Dec. 14 designed to educate area high school and college coaches, trainers and athletic directors about how to recognize and treat post-concussion syndrome. Health Quest's Dr. Sean Grady will present new protocols for the successful treatment of PCS at the Radisson Cross Keys in Baltimore from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. To register, call 410-356-9939.

From Sun staff and news services

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