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Ovechkin scores OT winner, Capitals become first team to clinch a playoff spot

Ottawa Senators v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 10: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals acknowledges the fans and celebrates his 500th career NHL goal in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Verizon Center on January 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

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All the Washington Capitals needed to clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday was a single point.

Mission accomplished.

The Capitals have punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup post-season, thanks to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Alex Ovechkin scored the winner for his 42nd goal of the season.

The winner was subject to a review for a potential offside.

From the NHL Situation Room blog:

At 1:38 of overtime in the Hurricanes/Capitals game, the Situation Room initiated a review under the terms of a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Evgeny Kuznetsov had possession and control of the puck when Washington entered the attacking zone prior to Alex Ovechkin’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that the Capitals entered the attacking zone legally prior to the goal.

Therefore the original call stands - good goal Washington Capitals.

The Capitals now have 50 wins this season. They’ve lost only 14 times in regulation, and lead the NHL’s overall standings with 105 points. The second-place Dallas Stars have 91 points.