Miller scores late in OT to take down Capitals, help Canucks end skid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Not much has gone wrong for the Vancouver Canucks this season, so back-to-back losses hit harder.

Like clockwork, the NHL’s top team didn’t let the losing linger.

This time it was J.T. Miller providing the heroics, scoring with 4.8 seconds left in overtime to give Vancouver a 3-2 victory at the Washington Capitals in the traditional Super Bowl Sunday matinee in the nation’s capital, ending their brief skid. The Canucks have not lost more than two in a row through 53 games.

“Things have gone so well this year that when you lose one, it feels like the end of the world,” veteran defenceman Tyler Myers said. “But guys are doing a good job of sticking with it. Some things to clean up coming off the break, but we just have to keep pushing forward.”

Despite Alex Ovechkin scoring again, the Capitals lost for a sixth time in seven games. Ovechkin has a goal in each of the past five games to reach 13 this season and 835 for his career — 60 away from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record — his longest such streak since March 2021.

“The puck goes in, it’s a good thing,” Ovechkin said. “I’ll take it and move on.”

Conor Garland and Nils Hoglander scored for Vancouver. Hoglander’s goal came 71 seconds after Ovechkin put Washington ahead midway through the second period, and Miller scored with 4.8 seconds left in 3-on-3 OT off a turnover by Connor McMichael.

“Tough finish,” coach Spencer Carbery said. “Just disappointing the way that ends. That’s just a tough mistake for a young player, but we’ll learn from it.”

Nic Dowd scored 1:08 in to give the Capitals an early lead, the eighth goal of the season for a player whose trade value is increasing by the game. Darcy Kuemper made 28 saves in the loss.

“It was a good game, but yeah I think we play solid, and unfortunately we lost a point, but lots of good things happened,” Ovechkin said.

If the Capitals’ struggles continue, they could turn into one of the league’s biggest sellers before the March 8 trade deadline. Kuemper’s goalie tandem mate, Charlie Lindgren, also could fetch a nice return, and pending free agents Anthony Mantha and Joel Edmundson could be among those heading elsewhere.

The Canucks already made a big move, acquiring center Elias Lindholm from Calgary just before the All-Star break. They’re now 2-2 since adding Lindholm, who gives them the depth down the middle they’ll need to try to get through the playoffs in the Western Conference.

“We just play our game and he fits in,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “He’ll start getting more comfortable as the year goes on.”

UP NEXT

Canucks: Finish their five-game road trip Tuesday night at the Chicago Blackhawks.

Capitals: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

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