- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 4, 2008

Alex Ovechkin probably doesn’t need another preseason tuneup - he’s ready to defend his NHL scoring crown now.

Ovechkin had a goal and two assists, and Jose Theodore looked sharp in his first appearance at Verizon Center, a 5-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Caps finish their exhibition schedule Sunday against the visiting Boston Bruins. Coach Bruce Boudreau has used Ovechkin and Alexander Semin to kill penalties this preseason, and Ovechkin scored his second short-handed goal on a shot through former Caps defenseman Steve Eminger’s legs in the first period.

“That’s just my style - I want to play every situation,” Ovechkin said. “I feel trust from coach, and I try to play simple. When I have a chance to shoot the puck, I shoot it.”

Chris Clark made it 2-0 with a wraparound goal on the power play in the second. His first shot glanced off the right post, but Clark collected the rebound and stuffed it in between Flyers netminder Jean-Sebastien Aubin’s leg at the far post.

Nicklas Backstrom’s goal pushed the lead to three. Brooks Laich, just out of the penalty box, put a shot on net, and Backstrom cut past two Flyers with little resistance to pounce on the rebound.

After Verizon Center villain Daniel Briere got the Flyers on the board with a power-play goal, Tomas Fleischmann answered with an extra-man goal of his own. Chris Bourque’s shot from the top of the circle bounced off Eric Fehr and to Fleischmann for his fourth of the preseason, which ties him with Ovechkin for the team lead.

Theodore didn’t see many shots in the first period, but finished with 17 saves.

“It feels pretty good, just getting to know the guys and their tendencies,” Theodore said. “It was fun, we played well and I feel good.”

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