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700 club: Capitals' Alex Ovechkin scores for milestone goal

700 club: Capitals' Alex Ovechkin scores for milestone goal

With power and a prodigious shot, Alex Ovechkin now stands where few in the NHL have been. He became the eight NHL player to score 700 career goals, reaching the milestone in the third period of the Washington' Capitals' 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. “It’s a special moment,” Ovechkin said. “When you get closer you start thinking when it’s going to happen. Finally, it’s over so we don’t have to talk about it anymore. We’re going to move on.” The 34-year-old Russian forward one-timed a slap shot from the right circle that went in off the left post 4:50 into the third period, tying the game at 2. It was his 42nd goal of the season, one behind Boston's David Pastrnak for the league lead, and came on his second shot on goal of the game. Capitals players rushed onto the ice to congratulate their teammate, and Devils fans gave him a strong ovation. Wayne Gretzky leads the career list with 894 goals. He is followed by Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708). Jagr and Gartner both spent some time with the Capitals but nether reached the mark while playing for the team. “It’s always special to be in that category,' Ovechkin said. 'But I would say without my team, without my family, without the fans, the support that I have I would never reach that milestone. We have to continue to create history.” Ovechkin had not scored in five straight games before getting No. 699 against Montreal on Thursday night. He had 14 goals, including three hat tricks, in his previous seven games before the drought. He needed 1,144 games to reach the landmark, second fastest behind Gretzky at 886 games. And the player who has been tormenting goalies since joining the league in 2005 moved from 600 goals to 700 in 154 games, the fewest among the eight players to reach the mark. The first overall pick in the 2004 draft, Ovechkin has 1,270 points since the start of his rookie season, just ahead of Penguins star Sidney Crosby (1,256) since they both debuted that year. Despite Ovechkin's climb, Washington lost its fourth straight and fell to 3-7-1 in its past 11 games to remain tied with Pittsburgh atop the Metropolitan Division at 80 points — the Penguins have an edge with a game in hand. Washington hosts Pittsburgh, which lost 5-2 at home to Buffalo, on Sunday. “We’re a little struggling right now, a little tight in our shoulders,” Ovechkin said. “We have to fight throught this and everything is going to be OK.' Damon Severson scored the winning goal for last-place New Jersey with 1:59 left off a cross-ice pass from Nikita Gusev. Wayne Simmonds and Jesper Bratt also scored for the Devils, and Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 33 shots. Tom Wilson cut New Jersey's lead to 2-1 late in the second period to set up Ovechkin's tying score. Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves. NOTES: Gusev finished with two assists. ... Blackwood is 7-0-1 in his last eight starts. ... The Devils earned a split of the four-game season series. Capitals had won two of the first three meetings. ... Samsonov turned 23 on Saturday. UP NEXT Capitals: Host Pittsburgh on Sunday before a home-and-home with Winnipeg. Devils: At Detroit on Tuesday night to open a five-game trip. ____ Follow Vin Cherwoo at www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP ___ More AP NHL: https://.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

No. 3 Kansas ends No. 1 Baylor's 23-game winning streak

No. 3 Kansas ends No. 1 Baylor's 23-game winning streak

Udoka Azubuike and No. 3 Kansas returned the favor in a Big 12 showdown that lived up to the hype. The Jayhawks share the Big 12 lead again, and could return to the No. 1 spot in the AP poll, as well. Azubuike had 23 points and a career-high 19 rebounds in a 64-61 win Saturday at Baylor, ending the Bears' 23-game winning streak and likely ending the Bears' five-week run as the nation's No. 1 team. “You could just feel the buzz. It was an exciting time and a huge win,' Jayhawks guard Devon Dotson said. “We're a solid team that can make a run in late, late March. ... We're going to enjoy this win, but build off it for sure.” Kansas (24-3, 13-1 Big 12) has won 12 in a row since its first-ever home loss to Baylor on Jan. 11. The Jayhawks had a 10-point lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the rematch before holding off Baylor's late charge. “I liked the first game against Kansas better than this one,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “For us, the goal at the beginning of the year wasn’t to sweep Kansas. The goal was to win a Big 12 championship. Their goal is to win a Big 12 championship.” Baylor (24-2, 13-1) has never won a Big 12 title. There are four games left in the regular season. Isaiah Moss, who had 11 points, made two free throws for Kansas with 7.9 seconds left before a timeout. The Bears had one more shot, but Jared Butler's 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key ricocheted off the front of the iron as time expired. Butler and MaCio Teague had hit consecutive 3-pointers in the final half-minute to get Baylor within 62-61. Dotson added 13 points for the Jayhawks, who shot 51% (27 of 53) against a tenacious Baylor defense that held them to 55 points in a 12-point loss last month that ended their 28-game home winning streak. “It meant a lot to our guys, a lot more than the league race,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “It meant a lot to us from they beat us the first time at home, and they controlled it. They controlled the game at home a lot more than we controlled the game here.” Butler had 19 points to lead the Bears, while Freddie Gillespie and Matthew Mayer each had 10. The sellout crowd of 10,627 at the Ferrell Center, including 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III along with Waco favorites Chip and Joanna Gaines, was already in a frenzy after ESPN's College GameDay broadcast on the court leading up to the late-morning tip. Fans were roaring after Teague, who missed the previous two games with a wrist injury, returned to the lineup by swishing a 3-pointer on the game's first shot and Gillespie made it 5-0. But Marcus Garrett then had seven points in a 14-2 spurt for Kansas, which never trailed again. Baylor hadn't been behind by more than two points in any of its previous 12 home games. The Bears trailed 14-7 before Butler hit a 3-pointer and then had a long pass ahead to Mayer for a layup as the lanky, high-energy sophomore scored eight points in two minutes to tie the game before Kansas went ahead to stay with six points in a row. That quick Jayhawks spurt included two baskets by Azubuike, who later in the half had back-to-back impressive dunks for nine-point leads. Azubuike bowed back his shoulders and let out a shout after his powerful slam over the 6-foot-9 Gilliespie. The Jayhawks' next basket was also a powerful dunk by Azubuike that made it 32-23. He finished 11-of-13 shooting, with at least seven dunks and other inside shots. “He was great. They did such a great job winning the first time because we had nothing from a scheme standpoint to help him, and today we we were able to fill the ball over the top quite a bit,” Self said. “That's as about as well overall I've seen him play. He was terrific.” Six weeks earlier against Baylor, Azubuike had six points with 11 rebounds. “The guy can play basketball. The dude can rebound, finishes at the rim, and he does it really well,' Gillespie said. “I think our first game we did a better job as a team keeping him out of his rhythm. This game he was in sync.' BIG PICTURE Kansas: The Jayhawks, whose unprecedented run of 14 consecutive Big 12 titles ended last season, are 7-0 in conference road games, the same as Baylor. Baylor: The Bears' 23-game winning streak set a Big 12 record, one more than Kansas in 1996-97, the league's inaugural season. Baylor, 6-1 against Top 25 teams this season, missed a chance to become only the second team in Self's 17 seasons to sweep a regular-season series against Kansas. POLL IMPLICATIONS Baylor's five-week run as the No. 1 team is the longest in the poll since Kentucky in 2015. Kansas could return to the top spot for the second time this season. The Jayhawks were No. 1 for a week in December, before losing to Villanova. UP NEXT Kansas is at home Monday night to play Oklahoma State, who the Jayhawks beat 65-50 on the road on Jan. 27 Baylor is home again Tuesday night to play Kansas State. ___ For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Auburn rallies past Vols; fan tossed for derogatory comment

Auburn rallies past Vols; fan tossed for derogatory comment

The Auburn Tigers had an ugly performance for 25 minutes and an unfortunate incident involving a fan. The final result was prettier for the 13th-ranked Tigers, who rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to beat Tennessee 73-66 on Saturday behind Samir Doughty's 22 points. “We'll celebrate this one,' Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “Having lost two in a row, I kind of felt like our backs were against the wall.' The comeback wasn't the only hot topic after the game. A student was ejected from the game after directing a derogatory comment toward Tennessee's Santiago Vescovi and will face a disciplinary hearing, an Auburn official said. The fan was heard on TV calling out, “Go back to Uruguay! This is America!' Pearl said he appreciated the way Auburn administrators handled it and stressed that “one person doesn't speak at all for the Auburn family.' “That's not who we are at all,” Pearl said. “This is an amazing campus with incredible students. We are diverse and we are welcoming. I've got nothing but respect for Santiago and his game.' Tennessee coach Rick Barnes didn't know about the incident when asked about it at his postgame news conference, with a media relations official cutting off a reporter's question. Barnes addressed it after being told of the situation in the team's locker room. “From what I've heard, once they found out about it, they took care of it,' Barnes said. “I'm glad they did. I haven't given any thought to it but our administration told me that Auburn did what needed to be done. And that's good by me.' Auburn stopped a two-game skid. Led by Doughty's hot streak, the Tigers (23-4, 10-4 Southeastern Conference) scored 18 consecutive points to spark the comeback against the Volunteers (15-12, 7-7). Jordan Bowden scored a career-high 28 points and six assists and made 3 of 4 3-pointers for the Vols. Vescovi, who was not made available to reporters, had 10 points. The Vols rode a 13-2 run capped by Bowden's jumper to a 54-37 lead with 14:31 left. Then Auburn scored the next 18 points, including 10 by Doughty, to go ahead 55-54. Devan Cambridge's 3-pointer with 1:38 left gave Auburn a 67-64 lead. The teams traded baskets after that before the Tigers forced a turnover. McCormick and Doughty each hit two free throws in the final 23 seconds and Auburn scored the game's final six points. Doughty scored 14 points in the second half and no other Auburn player reached double digits for the game. It was the Tigers' third straight game without star freshman Isaac Okoro (pulled right hamstring), and they lost the first two by double digits on the road. Bowden had 17 points in the first half and was perfect from the field and free-throw line before halftime. He had been 7 of 35 from 3-point range (20%) over the last seven games. It was a rematch of the SEC Tournament championship game, which Auburn won last season 84-64 on its way to the Final Four. This time Pearl had a fiery halftime message to his players, though Doughty declined to share the particulars. “I can't share anything he said,' the guard said. “He got on us, and we reacted but I can't really share what he said. But it got us motivated. “He kicked everybody out of the locker room but the players. When it gets like that, we know how serious he is.' BIG PICTURE Tennessee flirted with its third win over a ranked opponent this season. The Vols committed 24 turnovers, including six during Auburn's big run, a recurring issue lately. “It's like the same old record playing,' Barnes said. “Some of them were just ... ridiculous turnovers where you watch your team and it's like, ‘What are they not seeing out there?’' Auburn pushed its home winning streak to 18 games after falling 85-73 at Missouri and 65-55 at Georgia. The Tigers have won four straight against Tennessee for only the second time (1997-99). They had 18 steals. UP NEXT Tennessee visits Arkansas on Wednesday night. Auburn hosts Mississippi on Tuesday night. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25