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Player of the Week - Dec. 31

Alex Ovechkin picked up his third career hat trick Dec. 29.

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Alex Ovechkin picked up his third career hat trick Dec. 29.

The Hockey News player of the week for Dec. 24-30 is Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin scored a career-high four goals - with at least one in each period - and finished with a personal-best five points in the Capitals' 8-6 win on Saturday night at Ottawa. Ovechkin had scored three goals in a game twice previously, with both of those performances also taking place on the road.

Ovechkin also scored a goal Thursday, but the visiting Capitals lost, 4-3, in overtime to Pittsburgh.

The night previous, Ovechkin chipped in an assist for the host Capitals in their 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Ovechkin is second in the NHL in goals, trailing Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk by two. He is 10th in points, trailing leader Vincent Lecavalier of Tampa Bay by eight. His 12 are the most in the NHL this season. The left wing has 128 goals and 118 assists for 246 points in his 202-game career.

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