for this game

Semin's hat trick leads Caps over Lightning

Nov 12, 2010 - 5:15 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alexander Semin notched a hat trick and added two assists as the Washington Capitals took a 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Southeast Division battle.

Nicklas Backstrom had four assists while Alex Ovechkin added a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who have won their past six games and five in a row at home. Michal Neuvrith stopped 38 shots in the win.

"We'll ride this streak as long as it goes," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "A lot of that has been Semin cause everything he's touching is turning to gold."

Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who have lost four of their past five games. Dan Ellis was charged with five goals on 25 shots in the loss.

"It was a frustrating game out there tonight," said Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher. "We've been battling for a while and it's just not been going our way."

The game wasn't all that Tampa lost as center Vincent Lecavalier broke his right hand and will miss the next three to four weeks.

Trailing by a goal in the third, Tampa tied the game on the power play as a shot from the high point from Martin St. Louis was stopped, but Ryan Malone was at the doorstep to bang home the rebound at the 2:43 mark to make it a 2-2 game.

Less than two minutes later, though, Washington got the lead back as Semin's wrist shot from the right circle went off the glove of Ellis and snuck in with traffic in front.

Semin made it a 4-2 game at the 10:46 mark when he one-timed a Backstrom feed at the right circle for his 11th goal of the season.

The Lightning made it a one-goal game less than two minutes later when Stamkos received the puck out front and picked his spot before wristing it past Neuvrith.

Ovechkin, though, gave his team some breathing space with 4:52 to play as his wrister from the left circle blew past Ellis for a 5-3 advantage.

Semin completed the hat trick with an empty-netter in the final moments of the game. It was the fifth hat trick of his career and second against Tampa Bay.

Tampa got the only goal of the first period at the 9:27 mark when Sean Bergenheim lifted a backhand on net from the low right circle that was stopped, but the big rebound came out front and hit off the body of Purcell before he shot it into the net.

The Capitals responded with a two-goal second stanza to take a 2-1 lead.

The first goals came 2:21 in when Semin blasted a shot from the left circle that saw the rebound come out to the right side and Tom Poti slam it home.

Washington then took the lead at the 7:51 mark as a lucky bounce off the skate of Brooks Laich had the puck go to the right side where Mike Knuble barely got his stick on it to redirect the puck into the net.

Game Notes

The Capitals play in Buffalo on Saturday...Tampa plays in Pittsburgh on Friday...This was the first of six meetings between these teams this season. The Caps have won 16 of the last 18 and 10 of the last 12 at home...Ovechkin has five goals and 10 assists during an eight-game point streak while Semin extended his to seven games and has recorded seven goals and six assists.