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Semin's hat trick lifts Caps to wild win

Feb 17, 2011 - 7:05 AM
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Alexander Semin scored the final two goals of a wacky back-and-forth game, finishing with a hat trick to lift the Washington Capitals to a 7-6 win over Anaheim.

The Capitals snapped a three-game losing streak, mounting four different comebacks against the Ducks before finishing them off with a 3-1 goal differential in the third period.

Semin picked up his fourth hat trick of the season while scoring for the first time since November 28.

Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, David Steckel and Mike Knuble also lit the lamp for the Capitals, who had just three total goals during their three-game losing streak.

Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf tallied four points apiece for Anaheim -- both had a goal and three assists -- but the Ducks had their four-game winning streak snapped in a wild one.

Anaheim's Curtis McElhinney remained in net until he was pulled for an extra skater in the final minute, giving up all seven Washington goals on just 31 shots.

"The offense put up six goals and we end up giving up seven. A better performance was needed from me tonight and it wasn't there," said McElhinney. "It's disheartening to let the boys down like that."

Semyon Varlamov started for the Capitals and yielded three goals on nine shots. Michal Neuvirth allowed the other three Anaheim goals on 12 shots.

As helpless as they were in net, the Capitals still rallied back from deficits of 1-0, 4-2, 5-4 and 6-5 for the win.

"We fell behind so many times," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau, "but we never quit."

Boudreau's team waited until the second half of the third period to finally take control for good.

Semin gave Washington its 7-6 lead with a couple of crafty backhands, punctuating a screwball game that never went more than 7 minutes and 40 seconds without a goal being scored.

The first one he swatted out of mid-air on a bounce after Scott Hannan chipped the puck in front from behind the net, tying the game at 6-6 with 8:23 remaining.

He potted the game-winner with 1:47 left, sneaking in behind McElhinney and snapping another backhand into the net from the goaltender's left.

Among the 13 goals, only two were scored on special teams -- and both by Anaheim. Getzlaf cleaned up a rebound in front on a power play to open the scoring at 4:10 of the first period. Perry scored a shorthanded goal for a 4-2 lead in the second period, set up by Luca Sbisa's long pass across mid-ice.

Among the highlights for Washington were first period goals by Ovechkin, who was falling to his knees when he snapped a shot past McElhinney, and Laich, who was gifted a pass in the slot by Anaheim's Teemu Selanne on a turnover that left him all alone for an easy tally.

While neither team could be that happy after a game in which a goal was scored an average of every four shots, Ovechkin summed up the feeling perfectly for his team.

"It was a fun game for us," he said.

Game Notes

Selanne, Toni Lydman, Lubomir Visnovsky and Bobby Ryan also scored for the Ducks...Anaheim placed goaltender Jonas Hiller on injured reserve for the third time in two weeks Wednesday because of fatigue and light- headedness...The Capitals improved to 1-1 on five-game road trip that also includes treks to San Jose, Buffalo and Pittsburgh...The Ducks were coming off perfect 4-0 road trip that featured wins over Colorado, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.