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Capitals use 4-goal third to subdue Senators

Dec 8, 2011 - 4:05 AM
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - John Carlson registered the last of Washington's four third-period goals and collected two assists, helping the Capitals snap a five-game road losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Nicklas Backstrom supplied a power-play goal midway through the third while Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer tallied 15 seconds apart for Washington, which got 31 saves from Tomas Vokoun.

"We weathered it when they came hard and were able to release the pressure by getting pucks out," Brouwer said.

Dale Hunter improved to 2-3-0 as head coach of the Capitals, with both wins coming at the expense of Ottawa. Washington prevailed 3-2, in overtime, last Saturday.

Milan Michalek, Erik Condra and Nick Foligno lit the lamp for the Senators, who have dropped five of eight. Craig Anderson stopped 39 shots in defeat.

Backstrom's tally -- off a feed from Brooks Laich, a former Ottawa draft pick -- drew Washington even at 9:45.

With the teams skating 4-on-4, Ovechkin and Brouwer scored to put the Capitals up 4-2.

Ovechkin faked a slap shot and beat Anderson between the pads with a wrister from the right circle. Brouwer then tapped in Marcus Johansson's pass at 14:05.

"We got caught on our heels a little bit on the 4-on-4," Anderson said. "They got some good players over there and they made some pretty good plays."

Washington forward Alexander Semin was called for hooking with 3:57 to play. Five seconds into the Ottawa power play, Michalek potted his 17th goal of the season, tying him with Toronto's Phil Kessel and Chicago captain Jonathan Toews for the NHL lead.

The Capitals were down a man again less than a minute later when Joel Ward went off for slashing. Washington killed the penalty and Carlson sealed the win with an empty-netter inside the final minute.

While the Capitals were unable to score on an extended two-man advantage in the first period, they did beat Anderson at the 2:12 mark of the middle frame.

The Senators goalie turned away Dennis Wideman's bid with his right pad, but Jeff Halpern drove hard to the net and buried the rebound.

Ottawa tallied twice in a span of 5:11 later in the second period to seize the lead.

Erik Karlsson's one-timer from the point was slowed down in front by Washington defenseman John Erskine. Condra found a loose puck at the left side of the net and slipped it past Vokoun. Erskine initially misplayed the puck in the neutral zone, leading to the Senators' counterattack.

Moments after Condra netted the equalizer, the Senators had a 5-on-3 for nearly a minute and failed to convert. As the second penalty expired, Foligno carried the puck into the Washington zone, made his way to the slot and skated around traffic in front of Vokoun before stashing the puck into an open net with a backhand at 17:54.

Game Notes

Washington has won all three meetings this year and improved to 6-1-0 against Ottawa over the last two seasons...The Senators were undefeated (7-0-0) this season when leading after two periods...Michalek celebrated his 27th birthday.