for this game

Semin, Ovechkin combine for five goals as Capitals roll

Oct 8, 2006 - 1:54 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Capitals are proving that two Alexanders are better than one.

Alexander Semin recorded a hat trick and Alexander Ovechkin scored a pair of third-period goals as the Capitals notched their first win of the season, a 5-2 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes.

After scoring 10 goals in 52 games with the Capitals in 2003-04, Semin spent the last two seasons playing in his native Russia. But the 22-year-old returned to register one of Washington's tallies in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers and really put on a show Saturday.

The 13th overall pick in 2002, Semin opened the scoring at 12:38 of the first period. He later forged a 2-2 tie midway through the middle session, when he beat goaltender Cam Ward with a wicked wrist shot from the right faceoff circle.

"(The hat trick) is a great feeling," Semin said. "It was also exciting to get the win. We played real well tonight. We battled and we came back. We played as a team. It feels real good to win."

With the game still deadlocked with 11:57 remaining in the third, Ovechkin scored on a blistering wrister from just above the right circle that appeared to catch Ward off-guard.

"I need to be sharper, you can't take off five minutes," said Ward, the 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy winner. "You have to play all 60 minutes or else it's gonna cost us like it did today."

The reigning Calder Trophy recipient, Ovechkin also tallied on a nifty deflection with 6:57 left to make it 4-2 before Semin completed his first career hat trick with 2:47 to play.

"It's great to win at home, we play for our fans," said Ovechkin, who scored 52 goals last season. "We played hard tonight. We played a great game. Our offense was sharp and (goaltender Olaf Kolzig) was fantastic. It's very exciting to get the win."

Kolzig made 25 saves for Washington, while Ward turned aside 30 shots for Carolina.

"It was huge to get a win tonight, this is how we want to play," Capitals captain Chris Clark said. "We want to show our fans what we can do so our fans will come back and support us."

Andrew Ladd and defenseman Niclas Wallin scored second-period goals for the defending champion Hurricanes, who are winless through their first three games.

"We're having bad penalties and selfish acts, that's what's costing us games," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "It needs to be fixed, and it will be. We need to work harder, play with discipline and value the points and the game. We have to continue to play harder."

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