for this game

Rucchin's goal lifts Thrashers over Capitals

Nov 4, 2006 - 3:05 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Thrashers have beaten the Washington Capitals every way possible this season.

The Thrashers used a three-goal spurt and got the winning tally from Steve Rucchin early in the third period to post a 4-3 victory over the Capitals.

Atlanta has defeated Washington three different ways this season. The Thrashers previously beat the Capitals in overtime on October 14 and in a shootout on October 19.

"It was a hard-fought game, just like the previous ones," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "Washington is a good hockey team whose intensity level is hard to match. We got those big goals in the second period, and the quick early goal in the third really were the keys to tonight's game."

With the score tied, 3-3, Rucchin scored the game-winner just 27 seconds into the third period when he took a pass from Jon Sim, skated in and beat Washington goaltender Olaf Kolzig with a backhander high to the glove side.

"I think we thrive (on pressure," said Rucchin, who has two goals this season. "We are expected to perform every night or we wouldn't be here. We overcame a pressure situation on the road. This is a huge win for this team."

Trailing, 2-0, late in the second period, the Thrashers scored three goals in 3:17.

Sim started it when he took a pass from Ilya Kovalchuk and beat Kolzig at 11:35. Defenseman Greg de Vries tied the game, 2-2, when his sharp-angle shot deflected off Washington defenseman Jamie Heward's skate and past Kolzig at 14:17.

Slava Kozlov capped the outburst by poking in a rebound at 14:52 to put Atlanta ahead.

"Atlanta took advantage of the 4-on-4 situations and capitalized on our mistakes," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "We made some bad decisions."

"We have to learn how to play with a lead and within our system of play," Washington's Chris Clark said. "When we get away from it, it really shows."

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead at 12:10 of the first period when Dainius Zubrus banged in Richard Zednik's rebound on the power play.

Clark gave Washington a 2-0 lead at 1:36 of the second period on a shorthanded tally. Clark picked up a loose puck at center ice, sped in on Atlanta goaltender Johan Hedberg and beat him high to the glove side with a snap shot.

Washington trailed, 3-2, late in the third period when Zubrus poked a rebound past Hedberg with six seconds left in the second period to tie the game, 3-3.

The referee initially waved off the goal due to a hand pass but subsequently allowed it after a video review.

Kolzig finished with 30 saves and Hedberg recorded 24 stops.

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