for this game

Clark, Laich and Ovechkin help Capitals end offensive drought

Oct 25, 2007 - 3:13 AM
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Capitals may be breaking out of their early offensive funk.

Chris Clark scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, to help the Capitals snap a four-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Alex Ovechkin had a tally and a pair of assists for Washington, which scored more than three goals for the first time this season.

"We had to stop that four-game losing streak," Clark said. "And we did it against a pretty good team."

Washington coach Glen Hanlon believed the team's improved offense was due to the return of left wing Alexander Semin, who missed five games with a sprained right ankle.

"I just think a couple of pucks started to go in that deserved to go in," Hanlon said. "It was the result of going to the net and doing some things to get that dirty goal. We need a few more of them."

"Finally, we win the game," Ovechkin said. "Sasha (Semin) comes back, and maybe this is the key. Finally, we get two points."

Just 61 seconds after Washington took a 3-2 lead in the second period, defenseman Brian Pothier fired a shot from the left faceoff circle that deflected off Clark in the crease and snuck by goaltender Marc Denis for a 4-2 advantage.

That was the tally that Hanlon described as being "dirty."

"One shot- two goals. It was just a lucky bounce," Clark said. "It hit the goalie first, bounced back, hit me in the chest, I think, and went in. I just kind of weasel my way to the front of the net and just hope something bounces off me or the goalie can't see it."

The goal proved crucial as Martin St. Louis scored on a one-timer with 5:54 remaining in the third period, cutting Tampa Bay's deficit to one.

But Ovechkin scored an empty-netter in the final seconds to seal the victory.

Defenseman Paul Ranger and Jason Ward each scored a goal and set up another for the Lightning, who have lost their first three road games for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

"It's well-documented that we're 4-0 at home and 0-3 on the road," Denis said. "We all know that. It's too early to say that it's a struggle."

Ranger tied the game at 2-2 with a shorthanded goal with 12 1/2 minutes left in the second. However, the Capitals went back on top when they caught the Lightning on a line change.

With Tampa Bay players scrambling to get on and off the ice, Matt Pettinger skated down the left wing and sent a cross-ice pass to Brooks Laich. Laich scored an easy goal as Denis was out of position, giving Washington a 3-2 edge with 2:19 left in the period.

"We have to be smarter as to when we come off the ice," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "We were inconsistent tonight. I thought we were really good at times, and I thought we were brutal at other times." The Capitals had taken a 2-1 lead as Ovechkin raced down the left side and sent a cross-ice pass to David Steckel, who had plenty of space and beat Denis to the right side at 4:43 of the middle session.

It was the first career goal for the 25-year-old Steckel.

"It's a relief," Steckel said. "I started thinking about it a little too much, so finally it came."

The lead did not last long, though, as Ranger tallied just 13 seconds into a Capitals' power play.

Ranger took a pass from Brad Richards and went straight toward Denis before firing a wrist shot that sailed into the left side of the net at 7:27.

Clark opened the scoring 6:33 into the first period, but Ward answered with his first goal of the season with 3:20 remaining in the session.

Olaf Kolzig stopped 26 shots and Pothier recorded two assists for the Capitals.

Denis made 24 saves for Tampa Bay, which went 0-for-3 on the power play.






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    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 10:11 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 1 3
    WASHINGTON 1 3 1 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - CHRIS CLARK 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 6:33
    TAM - JASON WARD 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, PAUL RANGER) 16:40
    2ND PRD: WAS - DAVID STECKEL 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, VIKTOR KOZLOV)
    4:43
    TAM - (SH) PAUL RANGER 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, JAS

    Oct 24 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    WASHINGTON 5
    3RD PRD: WAS - (EN) ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 5 (BRIAN POTHIER) 19:56

    Oct 24 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 1 3
    WASHINGTON 1 3 1 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - CHRIS CLARK 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 6:33
    TAM - JASON WARD 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, PAUL RANGER) 16:40
    2ND PRD: WAS - DAVID STECKEL 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, VIKTOR KOZLOV)
    4:43
    TAM - (SH) PAUL RANGER 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, JAS

    Oct 24 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    WASHINGTON 5
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 5 (UNASSISTED) 19:56

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 9:29 PM
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    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 9:29 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    WASHINGTON 4
    3RD PRD: TAM - MARTIN ST. LOUIS 2 (VACLAV PROSPAL, MATHIEU DARCHE)
    14:06

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 2
    WASHINGTON 1 3 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - CHRIS CLARK 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 6:33
    TAM - JASON WARD 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, PAUL RANGER) 16:40
    2ND PRD: WAS - DAVID STECKEL 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, VIKTOR KOZLOV)
    4:43
    TAM - (SH) PAUL RANGER 1 (BRAD

    Oct 24 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    WASHINGTON 4
    2ND PRD: WAS - CHRIS CLARK 2 (BRIAN POTHIER, MICHAEL NYLANDER) 18:42

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 2 (MATT PETTINGER, SHAONE MORRISONN) 17:41

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    WASHINGTON 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - (SH) PAUL RANGER 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, JASON WARD) 7:27

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    WASHINGTON 2
    2ND PRD: WAS - DAVID STECKEL 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, VIKTOR KOZLOV)
    4:43

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1
    WASHINGTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - CHRIS CLARK 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 6:33
    TAM - JASON WARD 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, PAUL RANGER) 16:40
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 10 10
    WAS 7

    Oct 24 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - JASON WARD 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, PAUL RANGER) 16:40

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 7:38 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - CHRIS CLARK 1 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 6:33

    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 7:19 PM
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    Lightning vs. CapitalsOct 24 5:52 PM