for this game

Capitals overwhelm Thrashers with fast start

Dec 9, 2007 - 4:21 AM
By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Defenseman Mike Green scored twice, rookie Nicklas Backstrom had a tally and two assists and superstar Alex Ovechkin netted a goal and set up another to lead the Washington Capitals to a 6-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night.

The Capitals scored two goals in quick succession twice in the game - once within a minute in the first period and again in a 69-second span during the middle session.

"We played a very strong game," Green said. "Everyone was playing the system, and that was the biggest difference tonight."

The six tallies tied the most surrendered by Atlanta this season, and it came in the teams' first meeting since Bruce Boudreau became Washington's interim coach on November 22. That was a day after the Capitals lost, 5-1, to the Thrashers.

Washington improved to 4-3-1 under Boudreau. Atlanta - which also fired its coach (Bob Hartley) this campaign - fell to 14-8-1 under Don Waddell, who also is the club's general manager.

Backstrom opened the scoring when Atlanta defenseman Niclas Havelid turned over the puck 40 feet in front of his own net. Backstrom picked up the gift and flipped it past goaltender Kari Lehtonen at 8:12 for his third goal of the season.

Precisely a minute later, Alexander Semin brought the puck from behind the net and flicked it back to Jeff Schultz. The defenseman, who was positioned in the faceoff circle to Lehtonen's left, slapped it past the netminder with Semin setting a screen for a 2-0 lead.

"To get the first and second goals were very important," Backstrom said.

Matt Pettinger's rebound chance off Ovechkin's shot squirted past a bewildered Lehtonen at 4:16 of the second period to put the Capitals ahead, 3-0. It was Pettinger's second goal of the season and first since October 29.

"I'll take any right now," Pettinger said. "I just got it on net. These are the ones that sort of get you out of that slump. The was pretty much as ugly as they come."

Todd White scored two goals for Atlanta. His first during a two-man advantage at 12:31 of the second made it 3-1. His second came at 7:05 of the third. Ilya Kovalchuk, who leads the league with 23 goals, assisted on both tallies.

"I wouldn't say this was one of our better efforts," Waddell said. "When the other team is working harder, sometimes it makes you feel like you're working less."

Ovechkin's 21st goal of the season, which tied him with Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg for second in the league, made it 4-1 at 14:06. Ovechkin has eight points -including four tallies - in his last four games.

Green's fifth of the season at 15:15 in the second gave the Capitals a 5-1 lead. He made it a five-goal advantage with his second of the night at 5:29 of the third.

"It was a great way to answer back," Boudreau said. "That's probably the most impressive thing we did. In the past, from what I've seen since I've been here, if (the opponents) score, they drop their heads a little bit. But they went right back at them and scored."

Thrashers captain Bobby Holik beat goalie Olaf Kolzig - who stopped 23 shots - at 9:41 to provide the final margin.

"There's no secret. You need to get off to a fast start," Kolzig said. "Tonight, we took the initiative. We went out and got the lead. As a result, everybody got a little more confident, started feeling good about themselves and we got six goals."

Lehtonen made 21 saves for Atlanta, which had won its previous two games.

"It was almost like we didn't want it," Thrashers rookie defenseman Tobias Enstrom said. "We were taking the easy way out. They won all their battles and we didn't show up tonight."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 1 2 3
    WASHINGTON 2 3 1 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 3 (UNASSISTED) 8:12
    WAS - JEFF SCHULTZ 2 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 9:12
    2ND PRD: WAS - MATT PETTINGER 2 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM) 4:16
    ATL - (PP) TODD WHITE 7 (MARIAN HOSSA, ILYA KOVALCH

    Dec 8 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    WASHINGTON 6
    3RD PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 3 (VYACHESLAV KOZLOV) 9:41

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    WASHINGTON 6
    3RD PRD: ATL - TODD WHITE 8 (NICLAS HAVELID, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 7:05

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    WASHINGTON 6
    3RD PRD: WAS - MIKE GREEN 7 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, SHAONE MORRISONN) 5:29

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 1 1
    WASHINGTON 2 3 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 3 (UNASSISTED) 8:12
    WAS - JEFF SCHULTZ 2 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 9:12
    2ND PRD: WAS - MATT PETTINGER 2 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM) 4:16
    ATL - (PP) TODD WHITE 7 (MARIAN HOSSA,

    Dec 8 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    WASHINGTON 5
    2ND PRD: WAS - MIKE GREEN 6 (TOMAS FLEISCHMANN) 15:15

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    WASHINGTON 4
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 21 (TOM POTI, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    14:06

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: ATL - (PP) TODD WHITE 7 (MARIAN HOSSA, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 12:31

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: WAS - MATT PETTINGER 2 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM) 4:16

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    WASHINGTON 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 3 (UNASSISTED) 8:12
    WAS - JEFF SCHULTZ 2 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 9:12
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 6 6
    WAS 11 11


    Dec 8 7:40 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    WASHINGTON 2
    1ST PRD: WAS - JEFF SCHULTZ 2 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 9:12

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 7:25 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 3 (UNASSISTED) 8:12

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsDec 8 7:22 PM