for this game

Semin helps Capitals topple Hurricanes

Nov 13, 2008 - 4:37 AM RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- As long as the wins continue to accumulate, Alex Ovechkin is fine with not being the best player on his team with the same first name.

Alexander Semin recorded a career-high five points with two goals and three assists as the Washington Capitals cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Semin increased his points total to 27, hurdling him past Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin by three for the league lead. By registering his second multi-goal effort in a four-game span, Semin now has 17 career goals against Carolina - his highest total against any team.

"I hope he's going to play the same way (all season)," Ovechkin said. "He's going to be the best player in the league. It's only November. I wish him the best with how he plays."

Nicklas Backstrom notched a goal and three assists, Ovechkin scored for the second straight contest and defenseman Mike Green added a power-play tally and an assist as the Capitals used a three-goal first period to extend their winning streak to four games. Ovechkin also registered two assists.

"We scored on our chances," Backstrom said. "(Ovechkin) and Semin are pretty good. They're on a roll. I like playing with those guys."

Washington's potent first line has made coach Bruce Boudreau's job a lot easier.

"I guess they can be cute if they're going to get five points a night," Boudreau said. "You can tell the potential they have when they're at the top of their game. All three of them were at the top of their game tonight, which is good. They scored. It was good to get (Ovechkin) a goal early. That really pumped that line up."

Leaving with a hip injury at the end of the first, Washington goaltender Brent Johnson yielded a power-play goal by Scott Walker while making 13 saves. Having not played in any of the team's previous four contests, Jose Theodore came on and turned aside all 13 shots he faced in the final 40 minutes to secure the victory.

"He came in and did what he had to do," Boudreau said of Theodore. "He made some good saves early, and you could tell he was in the game. Hopefully, it was a confidence builder for him."

Johnson's status for the Capitals' next game is uncertain.

"It's tough to tell right now because it is sore," Johnson said. "When I was moving around out there, I felt a lot of pain. We'll see how it feels tomorrow. It was on their power play and it was a one-timer from the top. One leg this way and this leg stayed where it was. I was just trying to angle the puck to the corner.

"It's not serious. I shouldn't be out long at all."

Michael Leighton made 32 saves - including 14 in the final session - for the Hurricanes, who have dropped three of four.

"We gave them the first four goals and we turned the puck over twice," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "We had a missed coverage. We miscovered 5-on-5, miscovered on the penalty kill and it was 4-1. We didn't play very well after that. Once it got to that point, we didn't compete very well."

Notching points in seven of his last 10 contests, Semin set up Ovechkin's goal 5:11 into the first. Semin gained possession of the puck at the blue line and promptly skated in on the right side before sliding a pass to Ovechkin, who beat Leighton with a wrist shot.

A 65-goal scorer in 2007-08, Ovechkin also tallied in the Capitals' 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday to snap a nine-game goalless drought. The reigning Hart Trophy winner had just two goals in 11 games prior to that.

"It's always fun when you realize we have skills," Ovechkin said. "We can control the game with great passes. It was a great game for our line."

Semin, on the other hand, has carried Washington over its first 15 games and is a major reason why the Capitals sit atop the Southeast Division with 20 points - two more than the Hurricanes.

Semin doubled the lead nearly 5 1/2 minutes after Ovechkin struck, converting the rebound of Backstrom's shot from the point while sitting on the doorstep.

"We're winning, and that's the most important thing," Backstrom said. "The biggest key for us is to work hard. We can't take anything easy. We have to work hard and battle when we get our opportunities."

After scoring 14 goals in an impressive rookie campaign in 2007-08, Backstrom netted his first goal of the season, ending a 14-game drought.

"I've not been thinking about it too much," Backstrom said. "If I was a goal-scorer, I'd probably have 10 goals right now. I've missed a lot of shots. I've had chances every game and I play with good players."

Walker halved the deficit on the power play 79 seconds later, but Semin set up Green's slap shot from the right faceoff circle with 5:35 remaining to cap the first-period outburst.

"Obviously, we didn't like being down 2-0. We got to 2-1 and thought we had some chances," Walker said. "But like I said, we're only fooling ourselves if we think we're playing the right way now. It's not a matter of systems or any design out there.

"You have to want the puck more than they do. You have to want to get back more than they get back. And we're just not getting it done, plain and simple."

Semin made it 4-1 midway through the middle session and Backstrom completed the scoring with a snap shot from the slot 8 1/2 minutes into the third.

"I thought we were in control," Boudreau said. "There were an awful lot of chances we left out there. But you're not going to score 10. I liked the way we continued to play."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 3 1 1 5
    CAROLINA 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 4 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 5:11
    WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 12 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MIKE GREEN)
    10:32
    CAR - (PP) SCOTT WALKER 2 (ROD BRIND'AMOUR, JONI PITKANEN)
    11:51
    WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 6 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM

    Nov 12 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 5
    CAROLINA 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 1 (ALEX OVECHKIN, ALEXANDER SEMIN)
    8:36

    Capitals 5, Hurricanes 1  3rd - 11:24Nov 12 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 3 1 4
    CAROLINA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 4 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 5:11
    WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 12 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MIKE GREEN)
    10:32
    CAR - (PP) SCOTT WALKER 2 (ROD BRIND'AMOUR, JONI PITKANEN)
    11:51
    WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 6 (NICK

    Nov 12 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    CAROLINA 1
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 13 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, ALEX OVECHKIN)
    10:04

    Capitals 4, Hurricanes 1  2nd - 9:56Nov 12 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 3 3
    CAROLINA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 4 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 5:11
    WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 12 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MIKE GREEN)
    10:32
    CAR - (PP) SCOTT WALKER 2 (ROD BRIND'AMOUR, JONI PITKANEN)
    11:51
    WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 6 (NICK

    Nov 12 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    CAROLINA 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 6 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, ALEXANDER SEMIN)
    14:25

    Capitals 3, Hurricanes 1  1st - 5:35Nov 12 7:35 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    CAROLINA 1
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) SCOTT WALKER 2 (ROD BRIND'AMOUR, JONI PITKANEN)
    11:51

    Capitals 2, Hurricanes 1  1st - 8:09Nov 12 7:31 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 12 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MIKE GREEN)
    10:32

    Capitals 2, Hurricanes 0  1st - 9:28Nov 12 7:28 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 4 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 5:11

    Capitals 1, Hurricanes 0  1st - 14:49Nov 12 7:17 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    CAROLINA 0 19:55 LEFT, 1ST PRD

    Capitals 0, Hurricanes 0  1st - 19:55Nov 12 7:08 PM
  • 5
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. HurricanesNov 12 4:43 PM