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Ovechkin, Green help Capitals stymie Senators

Dec 13, 2008 - 5:58 AM
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Alex Ovechkin scored two power-play goals and defenseman Mike Green also tallied with the man advantage and added two assists in his return to the lineup as the Washington Capitals trounced the Ottawa Senators, 5-1, on Friday.

Alexander Semin netted his 14th goal of the season and Brooks Laich also tallied for the Capitals, who have won two in a row and four of five. Also making his return to the lineup, Sergei Fedorov collected three assists, while Nicklas Backstrom set up three goals.

Brent Johnson made 32 saves but a bid for his first shutout of the season came to an end when Jesse Winchester scored with 2:23 left in the third period. He notched his ninth win of the campaign, matching his most since 2005-06.

"(Johnson) has had a chance to play more than he's had a chance to play in the last few years, and he's taking it and he's running with it and doing a very good job at it," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought we played a pretty good game, even though we gave up 33 shots. We were still pretty solid."

Johnson, who has not posted a shutout since blanking Ottawa in 2005-06, claimed he was not concerned about that.

"As long as we get (wins), I don't care if I give up six goals," he said. "As long as we get a (win), I don't care."

Johnson was suffering from a sore hip but knew he had no choice but to play. Jose Theodore injured his hip flexor during the morning skate, forcing the Capitals to recall Simeon Varlamov from Hershey of the American Hockey League.

However, Varlamov was unable to get to the Verizon Center in time for the opening faceoff. With no other option, Washington signed their web site producer, Brett Leonhardt, to a special amateur contract, and he began the game as the backup until Varlamov arrived about midway through the second.

The 26-year-old Leonhardt played four seasons of collegiate hockey at a pair of Division III schools - two each at Oswego State and Neumann College.

"Sometimes when you see the adversity of the goaltending situation that was evolving today, the players dig deeper for a teammate," Boudreau said.

If the 6-7 Leonhardt had played, he would have tied St. Louis' Ben Bishop as the tallest goalie ever to see action in an NHL game.

"We had a little chat about what happens during warmups, and (Leonhardt) was like, 'What? What am I going to do?'" Johnson said. "It was pretty funny."

Alex Auld turned aside 29 shots for the Senators, who dropped to 0-5-2 on the road since posting a 2-1 triumph at Florida on October 30.

"We didn't have everybody playing at the highest level," Ottawa coach Craig Hartsburg said. "For the first part of the game, I thought we were doing some good things. The third period, we just got in penalty trouble, and their power plays made us pay a big price."

Washington owns the best home record in the Eastern Conference at 12-1-1. The Capitals have outscored opponents, 52-27, at the Verizon Center.

Semin opened the scoring 3:55 into the game, lifting a backhander over Auld's outstretched leg after receiving a pass from Backstrom and skating toward the front of the net.

Laich doubled the lead at 4:48 of the second by firing a slap shot past Auld for his sixth of the season.

With 35 seconds remaining in the session, Ovechkin made it 3-0, unleashing a hard slap shot from the high slot that sailed over the left shoulder of Auld.

After missing 12 games with a shoulder injury, Green scored his eighth of the campaign on the power play with 6:16 left in the third to give the Capitals a four-goal bulge.

"(It felt) really nice," Green said. "It's frustrating watching games, and to finally come back and have something good happen is just great. Maybe things can roll from here."

Ovechkin then netted his team-leading 17th goal 21 seconds later. The reigning Hart Trophy winner, Ovechkin has collected nine points in his last six games.






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    Senators 1, Capitals 5  FinalDec 13 6:21 AM
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    Senators 1, Capitals 5  FinalDec 13 2:41 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0 1 1
    WASHINGTON 1 2 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 14 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MIKE GREEN)
    3:55
    2ND PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 6 (MATT BRADLEY, SERGEI FEDOROV) 4:48
    WAS - (PP) ALEX OVECHKIN 16 (MIKE GREEN, TOM POTI) 19:25
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN

    Dec 12 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    WASHINGTON 5
    3RD PRD: OTT - JESSE WINCHESTER 3 (UNASSISTED) 17:37

    Senators 1, Capitals 5  3rd - 2:23Dec 12 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    WASHINGTON 5
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEX OVECHKIN 17 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, SERGEI
    FEDOROV) 14:05

    Senators 0, Capitals 5  3rd - 5:55Dec 12 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    WASHINGTON 4
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 8 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, SERGEI FEDOROV)
    13:44

    Senators 0, Capitals 4  3rd - 6:16Dec 12 9:18 PM


  • ------------------------------
    Ottawa
    0 0 --0
    Washington 1 2 --3
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    Ottawa 14 9 --23
    Washington 7 11 --18
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : Ottawa, Alex Auld (18 shots, 15 saves). Washington, Brent
    Johnson (23 shots, 23 saves). Referees: Chris Lee, Dave J

    Dec 12 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEX OVECHKIN 16 (MIKE GREEN, BRIAN POTHIER) 19:25

    Senators 0, Capitals 3  2nd - 0:35Dec 12 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    WASHINGTON 2
    2ND PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 6 (MATT BRADLEY, SERGEI FEDOROV) 15:12

    Senators 0, Capitals 2  2nd - 4:48Dec 12 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    WASHINGTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 14 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MIKE GREEN)
    3:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 14 14
    WAS 7 7
    GOALIES: OTT - ALEX AULD


    Dec 12 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 14 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, ALEX OVECHKIN)
    3:55

    Senators 0, Capitals 1  1st - 16:05Dec 12 7:16 PM
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