Carolina at Washington

Semin completes hat trick as Capitals hand third straight loss to 'Canes

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

WASHINGTON -- Everyone knew the Washington Capitals had one fantastic young Russian left wing named Alexander: Ovechkin, last season's Calder Trophy winner.

Well, now it appears the Capitals have two players who fit that description, because Alexander Semin is back in the NHL and taking some of the load off his teammate's shoulders.

Ovechkin broke a tie with two third-period goals, Semin had a hat trick, and Washington beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 Saturday night, the third consecutive loss for the Stanley Cup champions.

"After I thank God at night for having a great wife," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said, "I say a quiet prayer for having those two guys on my team."

Perhaps frustrated by beginning his sophomore year with five scoreless periods, Ovechkin went into a prolonged celebration after putting the puck in the net 8:04 into the third period to put Washington ahead 3-2.

He kissed his right glove, pumped it, then let out a yell. He was surrounded by teammates for hugs and backslaps, then skated over to the bench, where he shouted again as he looked up and saw himself on the overhead video board.

"I hold myself accountable," Carolina goalie Cam Ward said. "That's a stop I've got to make, especially that time of the game."

A second shy of exactly 5 minutes later, Ovechkin scored again, this time redirecting defenseman Brian Pothier's shot from the slot on a power play to make it 4-2.

"Everybody played together -- that's why we beat the Stanley Cup champions," said Ovechkin, who took a career-high 15 shots. "First period, I played awful. Terrible. Second period, I told myself: Shoot everything."

Semin, who scored in each period, added the finishing touch with 2:47 left in the game on a close-range goal. Pothier collected one of his three assists on that one, which gave Semin his first three-goal game in 54 NHL contests.

"I scored three tonight -- but I could have scored more," Semin said through a translator.

It capped quite a home opener for the Capitals, who finished 27th out of 30 NHL teams last season.

Andrew Ladd and Niclas Wallin scored for Carolina, which has yet to win as it opens defense of its first league title. The Hurricanes were playing their third game in four nights after consecutive losses at home, as they raised their championship banner and showed off the Stanley Cup.

"We're kidding ourselves. We're taking bad penalties instead of doing the work. We're mouthing off instead of doing the work. And selfish acts are costing us games," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "It needs to be corrected, and it will be."

Shortly after Ovechkin's second goal, he went down when Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason used his left skate to cut the Russian's left leg out from under him. Ovechkin, who had just hit Eric Staal, dropped to the ice and stayed down for a few minutes.

But he eventually returned and was the first to greet Semin with a hug after the hat trick was completed.

"He played not fair," Ovechkin said, referring to Gleason, but added that he felt fine.

Ovechkin is 21, a year younger than the less-heralded Semin, who was picked in the first round of the 2002 NHL draft and scored 10 goals in 52 games with the Capitals in the 2003-04 season.

But when Washington wanted Semin to report to a minor league club during the NHL lockout, he instead went to play in Russia, and the Capitals sued to get him to return.

Finally, in April, Semin agreed to rejoin the Capitals -- and they couldn't be happier. He has four goals through two games.

"He was doing those things when he was 19 years old," Hanlon said. "It's only two games into the season, but we've seen that before. Now, more so than the last time he was here, he's more 'North Americanized' in that he's willing to shoot a little bit more and not be looking to pass quite so much."

Notes

  • Capitals G Olie Kolzig made 25 saves.
  • Carolina opened a seven-game road trip.
  • Ovechkin had 52 goals and 106 points last season.
  • The Capitals recalled LW Tomas Fleischmann from Hershey of the AHL before the game, and sent him back afterward.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period.  (AP)
The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period. (AP)

Scoreboard
Carolina (0-2-1)0202
Washington  (1-1-0) «1135
Three Stars
A. Semin
WAS


Goals: 3
Assist(s): 0
A. Ovechkin
WAS


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
C. Clark
WAS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
12:38Alexander Semin (2), Slap Shot - Assist: Chris Clark
2ND PERIOD
01:40Power Play - Andrew Ladd, Tip-In - Assists: Tim Gleason, Justin Williams
05:21Niclas Wallin, Snap Shot - Assists: Scott Walker, Eric Belanger
09:11Alexander Semin (3), Snap Shot - Assists: Brian Pothier, Rico Fata
3RD PERIOD
08:03Alex Ovechkin, Snap Shot - Assist: Chris Clark
13:03Power Play - Alex Ovechkin, Tip-In - Assists: Brian Pothier, Chris Clark
17:13Power Play - Alexander Semin (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Kris Beech, Brian Pothier
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:18Pothier: Holding - 2 min.
07:22Commodore: High sticking - 2 min.
08:04Zubrus: Hooking - 2 min.
14:01Whitney: Hooking - 2 min.
18:23Clark: Hooking - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
01:04Zubrus: Tripping - 2 min.
19:24Wallin: Hooking - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
08:17Cole: Slashing - 2 min.
12:03Williams: Interference - 2 min.
14:40Gleason: Kneeing - 2 min.
14:40Gleason: Roughing - 2 min.
14:40Clark: Roughing - 2 min.
15:24Cole: Slashing - 2 min.
15:24Staal: Unsportsmanlike Conduct - 2 min.
19:17Walker: Roughing - 2 min.
19:17Brashear: Roughing - 2 min.
19:17Brashear: Holding - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123OTT
Carolina9144 27
Washington91313 35
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Cam Ward60:00305
Olaf Kolzig59:49252
GAME INFORMATION
Attendance - 16622
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Wes McCauley, Bill McCreary
Line Judges - Jean Morin, Jonny Murray
 
Other Games
Mon 3 Final
Tor 2
Buf 4 Final
Ott 3
Fla 0 Final
Atl 6
NYR 5 Final
Phi 4
Det 2 Final
Pitt 0
Bos 3 Final
TB 2
Nash 5 Final
Min 6
NJ 1 Final
Dal 3
Colu 5 Final
Chi 4
Ana 2 Final
Pho 1
Edm 1 Final
Cal 2
NYI 0 Final
SJ 2
StL 1 Final
LA 4