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Toronto at Washington

Capitals snap nine-game losing streak at expense of Maple Leafs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals finally got a few breaks and ended their longest losing streak in 25 years.

Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists, and Alexandre Giroux scored his first NHL goal to help the Capitals snap a nine-game skid with a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.

The Capitals, winless since beating New Jersey on Feb. 24, also snapped a seven-game home losing streak. Washington, weakened by late-season trades and a flurry of injuries, had lost 14 of 15 (1-9-5).

"It's a fine line between winning and losing," said Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig, who had 34 saves. "We had three shootout games. It was little things. It's an awful stretch to go through."

Kolzig finished with 34 saves, and Boyd Gordon, Kris Beech and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Capitals.

Giroux gave Washington an early lead thanks to a strange bounce that came right to him skating near the crease. Semin scored when the rebound of his own shot bounced right back to his stick in front. Tomas Fleischmann got the final goal when the Caps rushed an extra skater on during a delayed penalty call.

"It was good to start off with some puck luck and get a good break," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "It was a great night."

It was definitely a memorable night for Giroux, who got his first two NHL points at the end of a long, strange day.

Washington called Giroux up from Hershey this morning and a limousine took him the approximately 47-mile trip from Worcester, Mass., to Boston, where he got the final flight out.

When arriving in Washington, a limousine took him to the game through a sleet/snow storm that struck the area Friday afternoon. Giroux didn't arrive at the Verizon Center until about 90 minutes before the 7:05 p.m. start.

He started quickly, giving Washington a 1-0 lead on an unusual goal 1:46 into the game.

Steve Eminger dumped the puck in from center ice, and Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft swung and missed when it bounced off the boards.

The puck trickled between his legs and right to Giroux, who tapped it into the empty net for his first NHL point. Giroux also added an assist.

"It was just a lucky goal," Giroux said. "Anyone could have made that goal. Maybe it was ugly, but I'll take it."

Semin made it 2-0 at 7:55 of the period when he scored on the rebound of his own shot.

Nik Antropov pulled the Maple Leafs to 2-1 when he redirected Mats Sundin's shot past Kolzig with 6:41 left in the second period.

But Gordon scored later in the period to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead, beating Raycroft after taking a pass from Semin in front. Semin also assisted on Beech's goal early in the third period.

"We've been slow out of the gate the last three, four games," Sundin said. "For some reason we're not on our toes at the start of the game."

Notes

  • The two teams split the four-game season series.
  • The victory was Kolzig's first since Feb. 4. He missed 13 games with a knee injury before returning Thursday.
  • Sundin needs one goal to tie Darryl Sittler for the franchise record for career goals (389).
  • The Capitals announced that Brian Sutherby is day-to-day with a hand injury.
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.
 
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There is much reason for the Caps to celebrate as they snap their longest losing streak in 25 years. (AP)
There is much reason for the Caps to celebrate as they snap their longest losing streak in 25 years. (AP)

Scoreboard
Toronto (34-28-9)0101
Washington  (25-34-13) «2125
Three Stars
A. Semin
WAS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
B. Laich
WAS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
O. Kolzig
WAS


Saves: 34
Save Pct.: .971
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:46Alexandre Giroux, Backhand Shot - Assists: Steve Eminger, Mike Green
07:55Alexander Semin (35), Backhand Shot - Unassisted.
2ND PERIOD
12:19Power Play - Nik Antropov (15), Tip-In - Assists: Mats Sundin, Bryan McCabe
15:34Boyd Gordon (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich
3RD PERIOD
02:07Kris Beech (8), Wrist Shot - Assists: Donald Brashear, Alexander Semin
16:51Power Play - Tomas Fleischmann (2), Wrist Shot - Assists: Milan Jurcina, Alexandre Giroux
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:02Tucker: Hooking - 2 min.
10:40Antropov: Slashing - 2 min.
12:27McCabe: Roughing - 2 min.
14:22Jurcina: Interference - 2 min.
15:38Morrisonn: Cross Check - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
02:35Semin: High sticking - 2 min.
06:12Pohl: Tripping - 2 min.
08:31Wozniewski: Holding - 2 min.
11:42Brashear: High sticking - 2 min.
16:35McCabe: Holding the stick - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
03:45Ovechkin: Slashing - 2 min.
07:07Schultz: Holding - 2 min.
11:44Sundin: Holding - 2 min.
14:57O'Neill: Hooking - 2 min.
16:51Kubina: Slashing - 2 min.
17:07Brashear: High sticking - 2 min.
17:29Kilger: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
17:51Eminger: Holding - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Toronto12101335
Washington1113933
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Andrew Raycroft59:54285
Olaf Kolzig59:47341
Game Information
Attendance - 16281
Referees - Dave Jackson, Dean Warren
Linesmen - Pat Dapuzzo, Greg Devorski
 
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