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Washington at Boston

Semin scores in OT as Caps beat Bruins in battle of East's best

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Alexander Semin let loose an 80-foot slap shot and improved the Washington Capitals' longshot chances of catching the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference.

Semin scored from well outside the blue line on the first shot of overtime Saturday to give the Capitals a 4-3 victory over Boston and help them gain a point on the Bruins in the race for home ice in the East. Washington, which trails Boston by eight points, has won three of the teams' four meetings this year.

"I don't think it gives us any advantage, but it does give us the thought that over four games so far we've been able to compete with maybe the best team in the league," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If it gets down to it in the (conference) finals ... then it would probably be a good series."

Zdeno Chara scored his 100th career goal with 4:37 left in regulation to force overtime, but it didn't last long. Soon after the first faceoff, Semin brought the puck over the red line and launched a hard but seemingly harmless slapper at the net that hit off Tim Thomas' glove and trickled through for the winner.

"It's very frustrating. I feel bad for the team that that's the way it had to end," Thomas said. "He who laughs last laughs hardest. We'll see what happens."

Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 45th goal of the season for the Capitals, and Jose Theodore made 34 saves. But Theodore let Chara's shot sneak inside the post on his glove side to allow Boston to force overtime and keep the Capitals from gaining two points in the standings.

"We still have 19 games so anything can happen," Ovechkin said. "Every game against them we got at least one point, so it's good for our mentality that we can beat them and it doesn't matter if first or second. I think it's all about us. If we play our game and our system we can beat everybody."

Bruins coach Claude Julien criticized his team's effort but couldn't blame Thomas, who leads the league in goals-against and save percentage.

"He's given us too much to be worried about that," Julien said. "Call it a lucky goal or a bad goal; we can call it what we want. But those are shots that shouldn't go in."

Julien was even more critical of the Capitals, accusing them of getting overconfident because of their head-to-head record.

"I have heard them say they're in our heads," he said. "They do a lot of talking. I don't think they do a lot of research."

Thomas stopped 28 shots for Boston. Marc Savard had three assists, Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist and Matt Hunwick also scored for the Bruins, who lost at home for just the fourth time in their last 27 games. Savard, who left Thursday night's game with an unspecified injury, had two assists for the third time in four games.

Ovechkin scored his 14th goal in 15 games when he squeezed a wrist shot inside the post to beat Thomas and give the Capitals a 2-1 lead 8:48 into the second period. But Kessel scored just 18 seconds later, on a cross-ice pass from Savard to tie it.

Tomas Fleischmann broke the tie with 17:40 left when he banked a shot in off defenseman Dennis Wideman.

Nicklas Backstrom also scored for Washington.

Notes

  • Capitals forward Michael Nylander was a healthy scratch.
  • Boston forward Milan Lucic, who also sat out the third period of Thursday's game with an injury, was scratched.
  • Backstrom extended his point-scoring streak to eight games.
Copyright 2015 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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Alexander Ovechkin has seven goals in the last seven games and leads the league with 45.
 
Alexander Ovechkin has seven goals in the last seven games and leads the league with 45. (AP)
 
Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Washington  (40-18-5) «11114
Boston (42-12-9)11103
Three Stars
A. Semin
WAS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Savard
BOS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
M. Hunwick
BOS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:36Power Play - Nicklas Backstrom (17), Snap Shot. Assist: Semin, Green
05:03Matt Hunwick (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Savard, Kessel
2ND PERIOD
08:48Alex Ovechkin (45), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bradley, Jurcina
09:06Phil Kessel (26), Snap Shot. Assist: Savard, Hunwick
3RD PERIOD
02:20Power Play - Tomas Fleischmann (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Laich, Poti
15:23Power Play - Zdeno Chara (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bergeron, Savard
OT
22.0Alexander Semin (24), Slap Shot. Assist: Green, Schultz
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:40Savard, 2 min, Hooking
14:20Ryder, 2 min, Hooking
15:36Semin, 2 min, Tripping
2ND PERIOD
13:24Wideman, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
36.0Krejci, 2 min, Hooking
07:15Bradley, 2 min, Cross-Checking
09:02Wideman, 2 min, Hooking
10:54Laich, 2 min, Interference
14:52Backstrom, 2 min, Slashing
OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Washington1212731
Boston9131537
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Jose Theodore 60:22343
Tim Thomas 60:22284
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Washington2-for-5
Boston1-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 17565
Referees - Tom Kowal, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Scott Cherrey, Tim Nowak
 
Other Games
SJ 2 Final
Mon 3
Colo 1 Final
NYR 6
Min 2 Final
Edm 3
StL 3 Final
Pho 1
Buf 0 Final
NYI 2
Det 0 Final
Nash 8
Car 3 Final
Atl 5
Tor 4 Final
OT
Ott 3
Fla 2 Final
NJ 7
Ana 4 Final
Dal 3