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Washington at Atlanta

Pavelec perfect, Thrashers keep Caps scoreless

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Ondrej Pavelec will have much fonder memories of this outing against the Washington Capitals than his opening night appearance in which he fainted and left with a concussion.

Pavelec stopped 29 shots to earn his third NHL shutout, and Evander Kane, Nik Antropov and Ben Eager had a goal and assist each as the Atlanta Thrashers beat the Capitals 5-0 on Friday night and snapped Washington's nine-game point streak.

"The guys helped to block the shots in front of me, and I always saw the first shot and [his teammates] had the rebound," Pavelec said. "Overall, it was a great team effort."

The NHL-leading Capitals were shut out for the first time since Dec. 9 at Buffalo. Washington (14-5-1) had 10 wins and 21 points in its first 12 games, but missed a chance at a 15th victory that would've been the Capitals' best 20-game start.

Pavelec, who fainted early in the season-opening home victory over Washington on Oct. 8, improved to 2-4-2. He sustained a concussion that night when his head struck the ice as he fell.

After extensive tests showed no serious medical problems, Pavelec returned after missing seven games. He won just one of his next five starts before losing Sunday at Washington.

"They are one of the best teams in the NHL," Pavelec said. "If you play hard against them, you can beat them. We showed a lot of character and we showed we can play great hockey against the best teams."

Atlanta had won only one of its last seven, but the Thrashers took a 3-0 lead in the first period on Eager's third goal, Antropov's fifth and Kane's eighth.

Dustin Byfuglien made it 4-0 in the final minute of the second period with his sixth goal, and Alexander Burmistrov finished the scoring when he netted his third late in the final frame.

Capitals forward Alexander Semin had his nine-game point streak broken.

Eager, benched for all but one shift of the third period in Atlanta's loss Wednesday to Florida, made it 1-0 with a tip-in 2:42 into the first.

After Antropov's backhander gave the Thrashers a 2-0 lead at 8:52, Kane scored 15 seconds later with a wrist shot from the right wing boards.

Five of Kane's eight goals have been scored against the Capitals. This one chased goalie Braden Holtby, who faced only five shots.

"Holtby struggled, as some young guys do, and they had a lot of confidence and they kept playing well," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Every time we tried to make a push, they would beat it back and they'd score goals at opportune times."

Andrew Ladd, chosen as team captain on Thursday by Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay, assisted on Burmistrov's goal.

Michal Neuvirth stopped 29 of 31 shots for the Capitals. Holtby dropped to 2-1-1.

Alexander Ovechkin, the NHL goals leader in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, recorded three shots and had five attempts blocked.

"I think in the second period we played good hockey but just didn't score the goal," Ovechkin said. "They scored on their one chance on the Byfuglien goal, and 4-0 after two periods is tough especially when they put all five guys in the defensive zone."

Notes

  • Pavelec's previous shutout was Nov. 25, 2009, at Detroit.
  • Byfuglien, chosen along with Tobias Enstrom as Atlanta's new alternate captains, played despite a lower-body injury that forced him to miss practice Thursday and leave the loss at Florida early.
  • Capitals D Tom Poti (groin) missed his fourth straight game.
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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Ondrej Pavelec denies Mike Knuble a point-blank scoring opportunity to earn his third shutout. (Getty Images)
Ondrej Pavelec denies Mike Knuble a point-blank scoring opportunity to earn his third shutout. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Washington (14-5-1)0000
Atlanta  (8-9-3) «3115
Three Stars
O. Pavelec
ATL


Saves: 29
Save Pct.: 1.000
N. Antropov
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
B. Eager
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:42 - Ben Eager (3), Tip-In. Assist: Antropov
08:52 - Nik Antropov (5), Backhand Shot. Assist: Eager, Oduya
09:07 - Evander Kane (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Little
2ND PERIOD
19:10 - Dustin Byfuglien (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kane
3RD PERIOD
17:17 - Alexander Burmistrov (3), Backhand Shot. Assist: Ladd, Bergfors
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
18:16Burmistrov, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
10:02Thorburn, 2 min, High-Sticking
15:51Sloan, 2 min, Roughing
15:51Kane, 2 min, Roughing
3RD PERIOD
11:25Green, 2 min, Hooking
13:04Erskine, 2 min, Elbowing
18:12Sopel, 2 min, Closing Hand on Puck
Shots On Goal
 123T
WAS1210729
ATL7141536
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Braden Holtby 9:0723
Michal Neuvirth50:45292
Ondrej Pavelec60:00290
Game Information
Attendance - 11115
Referees - Tom Kowal, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Darren Gibbs, Scott Cherrey
 
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