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Devils fall to Washington

November 14, 2008 7:39:25 PM PST
Brooks Laich and Tomas Fleischmann each scored to lead the Washington Capitals to a 3-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Alex Ovechkin added an empty-net goal in the final minute for the Capitals, his fifth of the season.

Washington's Alexander Semin - the NHL scoring leader entering the game with 27 points - left the game late in the second period with an undisclosed injury. The team said his status is day-to-day.

The Devils (7-7-2) have lost four in a row. The Capitals (10-4-2), on the other hand, reached 10 wins faster than any previous team since the 1991-92 team started 10-3-0.

Jose Theodore's only blemish was a late breakaway goal against his 32 saves.

Laich scored the Capitals' first goal, deflecting a shot by Ovechkin. On a power play midway through the first period, Ovechkin took a pass from Mike Green by the blue line, skated to his left and fired from near the top of the left circle. Ovechkin was initially given credit for the goal, but it was Laich who ended up with his fourth goal of the season.

The Capitals got some breathing room with another score late in the second period.

Victor Kozlov brought the puck out from behind the net and found Fleischmann in the left circle. Fleischmann hammered home the shot for a 2-0 lead with 1:29 left.

New Jersey avoided a shutout when Patrick Elias scored on a breakaway at the 11:55 mark in the third period, sending his shot right between Theodore's legs.

The Capitals had several other scoring opportunities, the best of which came in the game's opening minute. Tom Poti had a shot at the left side of the net after New Jersey goalie Scott Clemmensen slid to the right, but Poti's shot bounced off the post.

Notes: The two teams meet again Saturday in New Jersey, the only time this season Washington plays the same opponent in back-to-back games. The Devils played a similar home-and-home series against Philadelphia earlier this year, going 0-1-1. ... Capitals C Michael Nylander was a healthy scratch. ... Kozlov's assist on Fleischmann's goal was his 500th career point.


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