Skip to main content


Capitals 3, Thrashers 2, SO @NHL

WASHINGTON (AP) - Until someone proves they can stop him, rookie Alex Ovechkin will keep using his stutter-step move in the shootout.

Ovechkin scored the only shootout goal Friday night, lifting the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

``He had three or four moves in the space of four or five feet,'' Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. ``Pretty impressive.''

Ovechkin, Washington's first shooter, deked goalie Mike Dunham off his skates and then pushed the puck under his right leg.

``I was lucky,'' Ovechkin said.

Luckier than the Thrashers, who couldn't coax a goal out of their snipers, much to the dismay of coach Bob Hartley. Olaf Kolzig only had to make one real save.

``Olie's a big-sized goalie and he has an advantage in the shootout,'' Hartley said.

Atlanta didn't make it too tough on Kolzig, however.

Ilya Kovalchuk shot wide left and Marian Hossa fired wide right before Kolzig gobbled up Peter Bondra's attempt that would have prolonged the Thrashers' first shootout.

Kolzig expected his former teammate to try to shoot to his blocker side, not push the puck into his gut.

``I was wondering if he was thinking that's where I knew he was going,'' Kolzig said. ``He went glove side, I got a piece of it and, well, poetic justice.''

Bryan Muir and Jakub Klepis scored in regulation for Washington, which had lost six of eight and was coming off an 8-1 drubbing in Philadelphia on Thursday.

``We bounce back quick,'' Kolzig said.

Muir's goal broke a 47-game goal drought, dating to March 30, 2002, when he played for Colorado. Klepis, recalled from Hershey of the AHL earlier Friday, scored in his NHL debut.

Bondra and Bobby Holik had goals for Atlanta, which had outscored Washington 15-4 in two victories earlier this season. The Thrashers had won three straight from the Capitals.

Bondra has four goals this season against Washington.

Atlanta was 0-for-6 on the power play and failed to score a man-advantage goal for the first time in six games.

Bondra broke a scoreless tie 2:17 into the second period. He beat Mathieu Biron to a bouncing puck in the neutral zone, skated down the left wing and backhanded his own rebound past Kolzig.

Washington then scored on consecutive shots in a 46-second span later in the period for a 2-1 lead.

Muir tied it at 9:39, taking a feed from Shaone Morrisonn, driving the left wing and beating Dunham from close range.

Klepis then notched his first NHL goal, scoring off a wrist shot deep in the right circle that Dunham was slow to react to.

With 11:05 left in regulation, Ovechkin appeared to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead, but the goal was disallowed because he played the puck with a high stick.

``It was a clean goal,'' Ovechkin said. ``My stick was (level). If the referee said goal, we win the game.''

Just 57 seconds later, Holik put his own rebound through Kolzig's legs from the right circle for a 2-2 tie.

Notes: Capitals RW Chris Clark was fined $2,000 by the NHL on Friday for elbowing Philadelphia's Eric Desjardins in the head in Thursday's game. ... The addition of Klepis gives the Capitals 14 first-round draft choices on their roster. ... Washington scratched C Petr Sykora (back), RW Matt Bradley (groin) and D Nolan Yonkman (hip pointer). ... Atlanta played without RW Scott Mellanby (groin) and C Patrik Stefan (oblique strain).

View More