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Capitals' Alex tandem teams to beat Hurricanes @NHL

The Hurricanes were no match for the Alexes.

Alexander Semin had two goals and three assists to take the NHL goals and points leads, and linemate Alex Ovechkin added two goals and an assist in the Washington Capitals' 5-1 victory in Carolina on Wednesday night.

"I hope he's going to play the same way - he's going to be the best player in the league," Ovechkin said. "What can you say about our line? We controlled the game, controlled the puck."

Nicklas Backstrom, the third member of the line, had a goal and three assists to help Washington take sole possession of the Southeast Division lead with its fourth straight victory. Mike Green added a goal and an assist for the Capitals.

In other NHL games Wednesday night, it was: the New York Rangers 5, New Jersey 2; Boston 2, Chicago 1 in a shootout; Phoenix 5, Columbus 2; Colorado 2, Vancouver 1 in a shootout; Florida 4, Tampa Bay 0; and Buffalo 4, St. Louis 3.

In Raleigh, N.C., Scott Walker scored on the power play for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost three of four to fall two points behind Washington.

"We're only fooling ourselves if we think we're playing the right way now," Walker said. "It's not a matter of systems or any design out there. You have to want the puck more than they do. ... We're just not getting it done, plain and simple."

Semin had a hand in all five goals. He scored his 13th goal on a one-time feed from Ovechkin midway through the second period to move one ahead of Buffalo's Thomas Vanek for the NHL lead. Semin has 27 points, three more than Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin.

Semin's second multigoal game in six days against Carolina gave him 17 career goals against the Hurricanes - his most against any team.

Jose Theodore stopped 13 shots in the final two periods in relief of Brent Johnson. After making 13 saves in first, Johnson left because of a hip injury.

At Newark, N.J., Michal Rozsival and Nikolai Zherdev scored during two-man advantages in New York's four-goal second period, and the Rangers routed Martin Brodeur-less New Jersey.

For only the third time in 101 meetings with the Devils over 15 years, the Rangers faced a goalie other than Brodeur and made the most of the opportunity. Brodeur, the four-time Vezina Trophy winner, is sidelined by a torn biceps muscle in his left arm.

Rozsival, Chris Drury, and Lauri Korpikoski - with his first NHL regular-season goal - scored against backup Kevin Weekes in a 2:08 span to turn a one-goal deficit into a 3-1 lead in the second. Zherdev added New York's second 5-on-3 goal of the period with 4:10 left to make it 4-1. Zherdev added his second of the night 9:51 into the third against backup goalie Scott Clemmensen.

Travis Zajac and Jamie Langenbrunner scored for New Jersey.

At Chicago, P.J. Axelsson scored in the third round of a shootout for Boston to spoil a big night for Chicago that began with the retirement of No. 3 in honor of Pierre Pilote and the late Keith Magnuson.

Blake Wheeler also scored in the shootout to help the Bruins run their winning streak to four games. Patrick Kane had a shootout goal for Chicago. The Blackhawks remained unbeaten in regulation at home (6-0-3), but their winning streak ended at four.

Boston's Marco Sturm and Chicago's Jonathan Toews scored power-play goals in regulation. Boston's Tim Thomas made 32 saves, including an easy pad stop on Patrick Sharp's penalty shot in overtime. The Bruins are 7-1-0 in their last eight games.

At Columbus, Ohio, Shane Doan had two goals and an assist and Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves in Phoenix's third straight victory.

Steve Reinprecht and Kevin Porter added goals for Phoenix, and Martin Hanzal had an empty-netter after Doan's try for a hat trick hit the post.

Rick Nash picked up his first goal in 10 games, and Derick Brassard also scored for Columbus. Columbus goalie Steve Mason lost for the first time in his career. He was the NHL's second star of the week after winning his first three starts last week.

At Vancouver, British Columbia, Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos scored in a shootout and Peter Budaj made 31 saves in regulation and overtime for Colorado.

Alex Burrows matched Wolski's opening goal in the third round for Vancouver, but Svatos won it with Colorado's final shot, roofing a shot over Roberto Luongo's glove.

Paul Stastny's power-play goal 1:28 into the third period ended Luongo's franchise-record shutout streak at 242 minutes, 36 seconds. Taylor Pyatt scored on a second-period penalty shot for the Canucks, but Budaj, coming off a 1-0 victory in his last start, stopped Pyatt and Kyle Wellwood in the shootout.

At Sunrise, Fla., Craig Anderson made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season and Gregory Campbell had two goals and an assist for Florida.

Bryan McCabe and Nathan Horton also scored. Anderson had his fifth career shutout.

At Buffalo, N.Y., Ryan Miller made 30 saves and Tim Connolly, Adam Mair and Henrik Tallinder each had a goal and an assist for Buffalo.

Jason Pominville also scored for Buffalo. David Perron, Lee Stempniak and Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis.

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