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Capitals snap slump by beating Ducks 7-6 @NHLdotcom
Alexander Semin and the Washington Capitals put an end to their slumps on Wednesday night.

Semin completed his seventh career hat trick by scoring the tying and go-ahead goals in the final minutes, and the Capitals dramatically rallied to snap their three-game skid with a 7-6 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.

Semin tied it with 8:23 to play and put the Capitals ahead with 1:47 left, ending his 17-game goal drought. The Russian scored 18 goals and had three hat tricks in the Capitals' first 25 games, but hadn't scored since Nov. 28 while missing 15 games with injuries.

"It could be a game that gets us out of the kind of spell we were in," said Mike Knuble, who scored early in the third period. "We gave up six goals, so it was really good to score seven and actually win a game the old way, like we were used to winning. The goalies will take the heat for everything that went on, but there was some sloppy play and some lax defense on both sides at times."

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry had a goal and 3 assists apiece for the Ducks, whose four-game winning streak ended despite an offensive barrage in their highest-scoring game in a month.

Washington rallied against Anaheim backup Curtis McElhinney, who made just 24 saves while filling in for ailing All-Star Jonas Hiller.

"I'm terribly disappointed in our hockey team tonight," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "It seemed like we lost all of our focus on the things that we've done in the previous three weeks or a month. It was one of those games where we didn't do enough things right, other than score six goals. When you score six goals, you should win a hockey game. That is for sure."

Alex Ovechkin had an early goal and an assist for the Capitals, who gave up six goals for the first time since Nov. 26 on the second stop of a five-game road trip.
"I can't remember the last time we scored six goals in a game, or seven," said Ovechkin, who had a highlight-reel goal and an assist. "It was a fun game for us and a fun game to play. All the goals we scored were working-hard goals. It was very good for us."

Michal Neuvirth stopped just nine shots in the final two periods after Semyon Varlamov was pulled by Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau for yielding three goals on nine shots in the first period.

Brooks Laich and David Steckel also scored for Washington.

"We fell behind so many times and we never quit," Boudreau said. "When you can do that when you've lost three in a row, it's sometimes really tough because you get down … but they were very resilient today."

After Bobby Ryan put the Ducks ahead 6-5 early in the third period on a break with Perry and Getzlaf, Semin evened it on a rebound when an awkward shot forced McElhinney to deflect a puck with his shoulder. In the final minutes, Semin forced a turnover in the corner, skated unimpeded to the net and flicked a backhand home.

Teemu Selanne scored in his third straight game, Toni Lydman scored his first goal since Oct. 17, and Lubomir Visnovsky also scored for Anaheim, but the Ducks blew a chance to move into first place in the crowded Pacific Division in their only home game in a three-week stretch.

Getzlaf played his first home game in more than two months after missing 14 games with broken bones in his face, and defenseman Francois Beauchemin returned to Anaheim for the first time since the Ducks reacquired the veteran defenseman in a trade last week.

"It was frustrating and a difficult night," McElhinney said. "The offense put up six goals and we end up giving up seven. A better performance was needed from me tonight and it wasn't there. It's disheartening to let the boys down like that."
Washington played without star defenseman Mike Green, who missed his second straight game with an apparent head injury. He also missed a game earlier in the month after getting hit in the head with a puck on Feb. 6.

Perry scored his 29th goal shorthanded, putting the Ducks ahead 4-2 in the second period. After a tongue-lashing from Boudreau during a timeout, Washington promptly tied it with goals from Steckel and Semin.

"You need 20 guys doing what they do best," Boudreau said. "Everybody just dug deep and did their job."

Visnovsky put the Ducks ahead late in the second period with his 400th NHL point, but Knuble tied it early in the third with a breakaway goal when Visnovsky fell down while chasing him.

"We've been playing well lately and have been able to beat some good teams on the road," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "There is no reason why we should come back in our building and put on an effort like that. There is no excuse. We are in a big part of the season here.

"All these points matter and you can't put that kind of effort out there. I don't think anybody in this room is happy with how they played."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report
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