WASHINGTON (AP) _ When it became crowded in front of the net, the Chicago
Blackhawks got what they were looking for _ a power-play goal by Tuomo Ruuttu
against the Washington Capitals.
Ruuttu made his second goal of the game a winner Friday night. He knocked
the rebound of a shot by Bryan Berard past Olaf Kolzig with 6:22 remaining,
giving the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Capitals.
With the game tied after Brian Willsie's short-handed goal, Chicago was
given another chance on the power play. Berard, who had earlier scored on a
five-on-three in the second period, sent a shot to the front that Ruuttu
slipped behind Kolzig.
The gave Chicago its first win in seven games.
``You've got to have traffic in front,'' Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter said.
``You can have God in goal, but if you can't see what's coming at him, it might
go between his legs.''
Jason Strudwick also scored for Chicago, which has a power-play goal in
eight straight games.
Jeff Halpern scored on the power play in the first period for Washington,
but the Capitals couldn't solve Adam Munro on a five-on-three inside the final
Munro finished with 27 saves for his first NHL victory, becoming the fifth
Chicago goaltender to win a game this season.
``On a five-on-three you have to score,'' Halpern said. ``As good or bad as
you play, you have to score on that. It cost us at least a tie.''
Ruuttu's goals gave the Blackhawks their only leads of the night.
He also broke a 2-2 tie when he hustled to keep the puck in the attacking
zone. Tyler Arnason collected the puck but lost control of in front of the net.
The loose puck ended up right on the stick of Ruuttu, who beat Kolzig for his
16th goal of the season.
``I feel like I can do much more than I could earlier in the year,'' Ruuttu
said. ``I'm more inside of the game right now. It must come to you. If you
think about it too much, it never comes to you.''
The Blackhawks needed to find some offense in the second period after being
held with a shot for more than 14 minutes in the first.
Strudwick scored at 2:50 in the second period to offset Halpern's
first-period goal. Berard's goal on a two-man advantage tied the game at 2.
``You score two goals in the league this time of year you should have a
chance to win the game,'' Sutter said. ``Three goals should guarantee you a
Stephen Peat's fourth goal of the season, at 9:09 of the second period, gave
the Capitals a 2-1 lead.