RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Alexander Semin had two goals and three assists to move take the NHL scoring lead, and the Washington Capitals routed the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 on Wednesday night to take sole possession of the Southeast Division lead.
Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists, and Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and three assists for the quick-starting Capitals. They led 3-1 after one period and cruised to their third straight victory.
Mike Green added a goal and an assist for Washington.
Scott Walker scored on a power play for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost three of four to fall two points behind Washington.
The Capitals dominated from start to finish, and Semin had a hand in all five goals. He scored his 13th on a one-time feed from Ovechkin midway through the second period to move one ahead of Buffalo's Thomas Vanek.
Semin has 27 points, three more than Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin. The Washington star had his second multigoal game in six days against the Hurricanes, giving him 17 career goals against Carolina - his most against any team.
Washington's Jose Theodore stopped 13 shots in the final two periods in relief of Brent Johnson, who made 13 saves but appeared to injure his groin late in the first and did not return after the break, though no injury was announced during the game.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - 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 span of 2:08 to turn a one-goal deficit into a 3-1 lead before 10 minutes elapsed 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.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - 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 in the final seconds.
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 NHL's second star of the week after winning his first three starts last week.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - 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 to help the Sabres snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 9-3-3. The Sabres also stopped an eight-game home winless streak against St. Louis that dated to October 1995.
David Perron had a goal and two assists, and Lee Stempniak and Patrik Berglund had a goal and an assist each for the Blues. St. Louis is winless in its last six, with five regulation losses in that span, to drop to 5-8-1.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - 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, and Jay Bouwmeester had two assists. The Panthers have won two straight following a six-game losing streak.
Anderson, making his second consecutive start in place of regular starter Tomas Vokoun, had his fifth career shutout.