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NHL Capsules @NHL

WASHINGTON (AP) -Brian Pothier scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Washington Capitals won their fourth in a row without Alex Ovechkin, beating the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Friday night.

Mike Green scored in the second period for the Capitals, Brooks Laich added an empty-net goal in the final minute, and Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves. Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Wild, 2-9-1 on the road this season.

Ovechkin has missed five games because of an upper-body injury but is expected back any day - perhaps as early as Saturday night at New Jersey.

Josh Harding made 38 saves for the Wild.

ATLANTA (AP) - Ilya Kovalchuk and Maxim Afinogenov each had two goals and two assists for Atlanta, and Ondrej Pavelec made 38 saves for his first career shutout.

Thrashers rookie Evander Kane, the fourth overall draft pick, also scored two goals and had an assist. Kovalchuk, who returned the night before in New York from a broken foot bone that sidelined him for three weeks, has seven points in the last two games.

Zach Bogosian also scored to help Atlanta win its third straight game.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Jason Pominville scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout, and Ryan Miller made 25 saves for Buffalo.

Pominville beat Miikka Kiprusoff with a wrist shot that went between the goalie's legs. Miller then stopped Rene Bourque's attempt to secure the bonus point.

Derek Roy scored in regulation for the Sabres. Daymond Langkow scored for Calgary, and Kiprusoff made 32 saves. The Flames had won four straight.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Rick Nash scored the shootout winner and also had a goal in regulation for Columbus, and Mathieu Garon stopped both Anaheim shooters in the tiebreaker after making 32 saves in regulation and overtime.

Kristian Huselius also scored in the shootout and had a goal and an assist for Columbus, which rebounded from a 9-1 loss to Detroit on Wednesday night.

Bobby Ryan and Todd Marchant scored for Anaheim.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Kyle Okposo scored with 14.4 second left in overtime, and rookie John Tavares had his first two-goal game to help New York extend Carolina's winless streak to 14 games - matching the franchise record.

Mark Streit added a goal, and Martin Biron made 25 saves for New York. Tuomo Ruutu, Ray Whitney and Tim Gleason scored for Carolina.

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