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WASHINGTON (AP) -The Washington Capitals scored three time a 2 1/2-minute span in the third period Wednesday night, igniting a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks and giving the Eastern Conference's top team its longest winning streak in 26 years.

Shaone Morrisonn, Mike Knuble and Alexander Semin scored on consecutive shots early in the third period to break open a tie game, helping the Capitals win their eighth straight - their best run since taking a franchise-record 10 in a row in 1983-84.

Alex Ovechkin scored his 34th goal in the first period and had two assists in the third, while Semin added another goal - his 25th of the season - on a 5-on-3 power play in the third. Since Ovechkin became captain on Jan. 5, Washington has won 11 of 12 games and scored at least four goals in all but one of them.

Michal Neuvirth, the goalie by default because of injuries to Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov, made 30 saves for the Capitals. Dan Sexton scored for the Ducks, who have lost three of four on their season-high six-game trip.

NEW YORK (AP) - Patrick Dwyer and Eric Staal scored in a 25-second span early in the first period, and Staal and Sergei Samsonov each finished with two goals to help Carolina hand New York its fourth straight loss.

Cam Ward, playing in his 20th straight game, made 37 saves for Carolina, which has an Eastern Conference-low 41 points. Ryan Callahan scored for the Rangers.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Jason Pominville and Jochen Hecht scored shootout goals, and Buffalo held off New Jersey to snap a four-game winless streak.

Adam Mair scored in regulation, and Ryan Miller finished with 39 saves for Buffalo. Brian Rolston scored, and Martin Brodeur made 30 saves for New Jersey.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Vincent Lecavalier scored a nifty goal with his stick between his legs and added an assist, and Antero Niittymaki made 33 saves for Tampa Bay for his first shutout of the season and fifth overall.

Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos also scored for Tampa Bay, which has its first three-game winning streak since beating the Canadiens on Jan. 27, 2009.

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