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Ramo lifts Flames by Capitals; Ovechkin scoreless

by Katie Brown /

WASHINGTON -- Three weeks ago, Calgary Flames goaltender Karri Ramo was playing for Stockton of the American Hockey League. He was put on waivers after losing his first three starts of the season.

Ramo, who was recalled on Oct. 29 when starter Jonas Hiller was injured, made 34 saves in his seventh consecutive start, a 3-2 overtime win against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Friday.

Ramo is 4-3-0 in those seven games, including a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

"You could see signs that his game was building [over] the past [few] games," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "We could see the Karri that we saw last year, and last night right away I asked him 'How do you feel?' and he didn't answer that question. He said, 'I want to play.' He came back with another strong performance and he was the player of the game for us."

Sean Monahan had two goals, including 1:40 into overtime, and Michael Frolik scored for the Flames (6-11-1). Calgary has won four of its past six games and is 4-0-0 in overtime.

"We played really good, as we played last night," Ramo said. "Both teams were tired at the start, and it's slow hockey, but we stuck with it. We got better as the game went on and we got the lead (2-0); obviously we want to keep it and not go into overtime, but it's part of the game and those points count."

Jay Beagle and Michael Latta scored for the Capitals (11-4-1). Goalie Philipp Grubauer started his third game of the season and made 29 saves in his home debut.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had three shots on goal and has not scored for three consecutive games since tying Sergei Fedorov for most NHL goals scored by a Russian-born player (483) last Saturday.

"I haven't talked to him about it, but the best advice I can give him is to play your normal game," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "He's scored a gazillion goals in this league, and to our team: Don't look for Ovi to score that goal. Don't overpass. He's scored a lot of goals. Play the way we play, and I guarantee you, he will score that goal, and he'll score many after that."

Frolik gave the Flames a 1-0 lead at 7:35 of the second period. Forward Mikael Backlund's shot bounced off Grubauer, creating a rebound that found forward Sam Bennett along the boards. Bennett spun to beat Capitals forward Jason Chimera and fed the puck to Frolik in the slot, where his wrist shot beat Grubauer on his blocker side. The goal was Frolik's fourth of the season.

Monahan scored 1:32 into the third period for a 2-0 lead. Forward Jiri Hudler fed Monahan with a stretch pass in the neutral zone, and Monahan skated unchallenged into the Capitals zone and scored on Grubauer from the high slot. It was his fifth goal of the season.

Monahan has four goals in his past six games. His overtime goal was reviewed for offside but was ruled a good goal.

"I didn't think it was offside," Monahan said. "I watched [T.J. Brodie] carry the puck over the line and I tried to time it. I was pretty confident that it was a good goal. … It's nice to get one there and we won in OT. We'll have to build off that now and keep that with us going into Chicago (on Sunday)."

Latta scored at 5:41 of the third period to make it 2-1. Forward Brooks Laich sent a pass to Latta in front of the net, and Latta whacked his rebound past Ramo for his first goal since Nov. 15, 2013, a span of 66 games played.

"We've got a lot of great character in this room," Latta said. "It shows. We could've had a couple more in the third. I feel like we've got a great group in here. We never give up, that's for sure."

Beagle tied the game 2-2 at 15:12 of the third, his third goal of the season. Andre Burakovsky passed from the top of the right circle to Beagle in front; he sent his rebound past Ramo.

The Capitals won 5-2 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

"This morning we talked about character and competing on every shift," Hartley said. "I give the Caps lots of credit, they played last night, they overcame a two-goal deficit. I felt that once they tied, we kind of regained our composure. We were under siege in part of the third period but once again [Brodie] carried on that play and what a shot by [Monahan]."

Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik missed his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury.

Trotz coached his 1,294th game, tying Jacques Martin for 10th in NHL games coached.

"With a caliber of hockey team that we have, we expected more," Laich said. "I know it's three games in four nights, but they traveled last night too, they played last night. There's no excuses. If you look at our hockey team, I think it's a game that we should've had. It's unfortunate that we didn't get it."

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