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Viktor Kozlov scores twice in Capitals' 4-2 win over Blues

NHL.com @NHL

WASHINGTON - Viktor Kozlov had two goals and an assist, and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to five games with a 4-2 victory over the struggling St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Tomas Fleischmann and Alex Ovechkin also scored for the Capitals, who have won seven of eight overall and improved to 13-1-1 at home. Simeon Varlamov, summoned from Hershey of the AHL because Jose Theodore is sidelined due to a hip flexor injury, made 29 saves. He has won both of his NHL starts.

David Backes scored for the third consecutive game, and Brad Winchester also had a goal for the Blues, who have dropped a season-worst five straight.

Three Capitals goals in a span of 3:07 beginning late in the second period turned a 1-1 tie into a one-sided affair. Washington notched its 20th victory in its 33rd game. Last season, it took the Capitals 46 games and until Jan. 17 to reach that mark.

Kozlov broke a scoreless duel 16:14 into the first period with his sixth goal. He took a pass from Nicklas Backstrom in the left corner, skated out and snapped a shot over the right shoulder of goalie Ben Bishop.

A tip-in by Backes tied it midway through the second period. Backes skated to the left post, where he deflected Jay McClement's fluttering shot from the left wing.

Kozlov and Fleischmann scored 40 seconds apart late in the second period, giving Washington a 3-1 lead.

Trailing the play, Kozlov backhanded Boyd Gordon's rebound past Bishop at 17:06. Fleischmann, left unguarded between the circles, snapped in his 11th goal.

Just 13 seconds into the third period, Ovechkin took Kozlov's feed and converted on a power play from the top of the left circle.

Winchester's power-play goal made it 4-2 with 8:26 left.

Notes: Kozlov's previous two-goal game was on Jan. 21, 2008, at Pittsburgh. ... Washington played without D Tyler Sloan (leg) and C Sergei Fedorov (ankle). ... St. Louis D Tyson Strachan made his NHL debut. ... The Capitals' winning streak matches a season high set from Nov. 6-14.

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