ATLANTA (AP) -- Maxime Ouellet admits he was ill-prepared when he made his
first NHL start three seasons ago.
Ouellet made it look easy in his second start, making 37 saves Tuesday night
to complement Robert Lang's two-goal, two-assist in the Washington Capitals'
5-0 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night.
"I was less nervous than I thought I would be but I had a chance to have
two shots in the first minute and it really helped me out to just relax," the
22-year-old Ouellet said.
Ouellet was 19 when he made his first start with the Philadelphia Flyers in
2000-01, giving up two goals to Brett Hull and losing 3-1 to Dallas and
goaltender Ed Belfour.
"I was so young when I played that first game. I wasn't really ready for
it," he said. "I remember how easy it looked for Belfour to make saves and
that really impressed me."
The victory was the second in three starts for new Washington coach Glen
Hanlon, who replaced the fired Bruce Cassidy last week.
Lang's performance gave him 40 points, moving him a point ahead of Detroit's
Pavel Datsyuk for the league lead.
"I think everybody's excited. New system. Everybody's sort of like
rejuvenated," Lang said. "Tonight was just one of those nights. Everybody
wanted to win and wanted to be part of it."
The Capitals played the final two periods without Jaromir Jagr who was
slashed on the hand late in the first period. He is not expected to play
Wednesday against Florida.
The loss halted Atlanta's franchise-best home winning streak at three games
and also ended a three-game winning streak for Atlanta goalie Byron Dafoe. It
also was second straight game Atlanta had been shut out.
"It's very plain and simple, we got outworked. We got outplayed and
basically never touched the puck," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said.
Brian Willsie opened the scoring for Washington at 12:36 of the first period
when Lang's pass bounced off an Atlanta defender to Kip Miller, who slid a pass
to Willsie at the side of the net. Miller then scored on a late first-period
power play to open a 2-0 lead.
Washington made it 3-0 midway through the second period when Lang fired a
rising shot over Dafoe's left shoulder.
Lang beat Dafoe with a high, fluttering shot 1:34 into the third period and
Peter Bondra rounded out the scoring with a 5-on-3 power play goal.