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Washington Capitals 5, Carolina Hurricanes 3 FINAL @NHLdotcom

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ On paper, the Carolina Hurricanes should have no problem with the Washington Capitals. On the ice, it's another matter.

Bates Battaglia broke a third-period tie and Peter Bondra scored twice to help Washington beat the Hurricanes 5-3 Thursday night.

Carolina leads the Capitals in the Southeast Division standings and outshot them 35-19 Thursday night. But Washington has won five straight against the Hurricanes dating to last season.

``Sometimes the shot clock isn't always indicative of what happens in a game,'' Carolina goaltender Kevin Weekes said. ``They're a highly skilled team. You give them time and space and power-play opportunities, they're going to capitalize.''

Bondra had one of Washington's two goals on the power play. He assisted on the other.

Washington defenseman Jason Doig, who gave Rangers star Eric Lindros a concussion with a hard, clean hit Wednesday night, collided with Carolina's Kevyn Adams in the first period. Adams departed with an injured left knee.

Carolina jumped to an 8-1 lead in shots midway through the first period. But with Battaglia off the ice for holding, the Capitals held the Hurricanes without a shot on the power play _ and through the rest of the period.

``That took the momentum, maybe some of the wind from their sails,'' Bondra said. ``That was the key for us, and slowly we started getting back in the game.''

He credited the team's power play _ fourth in the NHL going into the game _ and goaltender Olaf Kolzig, who stopped several excellent Carolina scoring chances in the third period.

``Olie kept us in. We all know it. He made some unbelievable saves and that's the reason we won the game,'' Bondra said.

Justin Williams, who had one goal and one assist in his first five games with the Hurricanes since he was acquired in a Jan. 20 trade with Philadelphia, scored twice in the second period.

``It doesn't give me any solace,'' he said. ``Instead of finding ways to win games, we're finding ways to lose them and we're in a playoff race.''

Carolina's Bret Hedican tied the score 3-3 midway through the third, dropping close to the net on a power play to flip a pass from Ron Francis past Kolzig.

But Battaglia tapped in a cross-crease pass from Anson Carter with 6:13 left to make it 4-3. The assist was Carter's first with the Capitals since he was acquired for Jaromir Jagr in a Jan. 23 trade with the New York Rangers.

Mike Grier added an empty-net goal with 57 seconds remaining.

Both of Bondra's goals also came in the second. Weekes thought he had stopped a slap shot by Brendan Witt, but Bondra jarred the puck loose from Weekes' sleeve to make it 2-1 at 6:44.

With Williams off for a tripping penalty, Bondra scored on his own slap shot at 8:14 to make it 3-1.

Williams came back with his second goal at 9:49, a sharp-angle shot through Kolzig's legs to cut Washington's lead to 3-2. He scored the Hurricanes' first goal on an unassisted rush three minutes into the period to tie the score at 1.

Robert Lang, second in the NHL in points coming in, opened the scoring with less than a minute left in the first period. Lang, alone in the left circle on a Washington power play, snapped the puck through a crowd in front of Weekes.

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