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Washington ends three-game losing skid, defeats Atlanta 5-3

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WASHINGTON - Alex Ovechkin had his sixth career hat trick and added an assist to help the Washington Capitals end a three-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night.

Eric Fehr and Viktor Kozlov added goals for Washington.

Bryan Little, Slava Kozlov and Nathan Oystrick scored goals for Atlanta.

Ovechkin needed a little more than a period to score three times. He gave Washington an early lead with his power-play goal 3:29 into the game. Eric Fehr made it 2-0 at 7:33 of the first period by finishing a perfect cross from Tomas Fleischmann.

Ovechkin scored his second power-play goal off Viktor Kozlov pass with 5:59 left in the period for a 3-1 lead. Ovechkin's third goal came on a quick shot from between the circles after a quick pass from Tom Poti 54 seconds into the second period. Ovechkin assisted on Viktor Kozlov's third-period goal and has 10 goals and 14 assists in November.

The injury-riddled Capitals needed Ovechkin's help because they were missing seven players from their roster. Chris Clark (stress fracture of forearm), Jeff Schultz (broken finger), Boyd Gordon (back) and John Erskine (undisclosed) were hurt Monday night in a loss to Minnesota.

They joined Alexander Semin (back), Mike Green (shoulder), Sergei Federov (ankle), each of whom have been out with injuries. Schultz will be out 4-6 weeks, while Clark is expected to miss at least three weeks.

The rest are all considered day-to-day.

The injuries forced Washington to recall defenceman Karl Alzner and Sami Lepisto, right wing Graham Mink and left wing Christopher Bourque from Hershey of the AHL.

Despite playing with an inexperienced defense, the Capitals shut down the Thrashers with goalie Jose Theodore making 15 saves. Washington held a 33-18 edge in shots.

Notes: Alzner made his NHL debut. ... Ovechkin has scored points in nine straight games. ... Slava Kozlov has played in 141 straight games.

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