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Web site goalie as backup, Caps top Sens

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Back in his usual role as a Web site producer for the Washington Capitals, Brett Leonhardt shook his head in disbelief as he videotaped Brent Johnson answer questions about - who else? - Brett Leonhardt.

Johnson made 32 saves in Washington's 5-1 home victory over Ottawa on Friday night, but shared the attention with Leonhardt, the 6-foot-7 former college goalie who was on the bench for the first 10 minutes because of an injury.

"Every dream come true," Leonhardt said. "Growing up in Canada, playing since I was 4. It was just very surreal. It was a blur. Went by real quick."

Leonhardt's moment in the spotlight overshadowed the returns of Sergei Fedorov and Mike Green to the lineup in a dominating performance.

Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich and Green scored for the first time this month, Alex Ovechkin had his 16th and 17th goals, and Johnson won his fourth straight decision.

"Sometimes when you see the adversity of the goaltending situation like it was evolving today, the players dig deeper for a teammate, for Johnnie," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said, "and I thought we played a pretty good game."

Jesse Winchester spoiled Johnson's shutout bid, scoring with 2:23 left.

In other NHL games Friday night, it was: Boston 7, Atlanta 3; Dallas 3, Detroit 1; New Jersey 8, the New York Rangers 5; Florida 3, Calgary 2 in a shootout; Chicago 4, Colorado 3; and Toronto 2, Buffalo 1.

Fedorov, who missed 16 of 17 games because of a sprained ankle, had three assists. Green, sidelined 11 games by a shoulder problem, added two assists.

A Division III goalie at Oswego State and Neumann College who has worked for the Capitals for about a year, the 26-year-old Leonhardt signed an amateur tryout contract after backup Jose Theodore injured a hip flexor during the morning skate.

If Leonhardt had played, he would have tied the St. Louis' Ben Bishop as the tallest goalie ever to see action in an NHL game. Instead, Leonhardt became an instant celebrity.

"We had a little chat about what happens during warmup, and he was like, 'What? What am I going to do?"' Johnson said. "It was pretty funny."

Leonhardt's brief career ended when Simeon Varlamov, recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League, arrived midway through the first period.

At Atlanta, Phil Kessel had a goal and two assists to extend his NHL-best points streak to 14 games, and Boston scored four times on its first five shots.

Kessel had an assist in the first-period spree, then added a power-play goal and another assist in the third period. He leads Boston with 18 goals.

Defenseman Mark Stuart had two goals, and Zdeno Chara, Michael Ryder, Stephane Yelle and Milan Lucic also scored. Boris Valabik scored his first NHL goal for Atlanta, and Todd White and Slava Kozlov added goals.

At Dallas, Marty Turco made 37 saves, and Tom Wandell scored his first NHL goal to help Dallas beat Detroit in the first meeting between the clubs since last season's Western Conference finals.

Turco, the former University of Michigan star who came into the game with a 3.41 goals-against average, made 29 saves in the final two periods. Fabian Brunnstrom also scored, and Mike Ribeiro added an empty-net goal.

Brett Lebda scored for Detroit. Last season, the Red Wings beat Dallas in six games in the conference finals en route to their 11th Stanley Cup title.

At Newark, N.J., Patrik Elias broke a tie with 8:31 left to help New Jersey beat New York for the first time in 12 regular-season games.

Elias scored 11 seconds after Ryan Callahan scored the Rangers' fourth straight goal to tie it at 5. Travis Zajac scored twice, and Brian Gionta, Dainius Zubrus, Jamie Langenbrunner, Jay Pandolfo and Johnny Oduya also scored for New Jersey. Nikolai Zherdev, Markus Naslund, Scott Gomez and Paul Mara added goals for New York.

At Calgary, Alberta, Stephen Weiss scored the lone shootout goal for Florida, deking to the backhand before slipping the puck through Miikka Kiprusoff's pads.

Tomas Vokoun made 17 of his 35 saves in the third period, and turned aside all three Calgary shooters in the tiebreaker.

Kamil Kreps and Jay Bouwmeester also scored for Florida. The Panthers have won three straight and five in a row on the road. Rene Bourque scored twice for Calgary.

At Denver, Dustin Byfuglien gave Chicago coach Joel Quenneville a happy homecoming, scoring twice to help the Blackhawks snap a four-game road winless streak.

Quenneville, jettisoned in the offseason after leading Colorado to a .579 winning percentage in the last three seasons, is 13-4-6 since taking over as Chicago's coach in mid-October. The Blackhawks are 14-6-7 overall.

Andrew Ladd and Craig Adams added goals for Chicago. Chris Stewart, Ian Laperriere and Wojtek Wolski scored for Colorado.

At Buffalo, N.Y., Ian White broke a tie with 7:56 left in the third period, Vesa Toskala made 24 saves, and Jeremy Williams also scored for Toronto.

Toni Lydman scored for Buffalo.

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