Slumping Capitals Break Out Against Canes
The Washington Capitals knew they were bound to have a game like this.
``We’ve got too much firepower up front to keep us off the scoreboard for too long,″ goaltender Olaf Kolzig said. ``Tonight, the floodgates opened up a little.″
Robert Lang recorded the first hat trick of his career and Dainius Zubrus scored twice to lead the struggling Capitals past the Carolina Hurricanes 7-1 on Wednesday night.
The Capitals had lost 10 of their last 12 coming in, and Kolzig had called the team’s early season play ``embarrassing″ following a loss to Los Angeles on Monday.
``It’s tough to feel positive with the start we’ve had,″ Zubrus said. ``I hope we don’t get too down and hopefully this win will give us confidence.″
Elsewhere in the NHL, it was: the New York Rangers 6, Pittsburgh 2; New Jersey 2, Buffalo 2; Calgary 6, Chicago 2; Detroit 6, Dallas 2, and Anaheim 5, Toronto 1.
Robert Willsie and Alexander Semin also scored for Washington, which had its highest-scoring game of the season.
Four goals were scored _ three by Washington _ in a span of 1:16 in the third period.
Zubrus started the spurt when he scored his second goal of the night 3:34 into the period, a goal that knocked Carolina goalie Kevin Weekes out of the game.
Semin followed with a goal 4:15 into the period, which was answered by Carolina’s Ryan Bayda 19 seconds later. Lang ended the scoring spree 16 seconds later, and added his third of the night by knocking in a loose puck in front of the net with 5:16 to play.
``They’re talented. If you look at their forwards, they have a lot of depth and offensive skill,″ Weekes said. ``Personally, I don’t care what a team’s record is prior to playing them. You always have to respect talent and I don’t think we respected that tonight.″
Carolina still has just one road win in eight chances this season, and never seriously tested Kolzig, who had 29 saves.
Rangers 6, Penguins 2
At New York, Petr Nedved and Vladimir Malakhov each had a goal and assist against 18-year-old Marc-Andre Fleury, and the Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak.
New York’s 42-year-old captain Mark Messier netted his seventh of the season in the second period.
Anson Carter and Martin Rucinsky scored in the first period for New York, which lost Eric Lindros to an early eye injury.
Dan Focht scored his first NHL goal, and Aleksey Morozov also scored for Pittsburgh, which played most of the game without leading scorer Rico Fata. He injured his hamstring when he collided with Lindros in the first period.
Devils 2, Sabres 2
At the first NHL regular-season game in Rochester, N.Y., Maxim Afinogenov’s third-period goal gave Buffalo a tie against New Jersey.
Jamie Langenbrunner had a goal and assist for the Devils, 5-0-2 in their last seven.
Martin Brodeur made 26 saves for the Devils. Buffalo’s Martin Biron had 33 stops.
Flames 6, Blackhawks 2
At Chicago, rookie Matthew Lombardi got his first NHL hat trick, and Dean McAmmond added two goals for Calgary.
Chris Clark also connected for the Flames, who ended a three-game losing streak. Entering the game, Calgary had just 24 goals, the fewest in the NHL, and hadn’t scored more than four goals this season.
Brett McLean and Steve McCarthy scored for the Blackhawks, who have lost three straight following a three-game winning streak.
Red Wings 6, Stars 2
At Dallas, Steve Yzerman and Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals each, and Detroit extended the Stars’ losing streak to four games.
Steve Thomas, signed as a free agent on Nov. 5, got his first goal for Detroit and the 412th of his career. Mathieu Schneider added a short-handed goal and Brendan Shananan had two assists for the Red Wings.
Bill Guerin and Brenden Morrow scored for the Stars, who have lost four in a row for first time since the 1995-96 season. The Stars (7-8-1) haven’t been under .500 after 16 games since that same season.
Mighty Ducks 5, Maple Leafs 1
At Anaheim, Calif., Andy McDonald and Sergei Fedorov each had two goals and an assist, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 29 saves to lead the Mighty Ducks past Toronto in the Maple Leafs’ first visit to Anaheim in six seasons.
Mikael Renberg scored for Toronto in the opener of its six-game road trip.