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Oilers 4, Capitals 2

March 26, 1998

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) _ Andrei Kovalenko emerged from a slump with a goal and an assist in Edmonton’s 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

The eighth-place Oilers are two points behind Phoenix and Chicago for sixth place and five points ahead of ninth-place San Jose in the Western Conference.

Edmonton, in the midst of a key five-game homestand, also got goals from Bobby Dollas, Bill Guerin and Doug Weight with an empty-netter in the final second.

Adam Oates and Calle Johansson replied for the Capitals, who took their third consecutive road loss.

Washington’s specialty teams clicked in the opening minutes of the game for a 2-0 lead.

Oates took a pass from Dale Hunter at the Edmonton blue line and beat Curtis Joseph over the goalie’s shoulder for his second short-handed goal of the season. Less than three minutes later, Oates spotted Johansson creeping in from the point and Johansson beat Joseph with a low shot on a power play. It was the 15th goal of the season for both Oates and Johansson.

Edmonton cut into Washington’s lead 1:38 later on Dollas’ first goal as an Oiler. Dean McAmmond worked the puck free along the boards and sent it behind the net to Scott Fraser. He put a pass into the slot for Dollas and the veteran defenseman beat Bill Ranford with a shot inside the far goalpost.

The Oilers dominated the remainder of the period, finally tying the game on a power play with 1:32 left. Guerin and Kovalenko executed a give-and-go before Guerin faked a return pass and snapped a shot in off Ranford’s shoulder for his 15th.

Kovalenko scored the winner 7:53 into the second period with his first goal since Feb. 6. The Russian stole the puck and pushed it to Weight. He

came out from behind the Washington net and Kovalenko knocked the rebound of Weight’s shot past Ranford for just his sixth goal of the season.

Joseph robbed Andrei Nikolishin late in the game on a Capitals power play when, after blocking a low blast, he snared Nikolishin’s rebound attempt.

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