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Caps get second straight win

WASHINGTON — Andrew Gordon had a goal and assist for his first two NHL points, and the Capitals earned their second straight victory by beating the Devils 5-1 on Tuesday night.

Washington snapped an eight-game losing streak with a victory at Ottawa on Sunday.

Five players scored for the Capitals, who jumped back over the Thrashers, 4-2 losers to the Blues, into first place in the Southeast Division with 44 points. The idle Lightning fell to third with its 42 points, one behind Atlanta.

Michal Neuvirth made 35 saves to get the win. John Carlson added a goal and an assist.

The Devils, who have the second-worst record in the NHL, dropped their ninth straight road game and third overall.

New Jersey got even at 1 when Patrik Elias scored a power-play goal 4:56 of the second period, but the Capitals took then took over.

Washington took command during a stretch of 6:31 in the second period when Jay Beagle, Jason Chimera and Carlson scored to make it 4-1. Mike Knuble netted the final goal for the Capitals, who had points from 12 players.

Washington won at home for the first time since beating Carolina on Nov. 28. The Capitals had dropped five straight in Washington.

Gordon gave Washington a 1-0 lead with his first NHL goal. Marcus Johansson sent a perfect pass from the left boards that Gordon redirected past goalie Martin Brodeur with 3:19 left in the first.

Beagle scored his second career goal — his first this season — off a pass from David Steckel at 10:00.

Chimera made it 3-1 with a breakaway goal at 12:39 of the period, beating Brodeur as Devils defenseman Mark Fayne hung all over him. Gordon earned his first NHL assist.

Carlson scored the final goal of that stretch, picking up a loose puck that Alex Ovechkin lost near the high slot and firing a shot past Brodeur with 3:29 left in the period.

game highlights: Ty Conklin stopped 37 shots, Alexander Steen gave St. Louis the lead with a goal late in the second period, and the Blues beat the host Thrashers 4-2. St. Louis won for only the fourth time in 13 games. Conklin, the backup to Jaroslav Halak, earned his fourth win of the season and second this week. … Tyler Ennis scored two goals to lift the host Sabres to a 5-2 victory over the Ducks. Ryan Miller, making his 11th straight start, earned his 199th career win. … Mathieu Garon made 29 saves in his debut as the Blue Jackets' No. 1 goalie, and host Columbus snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Flames 3-1.

All-Star voting: Evgeni Malkin's performance since his return from a knee injury last week for the Penguins (five goals and three assists in three games) led fans to propel him into a top-three spot among forwards, ahead of the Lightning's Steve Stamkos. The top three forwards, top two defensemen and top goaltender when voting ends are guaranteed spots in the Jan. 30 game at Raleigh, N.C.

The Penguins' Sidney Crosby continues to hold the top spot among forwards and all players, and the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews remains No. 2 among forwards. Stamkos falls to fourth. The Penguins' Kris Letang and the Blackhawks' Duncan Keith lead the defensemen, and the Canadiens' Carey Price remains the top goaltender.

After the voting ends, the NHL's Hockey Operations Department will select 36 more players for the game. All the players will select two captains for each team, and the captains will draft their teams from the remaining pool of players.

Voting can be done at NHL.com, through the league's Facebook page and by texting a player's last name to 81812 through Jan. 3.

Islanders: Goaltender Rick DiPietro (right knee swelling) and defenseman Mike Mottau (right hip surgery) were placed on injured reserve. DiPietro is eligible to return after seven days. Mottau will miss the rest of the season.

at Capitals 1 3 1 5
Devils 0 1 0 1

First Period1, Washington, A.Gordon 1 (Johansson, Erskine), 16:41. PenaltiesMair, NJ (interference), 4:34.

Second Period2, New Jersey, Elias 7 (Langenbrunner, Zajac), 4:56 (pp). 3, Washington, Beagle 1 (Steckel, Bradley), 10:00. 4, Washington, Chimera 5 (A.Gordon, Carlson), 12:39. 5, Washington, Carlson 4 (Ovechkin), 16:31. PenaltiesSemin, Was (hooking), :50; Bradley, Was (hooking), 4:02; Volchenkov, NJ (holding), 6:28; Laich, Was (roughing), 17:01.

Third Period6, Washington, Knuble 7 (Poti, Laich), 12:01. PenaltiesMair, NJ (high-sticking), 5:17; Brodeur, NJ, served by Clarkson (delay of game), 9:12; Pelley, NJ (hooking), 9:54; Hannan, Was (holding), 17:25. Shots on GoalNew Jersey 12-15-9—36. Washington 10-11-7—28. Power-play opportunitiesNew Jersey 1 of 4; Washington 0 of 5. GoaliesNew Jersey, Brodeur 5-15-1 (28 shots-23 saves). Washington, Neuvirth 14-6-2 (36-35). A18,398 (18,398).

at Blue Jackets 1 1 1 3
Flames 0 1 0 1

First Period1, Columbus, Voracek 6 (Methot, Brassard), 5:14. PenaltiesJackman, Cal, major (fighting), 2:59; Boll, Clm, major (fighting), 2:59; Regehr, Cal, major (fighting), 13:10; Sestito, Clm, major (fighting), 13:10; Stralman, Clm (holding), 13:10; Iginla, Cal (boarding), 13:59; Calgary bench, served by Jokinen (too many men), 18:23.

Second Period2, Columbus, Boll 3 (Sestito, Wilson), 11:18. 3, Calgary, Jokinen 7 (Iginla, Giordano), 16:34 (pp). PenaltiesVermette, Clm (interference), 6:46; Vermette, Clm (interference), 16:01.

Third Period4, Columbus, Klesla 2, 19:02 (en). PenaltiesMorrison, Cal (tripping), 5:12; Columbus bench, served by Brassard (too many men), 15:20. Shots on GoalCalgary 9-11-10—30. Columbus 12-17-8—37. Power-play opportunitiesCalgary 1 of 4; Columbus 0 of 3. GoaliesCalgary, Karlsson 2-2-2 (36 shots-34 saves). Columbus, Garon 8-4-2 (30-29). A12,443 (18,144).

at Sabres 3 1 1 5
Ducks 0 0 2 2

First Period1, Buffalo, Stafford 9 (Roy, Myers), 4:43 (pp). 2, Buffalo, Gerbe 1 (Rivet, Gaustad), 10:05. 3, Buffalo, Ennis 8 (Sekera, Leopold), 16:57 (pp). PenaltiesAnaheim bench, served by Blake (too many men), 3:45; Blake, Ana, major-game misconduct (boarding), 13:36.

Second Period4, Buffalo, Ennis 9 (Roy, Leopold), 4:40. PenaltiesGetzlaf, Ana, major (fighting), :01; McCormick, Buf, major (fighting), :01; Chipchura, Ana, major (fighting), :06; Gaustad, Buf, major (fighting), :06; Montador, Buf (cross-checking), :30; Parros, Ana, major (fighting), 9:58; Weber, Buf, major (fighting), 9:58; Hecht, Buf (hooking), 16:30.

Third Period5, Anaheim, Perry 18 (Selanne, Fowler), 15:36 (pp). 6, Buffalo, Rivet 1 (Niedermayer), 17:03. 7, Anaheim, Perry 19 (Selanne, Getzlaf), 19:51 (pp). PenaltiesFowler, Ana (holding stick), 1:09; Perry, Ana (slashing), 6:06; Hecht, Buf (hooking), 15:22; Montador, Buf (delay of game), 18:58. Shots on GoalAnaheim 4-9-10—23. Buffalo 17-14-11—42. Power-play opportunitiesAnaheim 2 of 4; Buffalo 2 of 5. GoaliesAnaheim, McElhinney 2-4-1 (42 shots-37 saves). Buffalo, Miller 12-10-3 (23-21). A18,690 (18,690).

Blues 1 1 2 4
at Thrashers 1 0 1 2

First Period1, St. Louis, Boyes 7 (Porter), 5:07. 2, Atlanta, Little 10 (Kane, Stewart), 6:43. PenaltiesAntropov, Atl (high-sticking), 7:20; Byfuglien, Atl (goaltender interference), 16:34; Backes, StL (roughing), 18:22.

Second Period3, St. Louis, Steen 11 (Jackman, Pietrangelo), 18:39. PenaltiesJackman, StL (kneeing), :45; Conklin, StL, served by Sobotka (tripping), 2:40; Little, Atl (holding), 8:08.

Third Period4, St. Louis, Pietrangelo 4 (Sobotka), 2:13. 5, Atlanta, Byfuglien 12 (Enstrom, Antropov), 12:37. 6, St. Louis, Sobotka 4, 19:12 (en-sh). PenaltiesSopel, Atl (hooking), 3:22; Crombeen, StL (slashing), 18:02. Shots on GoalSt. Louis 10-8-9—27. Atlanta 12-11-16—39. Power-play opportunitiesSt. Louis 0 of 4; Atlanta 0 of 4. GoaliesSt. Louis, Conklin 4-2-1 (39 shots-37 saves). Atlanta, Mason 7-6-2 (26-23). A14,662 (18,545).

Caps get second straight win 12/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 5:55pm]

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