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Goaltender, not scorers, carry Caps past 'Canes

at Canadiens 2 1 2 5
Islanders 1 0 2 3
RALEIGH, N.C. — Eventually, the Capitals will need their Alex Ovechkin-led scorers to get going. But they don't need to rush them, not with Michal
Capitals 1 0 2 3
at Hurricanes 0 0 0 0
Neuvirth playing like this.

Neuvirth stopped 29 shots for his first shutout, and the Capitals beat Carolina 3-0 Wednesday to spoil the Hurricanes' first game on home ice.

Nicklas Backstrom scored twice in the third, including an empty-netter, after Matt Hendricks scored in the first.

But there wasn't any question the night belonged to Neuvirth, who in his first full season is making the most of his chance with Semyon Varlamov nursing an injured groin.

"(They) probably would have started off equal and then like anything else eventually somebody comes to the fore," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But Wally Pipp missed one game at first base, and you know what happened there."

Neuvirth, 22, made several highlight-reel stops, first snatching a wrist shot out of the air from Eric Staal then stuffing a wraparound backhander from Jeff Skinner.

"I kind of knew (Staal) was right there," said Neuvirth, who is 6-2 this season. "And I just tried to get (to the puck) as soon as possible."

Carolina was the last team to play on home ice after opening with seven road games, including trips to Russia for an exhibition, Finland for the opening two and on the West Coast for five.

"We thought we were going to break through with one and get this crowd going," Staal said. "But it was unfortunate that it didn't happen."

Game highlights: Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern had a goal and an assist as the host Canadiens beat the Islanders 5-3 to extend their win streak to three. Carey Price, who has started each of Montreal's games, stopped 18 shots. … Niclas Bergfors had a goal and an assist as the visiting Thrashers ended their three-game skid and the Rangers' three-game win streak.

Around the league: Blues defenseman Roman Polak will have surgery for a severed tendon in his right wrist and be out indefinitely. The team believes he was hurt Saturday by the skate of the Penguins' Sidney Crosby. … Leafs forward Colby Armstrong need surgery for a finger injury sustained Tuesday against the Panthers and is expected to miss at least four weeks. Details of the injury were not disclosed. … Former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington was sentenced to six months of home detention, two years of probation, a $3,000 fine and 100 hours of community service for concealing assets during his bankruptcy case. Pocklington, 68, could have received a 10-year prison term.

Capitals 1 0 2 3
at Hurricanes 0 0 0 0

First Period1, Washington, Hendricks 1 (Steckel, Erskine), 10:47. PenaltiesAlzner, Was (boarding), 11:27; Corvo, Car (interference), 16:35.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesE.Staal, Car (holding), 7:16; Perreault, Was (hooking), 8:44; Ruutu, Car (holding), 11:25; Green, Was (roughing), 12:07; Ovechkin, Was (charging), 16:50.

Third Period2, Washington, Backstrom 2 (Knuble, Ovechkin), 12:23. 3, Washington, Backstrom 3 (Knuble, Schultz), 18:32 (en-sh). PenaltiesGreen, Was (tripping), 17:17. Shots on GoalWashington 7-11-15—33. Carolina 8-11-10—29. Power-play opportunitiesWashington 0 of 0; Carolina 0 of 0. GoaliesWashington, Neuvirth 6-2-0 (29 shots-29 saves). Carolina, Ward 4-3-0 (32-30). A18,680 (18,680).

at Canadiens 2 1 2 5
Islanders 1 0 2 3

First Period1, Montreal, Darche 1 (Halpern, Subban), 13:19. 2, Montreal, Moen 1 (Plekanec, Gill), 17:54 (sh). 3, N.Y. Islanders, Wisniewski 2 (Weight, Moulson), 19:16 (pp). PenaltiesHillen, NYI (interference), 3:32; Hamrlik, Mon (interference), 7:48; Subban, Mon (roughing), 17:32.

Second Period4, Montreal, Plekanec 4 (Kostitsyn, Hamrlik), 7:33. PenaltiesMoen, Mon (boarding), 8:43; Konopka, NYI, major (fighting), 10:48; Moen, Mon, major (fighting), 10:48; Bailey, NYI (slashing), 14:31; Spacek, Mon (high-sticking), 18:41.

Third Period5, N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 6 (Wisniewski), :13 (pp). 6, Montreal, Halpern 3 (Pouliot, Price), 6:56. 7, N.Y. Islanders, Weight 2 (Wisniewski, Hillen), 12:56. 8, Montreal, Kostitsyn 6, 18:58 (en). PenaltiesBailey, NYI (interference), 10:23. Missed Penalty ShotPouliot, Mon, 7:11 third. Shots on GoalN.Y. Islanders 7-8-6—21. Montreal 14-9-12—35. Power-play opportunitiesN.Y. Islanders 2 of 4; Montreal 0 of 3. GoaliesN.Y. Islanders, Roloson 2-2-0 (34 shots-30 saves). Montreal, Price 6-2-1 (21-18). A21,273 (21,273).

Thrashers 1 2 3 6
at Rangers 1 1 2 4

First Period1, N.Y. Rangers, Callahan 2 (Anisimov), :38. 2, Atlanta, Little 1 (Ladd, Hainsey), 11:28. PenaltiesDubinsky, NYR (tripping), 17:39; Rozsival, NYR (delay of game), 18:49.

Second Period3, Atlanta, Kane 6 (Burmistrov, Stewart), 10:17. 4, N.Y. Rangers, Avery 1 (Girardi, Fedotenko), 12:48. 5, Atlanta, Bergfors 1, 16:07. PenaltiesByfuglien, Atl (hooking), 13:35.

Third Period6, Atlanta, Boulton 1 (Stewart, Peverley), :49. 7, Atlanta, Byfuglien 3 (Enstrom, Bergfors), 5:01 (pp). 8, N.Y. Rangers, White 1 (Dubinsky, Callahan), 7:56. 9, N.Y. Rangers, Boyle 3 (Avery, Fedotenko), 10:07. 10, Atlanta, Ladd 4, 19:36 (en). PenaltiesDel Zotto, NYR (interference), 4:43. Shots on GoalAtlanta 12-8-6—26. N.Y. Rangers 10-7-11—28. Power-play opportunitiesAtlanta 1 of 3; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 1. GoaliesAtlanta, Mason 4-4-1 (28 shots-24 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Biron 1-1-0 (25-20). A17,900 (18,200).

Goaltender, not scorers, carry Caps past 'Canes 10/28/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 12:15am]
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