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LUNDQVIST BLANKS CAPS AGAIN

Times wires

WASHINGTON - Henrik Lundqvist earned his 46th career shutout, Brad Richards assisted on two goals less than two minutes apart in the second period, and the Rangers beat the Capitals 2-0 on Wednesday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Including the teams' meeting in the first round of last season's playoffs, Lundqvist has three straight shutouts against the Capitals. He blanked Washington in Games 6 and 7 of their Eastern Conference matchup to help give New York the series win.

Richards helped set up goals by Ryan Callahan and John Moore, and Lundqvist made the limited offense hold up in a 22-save performance.

The Rangers won for only the second time in six games under first-year coach Alain Vigneault. Their season-opening nine-game road swing, necessitated by the latest rounds of renovations at Madison Square Garden, has three more stops.

Hearing for scary hit: Blues forward Maxim Lapierre was offered an in-person hearing for his hit that knocked out the Sharks' Dan Boyle and resulted in the defenseman being taken off the ice on a stretcher Tuesday. In-person hearings are offered for suspensions that could exceed five games. Lapierre is suspended pending the hearing.

Boyle, who was hospitalized overnight, said Wednesday he was okay. The former Lightning player was expected to leave the hospital and return to San Jose on Wednesday.

Lapierre, who was assessed a five-minute major penalty and thrown out of the game, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was just trying to finish his check and wanted to apologize to Boyle. He said he had tried to contact Boyle but Boyle hadn't responded.

Around the league: Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta will appeal his 10-game suspension for a hit to the head of Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson. Kaleta served two games of the suspension awaiting his hearing. ... The Panthers said goalie Tim Thomas will start tonight against the Bruins, whom he backstopped to the Stanley Cup in 2011 and then left after the 2012 season for a hiatus after eight years with the team. Thomas hasn't played since leaving an Oct. 8 game against the Flyers with a groin injury.

Rangers 0 2 0 2 at Capitals 0 0 0 0

First Period-None. Penalties-Staal, NYR (roughing), 8:03; Brouwer, Was (roughing), 8:03; Stralman, NYR (hook), 10:15; Pyatt, NYR (hook), 11:20; Falk, NYR, major (fight), 17:42; Wilson, Was, major (fight), 17:42.

Second Period-1, NYR, J.Moore 1 (Richards, McDonagh), 12:05. 2, NYR, Callahan 3 (Richards, Brassard), 13:51. Penalties-Fehr, Was (high-stick), 1:40; Stralman, NYR (hold), 10:42; Ovechkin, Was (slash), 11:19.

Third Period-None. Penalties-Wilson, Was (interference), 8:17; Richards, NYR (hold), 9:12. Shots on Goal-NYR 11-21-4-36. Wash 8-6-8-22. PP opportunities-NYR 0 of 3; Wash 0 of 4. Goalies-NYR, Lundqvist 2-3-0 (22 shots-22 saves). Wash, Holtby 1-4-0 (36-34).

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