Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Johnson shuts down the Bruins’ offense as Capitals capitalize

AP , WASHINGTON

St Louis Blues center Keith Tkachuk, center, and Anaheim Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, right, reach for a flying puck in the third period of their NHL game in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday. The Ducks won 4-2.

PHOTO: AP

Capitals goalie Brent Johnson shut down the Eastern Conference’s top offense as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexandre Giroux scored to lead the Washington Capitals to a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

Boston, who have the most goals and the best record in the East, had won five consecutive games and 14 of 16.

The Southeast Division-leading Capitals improved to 11-1-1 at home, thanks to Johnson. The only goal he allowed came with 35 seconds left in the second period, when Phil Kessel passed the puck to a wide-open Milan Lucic.

By then, though, Backstrom and Giroux had given the Capitals a 2-0 lead. Ovechkin, the NHL’s reigning MVP, added an empty-netter in the final minute for his 15th goal.

Devils 4, Penguins 1

In Newark, New Jersey, Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves, Travis Zajac scored the first goal and New Jersey kept rolling to beat Pittsburgh.

Clemmensen, who has emerged as the Devils go-to goalie with Martin Brodeur sidelined, improved to 7-1 in his last eight starts.

Zajac, Zach Parise, Dainius Zubrus and Patrik Elias provided the scoring for the Devils, who won for the eighth time in nine games.

They avenged the lone loss in that span, a 4-1 defeat in Pittsburgh on Nov. 29.

Matt Cooke scored for Pittsburgh, ending Clemmensen’s shutout bid with 3 minutes, 58 seconds remaining.

Sabres 4, Lightning 2

In Buffalo, New York, Thomas Vanek scored twice, including his NHL-leading 22nd goal, as Buffalo rallied to deal Tampa Bay their ninth straight defeat.

Vanek snapped a 2-2 second-period tie with his second goal of the game on a power play, sending the Sabres to their third straight victory.

Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists, while Drew Stafford also scored for Buffalo (14-11-3). Ryan Miller made 26 saves in his fifth straight start.

Martin St Louis and Mark Recchi scored for Tampa Bay (6-14-8), who blew a 2-0 first-period lead. The Lightning, who have an NHL-low 20 points, dropped to 0-7-2 during their skid.

Rangers 3, Thrashers 2, OT

In Atlanta, Georgia, Scott Gomez scored 15 seconds into overtime as New York snapped a two-game losing streak by beating struggling Atlanta.

Gomez took advantage of goaltender Johan Hedberg’s mishandling of the puck and put in a backhander.

The Thrashers have lost five straight at home and have just two victories in 11 games.

Ilya Kovalchuk, who had been trailing Callahan when he scored, redeemed himself 1 minute, 29 seconds later by scoring his 10th of the season and second in two games.

Colton Orr gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with his first goal in 83 games. Atlanta rookie Joey Crabb tied it with his first NHL tally.

Red Wings 4, Flames 3, OT

In Detroit, Nicklas Lidstrom scored 3 minutes, 50 seconds into overtime to complete Detroit’s comeback from a two-goal deficit against Calgary.

Brian Rafalski had a goal and an assist, while Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for Detroit. Johan Franzen added two assists and Ty Conklin made 29 saves.

David Moss posted a goal and an assist, while Craig Conroy and Daymond Langkow each chipped in a goal for Calgary. Curtis McElhinney stopped 35 shots.

Lidstrom beat McElhinney with a slap shot from the high slot area.

Blackhawks 2, Senators 0

In Chicago, Cristobal Huet stopped 23 shots to earn his first shutout with Chicago and Patrick Kane scored an early goal as the Blackhawks beat Ottawa.

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