Ovechkin lifts Caps past Flyers

March 12, 2009 7:14:09 PM PDT
Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 48th goal, added an assist and helped the Washington Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Thursday night. Ovechkin was held in check by the Flyers in their first three meetings this season, with only one goal and three assists against the team that eliminated Washington from last year's playoffs.

He had an assist in the first period, then scored the go-ahead goal in the second to lift the Capitals to their fifth straight road victory. Washington hadn't won five straight on the road since Feb. 14-March 6, 2001 - when Ovechkin was 16.

The Flyers appeared to have tied the game midway though the third when Kimmo Timonen's slapper sailed past goalie Jose Theodore, but the goal was waved off by officials when forward Mike Knuble was whistled for interference.

Theodore was stout from there and finished with 35 saves. The Flyers had Danny Briere back in the lineup after a two-game absence because of lingering groin injuries, but their two-game winning streak was snapped.

Martin Biron took the loss, but made 28 saves and continued to solidify himself as Philadelphia's No. 1 goalie down the stretch and into the playoffs. He followed 27- and 31-save efforts in back-to-back wins with another good effort that included 11 saves in the second period.

He just couldn't stop Ovechkin.

Ovechkin's goal was as much the fault of Flyers mistakes than anything Biron did. Darroll Powe appeared to try to clear the puck out from behind the net, when it was picked off by Alexander Semin. Semin made a quick pass to in front to Ovechkin, who buried it high past Biron for the 2-1 lead.

Ovechkin had an assist on Brooks Laich's 17th goal in the first period. Laich redirected the reigning MVP's shot past Biron for a 1-0 lead with 4:03 left.

The Flyers tied it midway through the second on a nicely executed 2-on-1. Mike Richards faked a slapper, and directed a perfect cross-ice pass to a streaking Knuble for his 24th goal.

That was all the Flyers could muster as they lost against Washington in regulation for the first time this season.

Notes: Ovechkin has a point in nine straight games. ... Semin has a point in eight straight games. ... Capitals F Donald Brashear, a former Flyers enforcer, sat out with a sprained knee. Sergei Fedorov also was a late scratch with an illness.

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