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NHL roundup

Thrashers throttle Capitals

Associated Press / March 17, 2009
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Kari Lehtonen made a career-high 49 saves, and Slava Kozlov and Tobias Enstrom each had a goal and an assist to help the Thrashers beat the Washington Capitals, 5-1, at Atlanta and extend their winning streak to a team-record sixth straight.

Washington, which ranks second in the Eastern Conference behind the Bruins, had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Lehtonen, who faced a career-high 50 shots, nearly earned his third shutout in five starts, but Eric Fehr spoiled the bid with 1:15 remaining when he swept in his 11th goal.

Alex Ovechkin, the NHL's leading goal scorer and the reigning MVP, was held without a point for the first time in 11 games and the second time in 22. He has 35 points and 22 goals in his last 25 games and needs one more goal to reach 50.

Colby Armstrong scored his 17th goal by redirecting Rich Peverley's wrister 10:13 into the first for a 1-0 Thrashers lead.

After Kozlov made it 2-0 with his 20th goal 15:43 into the first, rookie Anssi Salmela used a backhanded wrister for his first NHL goal, giving the Thrashers a 3-0 lead 7:18 into the second.

Nearly five minutes later, Capitals goalie Jose Theodore was chased when Enstrom scored with a slap shot from above the right circle for his fourth goal.

Washington, which has the NHL's second-best power play, went 0 for 4 with an extra man. Atlanta was 3 for 4 with the advantage.

Predators 4, Kings 3 - Ryan Jones scored the go-ahead goal with 2:18 remaining, Joel Ward had a goal and an assist, and J.P. Dumont had two assists, leading visiting Nashville.

With their eighth victory in 11 games, the Predators overtook Dallas and Edmonton in the Western Conference playoff race and moved into seventh place. They are a point ahead of the Stars, and lead the ninth-place Oilers by two with 12 games remaining. Dallas has a game in hand on Nashville, and Edmonton has two.

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