Capitals score 4 goals in 3rd, beat Thrashers 6-4

WASHINGTON — Tomas Fleischmann had his first multipoint game in nearly two months, and the Washington Capitals got goals from six different players to move into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-4 victory Sunday over the Atlanta Thrashers.

In a scoring slump since mid-January, when he appeared headed for a breakout 30-goal season, Fleischmann opened the scoring with an unassisted goal in the first period and assisted on Alexander Semin’s tally during the Capitals’ three-goal barrage in the third.

Keith Aucoin, Michael Nylander, Eric Fehr and Brooks Laich also scored for the Capitals, who lead the New Jersey Devils by two points in the battle for the East’s No. 2 seed. Each team has three games remaining.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 42nd goal, and Colby Armstrong, Jim Slater and Slava Kozlov also netted for the Thrashers, who had leads of 2-1 and 3-2 before the Capitals dominated the final period. Atlanta, despite being out of playoff contention, had won four straight — including three against teams still in the postseason race.

The Capitals finished their regular season home schedule with 29 wins at the Verizon Center, the second-most home victories in franchise history. Washington was virtually unbeatable on home ice during the first half of the season, winning 18 of its first 20 but only 11 of its last 21.

Fleischmann gave the Capitals the early lead when he gloved Nathan Oystrick’s clearing attempt and dropped the puck directly in front of goal for the easy shot past Johan Hedberg. It was the 18th of the season for Fleischmann but his first since Feb. 28, a drought of 14 games.

Washington goalie Jose Theodore maintained the lead with a kick save against Eric Perrin during a breakaway, but Armstrong tied the score later in the first period when he turned the corner on defenseman Tom Poti just enough to put a wrist shot inside the far post.

Alex Ovechkin had his cross-ice pass picked off near his own blue line early in the second period, setting up Slater’s short-handed goal that gave Atlanta its first lead. Ovechkin later supplied the assist to Aucoin during another Capitals power play to tie the score again, but Kovalchuk’s wrister off the far post put the Thrashers back in front 3-2.

Nylander tied the game yet again early in the third with a wrist shot off a pass from Laich that beat Hedberg to the stick side.

Fehr gave the Capitals the lead 2½ minutes later.

Capitalizing on a Thrashers turnover near the blue line, Fehr was nearly tripped as he made his way to the net. He appeared to try to pass the puck as he approached the crease, but the puck caromed back to him, so he lifted the puck over Hedberg with 14:56 remaining in the game for his first goal since March 16.

Some nice puck movement led to the final goal, with Fleischmann feeding Semin for a backhander with 11:40 to play. It gave Fleischmann his first multipoint game since Jan. 11.

Kozlov scored unassisted after a poor turnover by Theodore in the final minute to cut the Capitals’ lead to one, but Laich added an empty net goal seconds later.

Notes: The Thrashers fended off a 5-on-2 power-play in the first

period — if only sticks are counted. Slater and Colin Stuart had their sticks shatter within seconds of each other while on the penalty kill, but the Capitals were unable to convert despite several good chances before the puck was finally smothered to stop play. … Armstrong has a seven-game scoring streak (three goals, seven assists). … The teams meet again at Atlanta on Tuesday.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Stanwood's Cruise Swanson pushes Arlington's Jake Willis away while he runs the ball during the game on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Week 6 prep football leaderboard

A look at the area’s top passers, rushers and receivers through four weeks of the season.

Arlington players react to forcing another turnover during the game against Stanwood on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Associated Press high school football poll for Week 6

Arlington and Monroe both move up in Class 3A.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Oct. 4

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Oct. 4: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Lynnwood players and head coach Annalise Mudaliar celebrate during a volleyball game between Lynnwood and Shorecrest at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Washington on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. Lynnwood took the win. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lynnwood volleyball sweeps Shorecrest in battle of Wesco 3A/2A unbeatens

The Royals complete their 10th straight sweep; Sammy Holmer delivers 12 kills in a top-tier league showdown.

The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Jackson grad takes 1st, sets record at cross country meet

Plus, locals earn NWAC weekly honors and Daniel Arias joins NFL practice squad.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep roundup for Tuesday, Oct. 3

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Oct. 3: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) fumbles the ball as he is sacked by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (97) during the second quarter Monday. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Grading the Seahawks in their 24-3 victory over the Giants

Seattle’s defense shows up big as the Seahawks head into their bye on a three-game winning streak.

Monroe junior receiver Aaron Clifton checks for defenders while taking a long reception to the house against Mountlake Terrace on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep football power rankings after Week 5

Here are our top 8 local teams after all the action from Thursday and Friday.

Silvertips name leadership group, but no captain yet

Everett lists Ty Gibson, Kaden Hammell, Ben Hemmerling and Austin Roest as alternate captains, but will wait to assign the “C”.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 25-30

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 25-30. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep roundup for Monday, Oct. 2

Prep roundup for Monday, Oct. 2: (Not for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading