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Alexander Semin's natural hat trick helps Capitals rout Lightning 7-1

Alexander Semin got a natural hat trick in the second period to help the Capitals beat Tampa Bay 7-1.

Tomas Fleischmann added two goals and two assists for Washington, which won its second straight game. The Capitals hadn't won consecutive games since beating Atlanta and Philadelphia on Jan. 6 and 9 and broke a nine-game losing streak with Friday's win over Toronto.

"When you're slumping, sooner or later you're going to come out of it," Semin said. "The bad luck (has) ended now."

Boyd Gordon also scored for Washington and Alexandre Giroux got his second NHL goal. His first came in Friday's win.

The Capitals are 2-0-1 since goalie Olie Kolzig returned Thursday after missing 13 games with a knee injury. Kolzig made 30 saves against the Lightning.

"I've always said I try to lead by example," Kolzig said. "I don't do anything extra. I just go out there and play."

Filip Kuba scored for Tampa Bay, which is sixth in the Eastern Conference with 82 points.

"We didn't let it get away," Tampa Bay forward Brad Richards said. "We never really had it tonight. This is going to be forgotten as soon as we walk out of the dressing room. We realized what we did and we cannot come out like that again."

An early Toronto miscue helped the Capitals take the lead Friday and a Tampa Bay mistake gave Washington another first-period gift Sunday.

Defenceman Dan Boyle lost the puck near the blue-line, and Fleischmann then beat goalie Johan Holmqvist near the left circle for a 1-0 lead at 5:31.

Fleischmann made it 2-0 with 6:20 left in the period on a long slapshot. Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella pulled Holmqvist for Marc Denis a few minutes later.

"Seems to me like everything was going my way tonight," Fleischmann said. "I try to take advantage of that. I want to prove I can play on this level."

Fleischmann was selected in the first round of the 2004 draft. He's been called up from Hershey four times this season and had just two assists in 14 NHL games before this year. He was Hershey's second-leading scorer but now has five points in 20 games with Washington this year - all in the last two contests.

"That's what we were waiting for," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "(It was) certainly a good night for him. He's smart as a whip."

Semin scored on the first three Washington shots of the second period.

He scored a power-play goal at 1:14, converted a backhander at 6:45 and scored on a long wrist shot 8:18 into the period for a 5-0 lead. The fans then littered the ice with hats, and Tortorella put Holmqvist back in, but the damage was done.

Notes: Fleischmann also scored the final Washington goal in Friday's win over Toronto. ... The Capitals have outscored opponents 6-0 in the first period of their last three games. ... Tampa Bay had won five of the first six games with Washington this season. ... Five of Kuba's 11 goals have come on the power play.


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