By John Tranchina
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
DALLAS (Ticker) — A pair of Russians combined to lead the
Washington Capitals to victory, although neither was named Alex
Sergei Fedorov scored two goals to become the NHL’s all-time
leader among Russian-born players and Alexander Semin netted the
game-winner in overtime to lead the Capitals to a 6-5 victory
over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
The reigning Hart Trophy winner, Ovechkin failed to record a
point, but Washington still was able to snap a three-game losing
Semin helped the Capitals avoid a disappointing loss, ripping a
scorching wrist shot over goaltender Marty Turco’s shoulder from
the top of the right faceoff circle at 2:17 of overtime for his
seventh goal of the season.
“Semin’s got that shot. It’s accurate and pretty tough to
stop,” Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We’ve always been
resilient. You can see the passion we have by how we reacted
when we scored the overtime goal.”
The Stars had forged a 5-5 tie with 57 seconds to go in the
third period, when Mike Modano beat netminder Jose Theodore for
his fourth tally.
With Turco on the bench for an extra attacker, Modano accepted a
pass from behind the net by captain Brenden Morrow and slammed
in the puck, sending the game to overtime.
“Brenden made a great pass,” said Modano, who also added two
assists. “No one was around me, so it was nice that it was a
bang-bang play. I was able to get it off before they closed on
me. We hung in there and got a point out of it, but we’re not
going to be too successful giving up five or six goals a night.”
Fedorov passed Alexander Mogilny for first place on the all-time
goals list among Russians with his 474th and 475th career
tallies. Fedorov already owns the marks for assists (678) and
points (1,153) by a Russian-born player.
“It’s nice on a personal level, but most important was, we
finally won a game,” Fedorov said. “It’s just a record. I’d
rather talk about Alex than the record. I know his career was
shortened by injury. I didn’t expect to ever get it. We’re the
same age. He had a great shot and amazing hands.”
“Sergei brings so much leadership to the table,” Boudreau said.
“He’s a calming influence on the bench.”
Semin also added two assists, while Tomas Fleischmann scored a
pair of goals for the Capitals.
The Stars have surrendered four goals or more in each of their
four home games this season.
“The goals against is a joke. There’s a lot of guilty parties
out there,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. “Inch by inch, you
have to evaluate your personnel. You have to evaluate the
situations you’re putting them in, you evaluate how your team’s
playing, who’s making mistakes, who the repeat offenders are.
We’re going to pound away until we find a way to do it right.”
Dallas opened the scoring on Sean Avery’s first goal with the
team at 10:19 of the first period, when the agitator drilled a
long rebound past Theodore.
The Capitals answered on Fedorov’s power-play goal just 2:19
later, as he found a loose puck in the high slot and ripped a
wrist shot between a screened Turco’s pads.
Washington took a 2-1 lead with 3:02 left in the first on
Fleischmann’s second goal of the season. Michael Nylander
carried into the left corner before passing back to Fleischmann,
who beat Turco on the short side with a wrister from the top of
the left faceoff circle.
Rookie Fabian Brunnstrom, whose giveaway led to Fleishmann’s
goal, made amends soon afterward by netting for his team-leading
fifth tally on a power play with just 9.6 seconds left in the
Fedorov scored his second of the game at 11:23 of the second
period, taking a nice feed from Semin and sliding the puck
between Turco’s pads on a partial breakaway to make it 3-2.
The Capitals doubled the lead with 4:44 remaining in the second
on Fleischmann’s second of the night, a booming slap shot from
the top of the right circle that sailed over Turco’s shoulder.
Dallas responded just 39 seconds later, when B.J. Crombeen
registered his first career goal. Defenseman Trevor Daley made
a beautiful cross-ice pass to a charging Crombeen at the right
post, and the rookie tapped it into the open net.
“I just got my stick on it and was fortunate for it to go in,”
said Crombeen, who also notched an assist. “I would have
enjoyed it a lot more if we had gotten the win.”