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Capitals score 4 goals in 3rd, beat Thrashers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Like a shortstop fielding a line drive, Tomas

Fleischmann stuck his glove in the air and caught the puck.

About a second later, he became the first of a half-dozen

Washington Capitals to score -- and none of the six were named

Alex Ovechkin.

Those weren't the usual suspects producing for the Capitals on

Sunday as they wrapped up their home regular-season schedule

with a 6-4 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.

"It's great to finally have some scoring from all over the

place," said Eric Fehr, one of four Washington players to score

in the third period. "Ovie's been carrying the workload pretty

much all year."

Fehr's goal was only his second since Feb. 26. Michael Nylander

tallied for only the second time since Feb. 3. Minor-league

callup Keith Aucoin kept up his bid for a spot on the playoff

roster with his second goal in two games.

But Fleischmann was the one really slumping. He had 15 goals in

mid-January but had scored only twice since then. He broke an

14-game drought when he gloved Nathan Oystrick's clearing

attempt and dropped the puck directly in front of goal for the

easy shot past Johan Hedberg early in the first period.

"It was a break for me," Fleischmann said. "I haven't had a lot

of bounces for me lately."

It's just what coach Bruce Boudreau wanted to see from player

nicknamed "Flash."

"The relief on his eyes when he finally scored was like, 'Oh,

man, I CAN play the game,'" Boudreau said. "You start to doubt

yourself after a while, no matter who you are, when you have

trouble scoring. I hope that adds a little confidence to his


Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich -- both more accustomed to

finding the net -- scored the final two goals for the Capitals,

who moved two points ahead of the New Jersey Devils in the

battle for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Each team

has three games remaining.

Ovechkin remained at an NHL-leading 55 goals despite taking 11

shots, but he did get two assists in his pursuit of Evgeni

Malkin for the league's points title.

Washington trailed 3-2 after two periods, but Boudreau ranted at

his players during the intermission and switched up the lines in

the third.

"We were sleepwalking, it seemed like, for two periods,"

Boudreau said. "I hope it doesn't take me coming in and

screaming and yelling to get them going. They've got to learn to

do it on their own. You yell at your kids too much, they'll tune

you out."

The Capitals finished 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 took only 11 of the last


Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 42nd goal, and Colby Armstrong, Jim

Slater and Slava Kozlov also netted for Atlanta. Despite being

out of playoff contention, the Thrashers had won four straight

-- including three against teams still in the postseason race.

"We kept up for two periods," defenseman Tobias Enstrom said,

"and it seemed like we got a little tired in the third and they

ran us down a little bit."

The two teams meet again in Atlanta on Tuesday.

"Definitely not the way we've been playing lately," Oystrick

said. "We've just got to shake it off and get ready for the next



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