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Ovechkin, Capitals looking to rebound vs. Thrashers

Atlanta (22-33-6) at Washington (38-18-5), 7:00 pm EST

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau

was forced to defend his team's effort the last time out.

Alex Ovechkin, the NHL's leading scorer, and the Capitals hope

their coach won't have to answer those kinds of questions after

Thursday's contest against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Ovechkin scored a goal and set up another before Washington

surrendered four unanswered goals - including three in just over

a three-minute span in the third period - in a 4-2 setback to

the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Following the letdown, Boudreau was asked if his team had given

up the fight.

"I don't like the word fight because that implies that we quit.

And we didn't quit," Boudreau said. "When you get energy from a

goal in the third period or whenever your team comes on, it's an

emotional gain."

The 23-year-old Ovechkin leads the NHL with 44 goals this

season. The reigning Hart Trophy winner also has a team-leading

79 points, which is tied for second in the league.

Defenseman Tobias Enstrom and Rich Peverley each netted their

first career shorthanded goals as the Atlanta Thrashers avoided

a third straight loss with Tuesday's 4-3 victory over the

Colorado Avalanche.

Enstrom and Peverley also collected an assist apiece and Kari

Lehtonen made 30 saves for the Thrashers, who had not won at

Philips Arena since January 20.



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