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Semin's goal for Caps snaps Bruins' road run

THE Washington Capitals ended the Boston Bruins' seven-game road winning streak on Saturday, taking a 2-1 victory after a surprise third-period goal from Alexander Semin caught netminder Tim Thomas off guard.

The Bruins had not lost outside of Boston since falling to the Capitals in Washington 3-1 on December 10.

"I didn't know Semin was just going to come down and shoot it," Thomas said after Semin stole the puck, moved past two Bruins and ripped a shot over the Boston netminder's glove.

"It was Guy LaFleurish," Thomas said, comparing the Russian winger to the NHL Hall of Famer. "There's not that many times when a guy has that much time to wind up for a slap shot like that."

The unassisted game-winner came 11:48 into the third period and gave Semin his 18th goal of the season.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau heaped praise on Semin for grabbing the surprise winner at the perfect time.

"He's got that kind of individual talent - you can see it all the time," he said. "He went there and even with Tim Thomas as good as he was, I don't think he expected a shot to come at him that quick."

The Capitals improved to 19-3-1 at home, the best in the Eastern Conference.

The Southeast Division leaders had dropped their previous two home games before coming up a winner again against the Northeast Division-leading Bruins.

Semin's goal followed power play scores by Boston's Marc Savard and Washington's Mike Green in the second period. Savard scored first with Green responded about a minute later.

In Dallas, Mike Ribeiro scored in the shootout, Marty Turco stopped all three shots he saw in the tiebreaker and the Dallas Stars beat Los Angeles 3-2 to extend the Kings' skid to four.

Jere Lehtinen had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who played their fourth straight overtime game and ninth in 14 overall. Ribeiro had Dallas' other goal.

In Buffalo, New York, Tim Connolly scored twice and Ryan Miller made 36 saves as Buffalo hit Carolina 3-1 for its fifth straight loss. Teppo Numminen also scored for the Sabres, who won their second straight. Ray Whitney scored for the Hurricanes.

In Uniondale, Zach Parise had a goal and an assist for New Jersey, which stretched its winning streak to three with its 3-1 win and handed the New York Islanders their seventh straight defeat.

In Ottawa, Alex Kovalev and Maxim Lapierre scored in the shootout and Jaroslav Halak stopped both Ottawa shooters for Montreal as the Canadiens won 5-4.

Elsewhere, it was: Panthers 4, Lightning 3; Thrashers 7, Predators 2; Ducks 3, Wild 0; Blackhawks 2, Blues 1, OT; Sharks 6, Red Wings 5; and Coyotes 4, Flames 3.


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