NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Washington
(Friday, March 14th)
Final Score: Washington 4, Atlanta 1
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Brooks Laich scored twice, as the Washington Capitals topped the Atlanta Thrashers, 4-1, in a Southeast Division battle at the Verizon Center.
Alexander Ovechkin scored and added an assist for Washington, which won its second in a row, and has 76 points on the season. The Capitals trail Philadelphia by three points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"A lot of people have us written off. We were written off early on in the season too," Laich said. "We still believe in ourselves. There's a lot of hockey left. Ten games is a lot of hockey and we're not quitting."
Ovechkin also inched closer to several milestones, bringing his season points total to 99, and goals total to 57. The Russian phenom's career-high in points is 106, totaled in his rookie season of 2005-06, which is the only time he's cracked the century mark.
Matt Cooke also added a goal and an assist for Washington, while Olaf Kolzig faced just 12 shots, stopping 11.
Vyacheslav Kozlov scored the lone goal for Atlanta, which has lost three of four. Kari Lehtonen gave up four goals on 37 shots in the loss.
"You've got to give them all the credit. They did a good job of shutting us down and they kept coming," Atlanta head coach Don Waddell said. "Even when they got up 3-1, they kept coming. They didn't sit back at all. They kept coming at us and we had our hands full."
The Thrashers got their only goal of the game 11:41 into the contest, opening the scoring. Kozlov blasted a shot from the top of the right circle that flew by everyone, and tucked into the upper right corner of the net.
But after that, it was all Capitals. Laich tallied his first a little more than three minutes after Kozlov's, on a wrist shot that beat Lehtonen top- shelf.
In the second period, Laich scored again, just 2:18 into the frame. With a flurry of activity in front of the net, he got to the puck and tapped it past Lehtonen. It notched his third two-goal game of the season, with the other ones coming on February 26 and March 3.
Cooke tallied a shorthanded goal, finishing a breakaway opportunity, with 5:19 left in the same period for a 3-1 Caps lead. Meanwhile, the Thrashers just had six shots through the first two periods.
Ovechkin scored on the power play just 1:07 into the third to cap the scoring.
The Capitals are 2-1 on their current homestand, and wrap it up Sunday against Boston, before heading out on a six-game road trip...The Thrashers travel to Florida on Sunday, then to Philadelphia, to round out their three-game road trip.
03/15 00:07:59 ET