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Semin Helps Capitals Stop Losing Streak

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From Associated Press

Alexander Semin scored his first NHL goal Friday night to help the Washington Capitals end a losing streak at six games with a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at Washington.

Semin, the 19th overall pick in the 2002 draft, gave Washington a 2-1 lead on a power-play breakaway with 30 seconds remaining in the first period. He faked right and beat Pasi Nurminen to the left with a backhander. Matt Pettinger also scored for the Capitals.

“Right now, we need that,” Capital Coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I didn’t think a 19-year-old kid and Matt Pettinger would get us out of it, goal scoring-wise, but you need everybody.”

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Olaf Kolzig made 37 saves for the Capitals, who won for the first time in three weeks, ending an eight-game winless streak (0-7-1). Their other win was a season-opening, 6-1 home victory over the New York Islanders on Oct. 9.

The last time the Capitals won only one game in October was 1981-82, when they went 1-11 in the opening month of the season.

Vancouver 4, Phoenix 1 -- Dan Cloutier made 23 saves at Phoenix, holding an opponent to one goal for the second consecutive game. He had 37 saves Thursday night in a 3-1 victory over the Kings at Staples Center.

The Canucks stayed unbeaten in seven games (5-0-2) since back-to-back losses at Columbus and Detroit in their first two road games.

The Coyotes (0-4-3) are winless in seven games.

Trevor Linden’s goal 8:20 into the game made Vancouver the second team in NHL history to score first in its first 11 games.

The Canucks could tie the 1985-86 Philadelphia Flyers by scoring first in their next game, Monday at home against Detroit.

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Marian Gaborik, a restricted free agent, signed a multiyear deal with the Minnesota Wild, then joined the team for practice. The All-Star right wing, who led the Wild with 30 goals last season, had rejected several previous contract offers. Hoping to reach a deal, Gaborik recently traveled from his native Slovakia to St. Paul and switched agents.... The Chicago Blackhawks signed defenseman Bryan Berard, a free agent who had been with Boston, to a one-year contract worth $2.01 million. He had 10 goals and 28 assists in 80 games for the Bruins last season.


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