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Senators Feast on Capitals

Senators defenseman Zdeno Chara checks Capitals rookie Alex Ovechkin to the ice during the first period. Ovechkin scored the team's lone goal, his 38th of the season, but the game was out of reach.
Senators defenseman Zdeno Chara checks Capitals rookie Alex Ovechkin to the ice during the first period. Ovechkin scored the team's lone goal, his 38th of the season, but the game was out of reach. (By Chris Wattie -- Reuters)

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Ovechkin said: "He's a strong defenseman. They do a great job today."

Whether any help is headed Ovechkin's way could be known soon.

With a week remaining before the NHL's trade deadline, rumors continue to swirl about the rebuilding Capitals. Several players, most notably Witt and left wing Jeff Friesen, could be dealt to playoff contenders before next Thursday.

Thursday's loss illustrated just how far the club still must go.

The Senators grabbed an early 1-0 lead after a defensive breakdown by the Capitals. Center Mike Fisher slipped behind Witt, took a two-line pass from teammate Andrej Meszaros and broke in on Kolzig. Fisher beat the Capitals' goalie with a low wrist shot to the far post at 1:04 of the first period.

"That was terrific pass," Hanlon said. "Those are the things skill does for you."

Ottawa went ahead 2-0 at 12:59 on a power-play goal by Wade Redden, who banged in a cross-ice pass from Heatley.

In the second period, the Senators struck twice in the span of 3:27 to take a 4-0 lead. Ottawa's Chris Kelly fired a shot wide, but the puck bounced off the end boards and onto the stick of Antoine Vermette, who snapped it past Kolzig.

About three minutes later, Jason Spezza scored on a Senators' power play to make it 4-0. Spezza banked a puck off of Kolzig from a short angle. Kolzig, clearly frustrated, retrieved the puck from the net and flipped it angrily the length of the ice.

Peter Schaefer scored the Senators' fifth goal on a breakaway, then Pothier delivered the pizza.

Capitals Note: Defenseman Steve Eminger, out since Jan. 13 with a severely sprained ankle, was a medical scratch.


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