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Caps Can't Convert Shots In Fourth Consecutive Loss

Georges Laraque of the Penguins, above, gets an upper hand -- and fist -- on the Capitals' Donald Brashear on Saturday.
Georges Laraque of the Penguins, above, gets an upper hand -- and fist -- on the Capitals' Donald Brashear on Saturday. (Kevin Wolf - AP)

Help, though, could be on the way. The Capitals' second leading scorer from last season, winger Alexander Semin, who has missed six games with a sprained right ankle, is expected to begin practicing on Monday and could be in the lineup next week.

Semin's deft wrist shot sure would have come in handy last night, when both teams had their share of end-to-end rushes and scoring opportunities.

Pothier put the Capitals, who wore their white jerseys at home for the first time this season, ahead with his first goal of the year on a slap shot from just inside the blueline. But after dominating the first period, the Capitals ceded control in the second. The Penguins edged them in shots, 11-8, enjoyed four power plays and scored twice, one with the man advantage.

Staal's goal at 3 minutes 58 seconds tied the score at 1 and came eight seconds after the expiration of Shaone Morrisonn's boarding penalty.

But the Capitals' offensive futility was underscored moments later, when Backstrom came millimeters from getting his first career NHL goal. His shot from the slot hit Fleury's glove, then trickled into the crease, where it nicked the post. Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton alertly cleared the loose puck with his glove.

It appeared the Capitals might escape the period tied, but then defenseman Mike Green was whistled for high sticking Crosby. Fifty seconds later, Crosby sent a cross-ice pass to Whitney, who fired a wrist shot past Johnson's glove to put the Penguins ahead 2-1.

"He made a great pass," Hanlon said. "That was one of the plays that cost us. He made a play. We can live with it."


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