Washington Capitals Beat Dallas Stars on Semin’s Overtime Goal in NHL

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 26, 2008

DALLAS, Oct. 25 -- Sergei Fedorov added another milestone to his already decorated résumé, becoming the career leader in goals scored by a Russian-born player when he notched the first of two tallies. But the real hero of the Washington Capitals' 6-5 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars was another Russian, Alexander Semin.

After Stars center Mike Modano scored with 57 seconds remaining in regulation at American Airlines Center on Saturday, Semin whipped a pretty wrist shot past a shaky Marty Turco 2 minutes 17 seconds into the extra session.

Semin's seventh goal of the season ended the Capitals' three-game losing streak and sent them home with a 1-2-0 record on their three-game Western Conference trip. Semin also had two assists to give him 14 points in eight games, moving him into a tie for the league lead with Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin.

"It was nice on a personal level," said Fedorov, who holds the record with 475 goals, two more than Alexander Mogilny. "But we finally won a game. We give ourselves a good lead, 4-2, but we cannot hold on to it."

Tomas Fleischmann also scored twice for the Capitals, while Tyler Sloan, a 27-year-old minor league call-up skating in his third game, got his first NHL goal. José Theodore, meantime, finished with 28 saves, including two in overtime.

The road-trip saving play, however, came off the stick of Semin, who has assumed the role of the Capitals' go-to scorer in the absence of Alex Ovechkin, the reigning MVP who had only an assist. On the winner, Semin gathered his own rebound off Stars defenseman Trevor Daley's skate, steadied himself and rifled the puck over Turco (24 saves) before getting mobbed by his teammates.

"The resiliency of this group is one of the strongest things we have," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You could see the passion they have by the way they reacted to the overtime goal. When we get this all straightened around -- it's still early in the season, our defensive play gets where it should be, we're going to be fine."

In a wild game that featured multiple defensive zone bloopers for both teams, the Stars evened the score 56 seconds into the third period on a goal scored by Loui Eriksson, who pushed the puck past Theodore (27 saves) who had momentarily lost track of a deflection in front.

But Sloan put the Capitals back ahead, 5-4, moments after getting beat in his own zone at 2:22.

"I think he didn't want to come to the bench because I was screaming at him for getting walked [around] on the original rush," Boudreau said. "But one of his great attributes is his legs."

Sloan added: "It's great, exciting. It's been a whirlwind trip, three cities, three time zones, first NHL game, first goal, it's been a great trip. I had to redeem myself."

Fedorov, who recorded his first multiple-goal game for Washington, put the Capitals ahead 3-2 midway through the second period with a goal set up by a slick pass from Semin. Fleischmann extended that edge to 4-2 less than four minutes later with his second goal of the game, a chance created by a brutal turnover by Turco.

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