Knuble's goal gives Caps 4-3 OT win over Chicago

The Associated Press
Sunday, March 13, 2011; 3:35 PM

WASHINGTON -- Mike Knuble scored with 1:09 left in overtime to give the Washington Capitals their eighth straight victory, a 4-3 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Marcus Johansson fed Knuble right in front of Chicago goalie Corey Crawford. Knuble quickly moved the puck from left to right and flicked a shot past Crawford.

The winning streak is the longest for the Capitals since they set a franchise record with 14 straight victories from Jan. 13-Feb. 7, 2010.

In addition, the victory was Washington's 40th of the season, setting a club record with a fourth straight 40-win season.

The win increased Washington's Southeast Division lead over Tampa Bay to five points. The Capitals have 90 points and are trying for a fourth straight division title. They have 12 games left; the Lightning have 13.

Washington also moved one point behind Philadelphia for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Blackhawks have dropped three straight after winning eight in a row.

Defense and timely goals have been the key parts of Washington's streak. The Capitals have given up 12 goals during the eight games.

Rookie goalie Braden Holtby has given the Capitals a boost. Holtby replaced an injured Michal Neuvirth after the first period in Tampa Bay on March 7, won that game plus the next three.

He's given up only four goals in 11 periods since replacing Neuvirth and made 27 stops against the Blackhawks.

This was the only meeting between the two teams this season.

Chicago controlled play in the game's early minutes. The Blackhawks got the game's first five shots, kept the puck in the Washington zone for long stretches and took a 1-0 lead on Nick Leddy's goal at 4:46 of the first period.

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