Something strange happened at Capital Centre last weekend: The Washington Wave won a game by more than one goal.

No sudden-death overtime. No last-second heroics. Just a victory, 15-12, over the Baltimore Thunder.

"We won by three," said Wave Coach Glenn Little, laughingly. "I didn't know how to act."

The Wave's previous three victories were all by one goal, including two overtime games. Washington (4-2 and tied for first place in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League) will play the Philadelphia Wings tonight at 8 at Capital Centre.

If the Wave wins, it would clinch the home field for the first round of the playoffs, which will begin March 6.

The New Jersey Saints (4-2) are tied with Washington, fol Baltimore (2-4) and Philadelphia (1-3). The top three teams qualify for postseason play.

"Our goal is to get the top spot and get a bye in the playoffs," Little said. "We have to beat New Jersey sometime, either in two weeks {at the Meadowlands} or in the championship game. But I think it's imperative we do it in the regular season."

First the Wave has to worry about the Wings, whom it defeated, 14-13 in overtime, at Capital Centre and 11-10 at the Spectrum earlier in the season.

"Philadelphia is a team built on its defense," Little said. "They only have four guys they can count on to put the ball in the net."

One of the four is Pat Lamon, whose brother John plays for the Wave. The Wings' Lamon has 11 goals, including a league-high six against Baltimore two weeks ago.

"We have to take Pat out of his game," Little said. "He's a strong inside player and a true finisher."

The Wave are led by Joe Gold, who leads the league in goals (17), assists (11) and points (28). Mark Gold and Pat O'Conner have 11 goals each and Rick Sowell has eight goals and six assists.

Washington has won two straight games, but Little doesn't think the team is playing as well as it can.