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Capitals Edge Edmonton


Undone by a three-goal outburst in their previous game, the Washington Capitals used a similar tactic to their advantage Saturday night.

Adam Oates had a goal and two assists in a four-goal second period as the Capitals beat Edmonton 4-3 Saturday night, ending the Oilers' five-game unbeaten streak.

The Capitals' midgame spree was a stark contrast from Thursday, when Washington allowed the New York Rangers three goals in under two minutes midway through the third period for a 4-2 victory.

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  • "That was a devastating loss the other night," Oates said. "Unfortunately, you get a couple of those; it was bad timing for us. You play every other night now, so you've got to forget it. Tonight, we got the points, and that's our goal."

    The Oilers went up 2-0 before the Capitals scored four times in seven shots including three goals on three shots over a 3:14 span to take command.

    "We made real poor decisions with the puck (over a) very, very tired-looking stretch of time," said coach Ron Low, whose Oilers were playing their third game in four nights. "We really didn't play very well at all for that second period."

    Richard Zednik converted a faceoff feed from Jan Bulis for Washington's first goal at 10:26. Oates then slid a centering pass that Joe Juneau converted from the slot, tying the game at 11:29.

    Oates gave Washington a 3-2 lead at 13:40, lifting a backhander over goalie Steve Passmore from the right side. Oates later picked up an assist on Sergei Gonchar's 13th power-play goal, tops among NHL defensemen, which supplied the Capitals with a two-goal lead with 18 seconds remaining in the period.

    "Whether it's sneaking down the back door or drilling them clean from the point, he (Gonchar) can beat you any number of ways," Washington coach Ron Wilson said. "I'd like to see him a little more on-goal offensively 5-on-5."

    Edmonton, fou games into a seven-game, 14-day road trip, its longest of the season, lost for the first time since Feb. 24.

    Washington remains in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals are tied with Montreal with 59 points, five back of eighth-place Boston.

    Bill Guerin, Marty McSorley and Alexander Selivanov scored for the Oilers, who missed an opportunity to tie St. Louis for the sixth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    Washington, which came into the game 3-12-1 against Western Conference opponents, has won three of four games.

    McSorley's goal gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead 6:36 into the game. Josef Beranek left a short drop pass in the right circle and McSorley's shot trickled between the pads of Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig. Guerin scored his team-high 12th power-play goal 47 seconds into the second period to make it 2-0.

    After the Capitals' second-period burst, Selivanov brought the Oilers within 4-3 midway through the third period by knocking a pop-fly shot up, over and behind Kolzig for his 12th goal.

    "We had trouble getting the bouncing puck and they caught the bounces," said Passmore, who made 32 saves. "We swung and missed. ... A couple of breakdowns and it's in the back of the net."

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