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Caps Strike At Lightning


Washington's defensive-minded Capitals used an offensive spurt to defeat Tampa Bay.

Ulf Dahlen had two goals and an assist and the Capitals won their season-high fifth straight game, 6-3 over the Lightning on Monday.

The six goals also matched Washington's season-high.

"Defensively we can play better than that, but it's also nice to be able to get six goals on the road," Washington coach Ron Wilson said. "We played a good road game in the first half to set the table for the second half."

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  • Dahlen's second goal, coming with 7:33 left in the third period, put the Capitals up 5-3. Dahlen and Jeff Halpern had second-period power play goals as Washington improved to 7-1-2 in its past ten games.

    "All the guys are chipping in, scoring goals, and that's the key for our team right now," Dahlen said. "We've also got four lines playing defense, and it's a different line every night winning the games for us with goals."

    Washington's Sergei Gonchar had a goal and two assists. He has six goals and ten points in the past seven games.

    Chris Simon had an empty net goal, and Richard Zednik, who scored both goals in the Capitals' 2-1 win Sunday over the Ottawa Senators, had the other Washington goal.

    Darcy Tucker, Chris McAlpine and Steve Martins scored for Tampa Bay, which is 1-12-2 over the past 15 games.

    "We're slumping, we're struggling and we just can't seem to get out of this," said Tampa Bay's Mike Sillinger, who had his four-game goal-scoring end. B>"It seems like we're always behind the eight ball."

    Zednik scored the only first-period goal with 15.2 seconds left. Tampa Bay had only one shot through the opening 11 minutes, and the Capitals went 10 minutes without a shot.

    The Lightning tied the game at 1-1 on a power-play goal by Tucker four minutes into the second period. Washington has allowed just 13 power-play goals in the past 37 games.

    After goals by Dahlen at 7:31 and Halpern at 14:41 put the Capitals up 3-1, McAlpine cut the deficit to one at 17:26 of the second period.

    Gonchar and Martins traded goals early in the third period before Dahlen made it a two-goal game.

    "I thought we we looked a step behind, a step slow," Tampa Bay coach Steve Ludzik said.

    Jan Bullis had three assists for Washington.

    Tampa Bay all-star defenseman Petr Svoboba left the game in the second period with a shoulder injury and did not return. He will undergo an MRI Tuesday.

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