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Kings Reign Over Capitals


This time, the Los Angeles Kings rallied and came away winners.

Rob Blake and Bryan Smolinski broke open a tie game with goals 33 seconds apart in the third period and the Kings overcame a two-goal deficit with five consecutive goals in a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.

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  • Donald Audette scored twice, including the game-tying goal at 7:46 of the second period.

    Two weeks ago, the Kings squandered a 2-0 lead and ended up with a 2-2 tie at Washington.

    "It was encouraging for us not to be hanging on by one goal at the end of the game," Kings coach Andy Murray said.

    Jamie Storr stopped 15 shots for his first victory of the season. He was back in the net for the first time since starting Oct. 16 at Tampa Bay, where he played one period before leaving with a groin strain.

    "When guys get goals in front of you like that, it gets the adrenaline rushing," Storr said. "All that shows is character. Every player was awesome."

    Olaf Kolzig, who made 18 saves, smashed his stick on the ice after giving up Smolinski's goal at 8:49 of the third period.

    "I should have grabbed his stick and smashed it, too," Capitals coach Ron Wilson said.

    Smolinski caught a pass from Audette in his right glove, dropped it to the ice and fired the puck through Kolzig's legs for a 4-2 lead.

    "We were sluggish in the first," Audette said. "In the second and third, we really dominated and got a lot of chances by keeping the puck down low."

    Thirty-tree seconds earlier, Blake scored his fifth goal of the season tops for NHL defensemen off a drop pass from Ziggy Palffy, beating Kolzig through the legs.

    Smolinski assisted on Audette's second goal of the game, and fourth of the season, at 11:44 of the third. Audette got his own rebound and squeezed the puck between the post and Kolzig's right foot.

    Wilson said he's considering benching some big names when the Capitals play at Anaheim on Friday night.

    "Some people in here just don't get it. It's pretty frustrating," he said. "We've got some young people who have struggled and we keep going with them. But I can't reward people with ice time if they're not getting the job done. It's just not fair to people who do work hard."

    The Capitals have just two victories in their first eight games, annoying Wilson to the point where he talked about leaving.

    "I'm looking for results here and commitment to playing for the team," Wilson said, "and if guys don't want to play the way that I ask them to play, then I'll just leave. If they want someone else, fine. That's no big deal to me. Trust me. I'll find something else to do."

    Washington led 2-0 on a shorthanded goal by Peter Bondra off Garry Galley's turnover at the blue line, and a power-play goal by Calle Johansson in the first period.

    "Anytime you're up 2-0 on the road, you want to be a little defensive," Capitals left wing Joe Sacco said. "But we're just making brutal mistakes that are just killing us. We kind of went flat and it's inexcusable."

    Luc Robitaille cut it to 2-1 when he redirected a shot from Aki Berg through Kolzig's legs while standing to the left of the net. Robitaille's ninth goal of the season put him one behind league-leader Brian Savage of Montreal.

    The same location worked for Audette on his first goal that tied the game. Standing to the left, Audette directed in a pass from Glen Murray.

    Playing their fourth game in the new Staples Center, the Kings attracted their smallest crowd yet of 13,169 in the 18,118-seat arena.

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