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Red Wings Snap Capitals Streak


The Detroit Red Wings haven't been scoring many goals or winning on the road lately. On Sunday, they solved both problems.

Aaron Ward and Brendan Shanahan scored 1:04 apart early in the third period, erasing a Washington lead and sparking the Red Wings to a 4-2 victory that snapped the Capitals' unbeaten streak at seven games.

Detroit had notched only eight goals in its past six games, but the four-goal outburst against Washington gave the Red Wings 10 goals in three games.

"I think it's more important that we won than scoring four goals," Detroit right wing Doug Brown said. "If we win 1-0 or 4-3, it doesn't matter to us."

With the Capitals ahead 2-1, Detroit reeled off three unanswered third-period goals to end an 0-3-2 road slump. The Red Wings had not won on the road since an 8-1 triumph in Toronto on Dec. 27.

"In the third period, we seemed to get into the next gear, kind of like (last year) in the playoffs," Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman said. "At least it's good to know we can come back to that level."

Ward tied the game at 3:12 with his fourth goal of the year, whistling a rising shot from the top of the slot. Shanahan gave the Red Wings their first lead of the game at 4:16, moving unchecked to the right post to poke the puck past Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig.

Brent Gilchrist's power-play tally at 7:55 made it 4-2, and helped the Red Wings improve to 22-0-0 when leading by two goals at any point during a game.

Sergei Gonchar and Adam Oates scored for the Capitals, who have not beaten Detroit in four games dating to Jan. 30, 1994. Ironically, the Capitals' last loss was a 2-0 shutout in Detroit on Jan. 11.

Anders Ericksson also scored for Detroit, which halted Washington's six-game (5-0-1) home unbeaten streak.

"It was like bumper pool out there - it wasn't hockey," said Kolzig who made 26 saves. "All six goals ... weren't exactly pretty."

Nicklas Lidstrom's assist on Shanahan's goal gave him 40 points for the season, tops among defensemen in the NHL, and one more than New Jersey's Scott Neidermayer.

Detroit goalie Kevin odson had 23 saves, including two on breakaways in the second period to keep the Red Wings within one goal.

Midway through the period, he foiled Oates on an uncontested power-play rush. With 4:46 left, Hodson knocked away a shot by Jeff Toms, who kept the puck on a two-on-none break.

© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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