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Associated Press
1/6/2007 10:05:43 PM


WASHINGTON (AP) - Alexander Semin scored his second goal of the game with 17.7 seconds remaining in overtime, lifting the Washington Capitals over the Atlanta Thrashers 3-2 on Saturday night.

Semin took a spinning backhanded feed from Steve Eminger, skated down the slot and put a high shot over goalie Kari Lehtonen's right shoulder, giving the Capitals their second straight victory with his 21st goal.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Glen Metropolit scored for Atlanta, which has lost three straight and four of five. It was the Thrashers' second overtime loss in two nights.

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist for Washington.

The Thrashers wasted two early power-play opportunities, then needed only 13 seconds of their third advantage to take a 1-0 lead. Kovalchuk drove past Boyd Gordon inside the blue line and beat Olaf Kolzig with a wrist shot for his 23rd goal 15:50 into the game.

Semin tied it 41 seconds into the second with the Capitals a man up, taking Ovechkin's pass, faking defenceman Niclas Havelid to his knees and flipping a backhanded shot by Lehtonen.

Metropolit restored Atlanta's lead at 16:23, converting a left-side rebound. The Thrashers appeared poised to go ahead by two goals when J.P. Vigier was awarded a penalty shot after being wrestled down from behind by defenceman Jamie Heward on a breakaway.

Vigier collided with Kolzig near the left post, leaving the goalie shaken. He remained face-down on the ice for two minutes before being helped to his feet. Kolzig stayed in the game to face Vigier's penalty shot attempt, and Vigier squeezed the puck between his pads only to have it carom off the right post.

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