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Associated Press
12/9/2006 11:25:25 PM


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin had three points and defenceman Bryan Muir made one of his rare goals really count.

Muir scored the go-ahead goal at 7:40 of the third period to help lift the Capitals to a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night. It was only his second goal of the season.

"It was just a great play by Kris Beech," Muir said. "He came from behind the net. The goalie actually went far over thinking he was going to shoot it and he ended up passing it to me nice and hard in the slot. It was one of those seeing-eye pucks."

Muir's one-timer from between the circles helped the Capitals bounce back after having their four-game winning streak snapped by Anaheim on Friday.

"Last night was a blip on the radar screen," Muir said. "But I think we have been playing good hockey. Tonight we had to get back to what we were doing to win. We did that."

Ovechkin had a goal and two assists, and Brooks Laich, Chris Clark, and Matt Pettinger also scored for Washington. Pettinger scored a power-play goal with 51 seconds left.

Simon Gagne had a pair of goals and an assist, and Mike Knuble had one of each for the Flyers, who have lost three straight.

"Yeah, we battled back which showed a bit of character but in the end it is still a loss for us," Gagne said. "We played well for forty minutes but at the end it was not good enough."

Washington's Brent Johnson made 33 saves and received his best offensive support of the season in improving to 3-3. The Capitals had scored only 13 goals in Johnson's previous seven starts.

"Brent has played well," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "His stats are misleading because he starts on the road a lot. I'm extremely happy with his play."

Philadelphia's Antero Niittymaki, who stopped 27 shots, said the Flyers had a chance to win in the third period.

"There are a few goals I would like to have had back," Niittymaki explained. "There were a few bounces. That is the way it was."

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