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Associated Press
1/13/2007 10:23:56 PM


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Stephen Weiss scored three goals for his first career hat trick and the Florida Panthers beat the Washington Capitals 7-3 on Saturday night.

Jay Bouwmeester, selected to the Eastern Conference all-star team earlier in the day, had two goals and two assists for Florida. Chris Gratton and Rostislav Olesz also scored for the Panthers, and Ed Belfour had 14 saves.

Alexander Semin, Matt Pettinger and Chris Clark scored for Washington, which lost its fifth straight on the road. Olaf Kolzig gave up five goals on 41 shots before being replaced by Brent Johnson at the start of the third. Johnson made 10 saves on 12 shots.

The 53 shots were a season high for Florida, which has won four straight at home.

Washington pulled to 2-1 as Semin poked in a rebound under Belfour's leg at 11:56 of the second for his 25th goal of the season.

Florida stretched its lead to 3-1 about one minute later on Weiss's first goal. Kolzig blocked a shot by David Booth but Weiss picked up the rebound and beat Kolzig.

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