Caps' skid hits 5 in loss to 'Hawks

THE BALTIMORE SUN

It had been 24 days since the Chicago Blackhawks celebrated a victory, so it mattered little that they blew a three-goal lead..

For the struggling Blackhawks, the two-point jump in the standings made this ugly game seem as pretty as a flawless diamond.

Chicago ended its 10-game losing streak last night, getting an overtime goal from Kyle Calder and 34 saves from seldom-used goaltender Adam Munro in a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals at MCI Center.

Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have lost five straight -- all at home.

The Blackhawks built a 3-0 lead in the opening 23 minutes and ended a skid that came dangerously close to the club record of 12, set at the end of the 1950-51 season.

Calder scored the game-winner after arriving at the net at the same time as Washington defenseman Shaone Morrisonn and a shot by Chicago's Tyler Arnason. Calder managed to get the puck past goaltender Olie Kolzig, and the goal stood after a replay review.

"We should never get in a situation where we have to have a valiant effort to come back," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "We should be able to execute a little better at the start and not get ourselves in that position."

Brendan Witt and Brian Sutherby also scored for the Caps.

Sharks 6, Bruins 2 -- Joe Thornton was ejected less than six minutes into his first game back in Boston, but Josh Langfeld scored twice to lead visiting San Jose to its fourth straight win.

Rangers 4, Flames 2 -- Petr Sykora had a goal and assist in his Rangers debut, and Jason Ward snapped a third-period tie to lift host New York over Calgary.

Hurricanes 3, Red Wings 2 -- Erik Cole had a goal and an assist and host Carolina held on to beat Detroit. Martin Gerber stopped 36 shots for the Hurricanes, who won their fifth straight.

Senators 7, Coyotes 2 -- Daniel Alfredsson had two goals and two assists in his return from a rib injury and Bryan Smolinski added three assists to lead host Ottawa over Phoenix.

Predators 2, Islanders 1 -- Steve Sullivan scored twice to lead host Nashville over New York. Sullivan broke a 1-1 tie on his second goal of the game with 3:17 left in the third period.

Oilers 3, Penguins 1 -- Shawn Horcoff scored all three Edmonton goals in its win over slumping Pittsburgh, which has lost 16 of 20.

Canucks 4, Maple Leafs 3 -- Alexandre Burrows scored his first career goal to help host Vancouver beat Toronto despite being outshot 38-19.

Off the ice -- The Tampa Bay Lightning waived 42-year-old captain Dave Andreychuk yesterday, saying the inspirational leader of their Stanley Cup championship team could not keep up with the speed the NHL's new rules have brought about. Andreychuk had six goals and 12 assists in 42 games this season. He ranks second all-time in the NHL among left wings in goals (640), assists (698) and points (1,338).

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