Caps strengthen hold on second in East
Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals beat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-2 Tuesday night to strengthen their hold on second place in the Eastern Conference.
Washington scored three first-period goals and led 3-2 midway through the third period when Sergei Fedorov jammed in a rebound after Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped a shot by Alex Ovechkin.
Viktor Kozlov and Alexander Semin also scored for Washington.
Simeon Varlamov stopped 29 shots in only his fifth start of the season for Washington, which moved four points ahead of New Jersey in the conference with the Devils' 4-1 loss to Toronto.
Rich Peverley and Marty Reasoner scored for Atlanta.
After Fleischmann's goal gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead, the Thrashers tied the game when Peverley scored midway through the opening period.
Kozlov answered for Washington about 30 seconds later as Pavelec moved up the slot, leaving himself out of position to stop the shot.
Semin gave Washington a 3-1 lead late in the period. After the Thrashers mishandled the puck at center ice, Semin found the net when Pavelec lunged forward, again leaving himself out of position.
Reasoner tipped in an attempt by Tobias Enstrom only 1:05 into the second period, cutting Washington's lead to 3-2.
Atlanta had no penalties in the first two periods and only one in the game. ... Ovechkin, who had two assists, began the night two points behind Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin for the league scoring lead. ... Pavelec, making his first appearance since Dec. 18, was recalled from Chicago of the AHL on Sunday. ... The Thrashers were 0-for-6 on the power play.