WASHINGTON – Capitals captain Chris Clark scored twice off assists from Alex Ovechkin and suddenly surging Washington beat the Ottawa Senators 6-2 Wednesday night for its fourth consecutive victory.

Washington, which ended Ottawa’s four-game winning streak, has won three in a row at home for the first time since Feb. 24 to March 2, 2003.

After averaging only 11/2 goals during a six-game winless drought, the Capitals have averaged 51/2 goals in victories over Tampa Bay, Dallas, Buffalo and Ottawa.

The Capitals went ahead 2-0 in the first period on goals 36 seconds apart by Matt Bradley and Clark, who added his second of the game and ninth of the season 13:54 into the second period. Alexander Semin, Matt Pettinger and Brooks Laich padded Washington’s lead in the third.

Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher scored for Ottawa, which played without captain Daniel Alfredsson, injured in Tuesday night’s win against the New York Islanders.

The Capitals continued their pattern of playing their best against some of the NHL’s top teams: They’re 8-3 against clubs that topped 100 points last season – including 2-0 against Ottawa – and 4-6-6 against everyone else.

The Senators had been pretty much unstoppable lately, winning nine of 11 heading into Wednesday.

Top goalie Ray Emery had won six of seven decisions, but he allowed all of the goals against Washington, and the announced crowd of 10,926 chanted his name sarcastically during the hosts’ three-goal third period.

Bradley began things 15:30 in by using his glove to bat down a backhanded clearing attempt by Antoine Vermette, then sending a shot into the upper right corner of the net.

That goal still was being announced on the PA system when Clark knocked in a rebound in front of the net. Ovechkin earned the first of three assists on the night. Linemate Dainius Zubrus also had three assists.

Devils 2, Canadiens 1

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Patrik Elias scored a power-play goal with 7.3 seconds remaining in overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Scott Gomez won a faceoff from Radek Bonk in the Montreal zone in the extra session. Gomez nudged the puck to Elias, who sent it back to defenseman Brian Rafalski. Elias scrambled out to the point to take Rafalski’s pass and beat David Aebischer with a shot under the crossbar.

Zach Parise scored with 5:48 left in regulation for the Devils, 10-1-1 at home.

Gomez carried the puck through three zones before firing a shot at the Montreal net where Devils forward Brian Gionta was tangled up with Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray. Parise pounced on the puck in the slot for his 10th goal.

Montreal scored 4 minutes into the game on a seemingly harmless dump-in to the New Jersey zone. Neither Devils goalie Martin Brodeur nor defenseman David Hale handled it cleanly. That opened the door for Alexander Perezhogin to backhand a centering pass to the slot where Bonk tipped it home.

AP-ES-12-06-06 2208EST


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