<
>

Hawks blow three-goal lead, but snap skid with OT win

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It had been 24 days since the Chicago
Blackhawks celebrated a victory, so it mattered little that they
blew a three-goal lead and allowed a whopping 37 shots on goal.

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 Tuesday 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.

"We've played well enough in a lot of the games that we've
lost. This maybe wasn't our best, but it was a win," Blackhawks
coach Trent Yawney said.

Seeking their first win since Dec. 16, the Blackhawks built a
3-0 lead in the opening 23 minutes. Although the Capitals came back
to force overtime, Chicago ended a skid that came dangerously close
to the club record of 12, set at the end of the 1950-51 season.

"It's a good start for us tonight," said winger Matthew
Barnaby, who scored the Blackhawks' first goal. "We want to win
hockey games. We're not going to make any excuses about the way we
played. We're just going to try to play better."

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.

Just like that, the Blackhawks' skid was over.

"You never think you can lose that many in a row, but it sure
adds up in a hurry," Calder said.

Munro made several clutch saves in his eighth career NHL game,
the first since April 2004. His only other NHL victory came against
Washington on March 12, 2004.

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

"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."

The Capitals trailed 3-0 before Brendan Witt scored on a wrist
shot from the right circle at 11:19 of the second period. It was
the defenseman's 20th career goal in 607 games, the first since
April 1, 2004.

Less than two minutes later, Ovechkin squeezed a shot through
Munro's pads, the rookie's team-high 26th goal of the season.

Ovechkin earned an assist on the tying goal, giving his 51
points at the midpoint of Washington's schedule. Ovechkin flicked a
pass to Brian Sutherby in the slot with 16:33 left, an instant
after a Washington power play expired.

The Capitals finished 0-for-7 with the extra man.

Barnaby scored the lone goal of the first period, converting a
pass from a charging Mikael Holmqvist at 8:00.

A power-play goal by Radim Vrbata made it 2-0 in the first
minute of the second period, and Chicago's Jaroslav Spacek was
credited with a goal at 2:47 when the rebound of his shot hit
Washington defenseman Jamie Heward and bounded into the net.

"We got a couple of bad bounces and found ourselves down 3-0,"
Sutherby said. "It's getting to be a little disappointing. I guess
we've just got to try and stay positive."

Game notes
Washington recalled LW Colin Forbes from Hershey (AHL).
Forbes, who was acquired last month in a trade with Carolina,
started on the top line with Ovechkin last month for Stephen Peat.
... Chicago C Chris Brown (sprained knee) missed his first game of
the season. ... Capitals LW Matt Pettinger was scratched because of
the flu, and C Jeff Halpern missed a fourth straight game with a
groin injury.