Perreault’s hat trick leads Capitals past Bruins

Posted Jan. 24, 2012, at 10:57 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Mathieu Perreault got his first career hat trick, including the tie-breaking goal in the third period, to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.

Perreault’s third goal of the game came 7:18 into the third period when he put in a rebound off Roman Hamrlik’s shot to give Washington the lead.

Cody Eakin also scored for the Capitals, who won for the second time in five games. Dennis Wideman added an empty-netter with 27 seconds left.

Rich Peverley, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand scored for Boston in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.

The Capitals were without captain Alex Ovechkin, who was serving the first game of a three-game suspension for a hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Zbynek Michalek in Washington’s loss Sunday. Ovechkin also announced Tuesday he would skip the NHL All-Star game, saying, “My heart is not there.”

Washington was already missing another key offensive player: center Nicklas Backstrom, who missed his 10th straight game after being elbowed in the head.

“You’re not going to replace Alex, but as a committee we’re going to have to get the goals,” Washington coach Dale Hunter said before the game. “We need people to step up.”

Offensive chances for both teams were relatively sparse in the first period, but the goals came fast and furious in the second.

Washington opened the period with a pair of goals 41 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead. Eakin sneaked a shot past Boston goalie Tuukka Rask at the 2:14 mark, and Perreault followed with his first goal of the game on a nice pass from Alexander Semin.

Perreault brought the puck down the center of the ice, passed to Semin on the right side, and Semin sent it back to Perreault, who was between the circles. Perrault flipped the puck past Rusk after he had moved to cut off a possible Semin shot.

The teams then traded scores off turnovers. Seguin picked off a pass from Capitals defenseman John Carlson in Washington’s zone and scored at 12:21 in the second.

Perreault put the Capitals ahead again about 2 minutes later, stealing a pass in the middle of the ice and converting on a breakaway for his second of the game.

Perreault was whistled for a hooking penalty with about three minutes to play in the second period, and Boston took advantage as Marchand banged in a rebound at the 17:42 mark to tie the game at 3.

Peverley got a lucky bounce to score the game’s first goal with 2:14 to go in the opening period. Deep in the left corner, Peverley tried a centering pass to Milan Lucic in front of the net. Washington defenseman Karl Alzner, sprawled on the ice to block a possible shot, got his stick on the puck and redirected it into the Capitals’ net.

NOTES: Boston RW Nathan Horton sat out his first game of the season with what Bruins coach Claude Julien termed a “mild concussion.” Julien said he hoped Horton would be able to return after the All-Star break. … Boston G Tim Thomas, who skipped Monday’s White House ceremony honoring the team’s Stanley Cup win last season, did not play. … Hunter said he didn’t expect Ovechkin to be handed a three-game suspension. “I was surprised it was as harsh as it was,” the coach said before the game.

Rangers 3, Jets 0

NEW YORK — Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 shots in a bit of a surprise start, and Ryan Callahan, John Mitchell and Brad Richards provided the offense in the New York Rangers’ 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.

Lundqvist (22-10-4) made his fifth consecutive start for the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers because backup Martin Biron was out with the flu.

This is the busiest stretch of the season for Lundqvist since he played in New York’s first six games. He won’t be able to rest this weekend, either, because he will be in Ottawa for the NHL All-Star game, but he shows no signs of wearing down.

Biron allowed only one goal in beating the Jets in New York’s two previous meetings this season, and Lundqvist picked up where he left off. The All-Star earned his fifth shutout and 40th in seven NHL seasons.

Winnipeg, which lost 2-1 at Carolina on Monday, was outshot 31-22 and fell to 0-8 in the second of back-to-back games. The Jets have been outscored 33-5 in those losses.

New York has won four of six.

Callahan gave the Rangers a 1-0 just 4:05 in when he got to a rebound of defenseman Anton Stralman’s shot and slammed it into the wide-open left side of the net for his 17th of the season. The New York captain has three goals and two assists in his last four games.

Winnipeg didn’t seem to have much jump in the first period, when it was outshot 11-6, and rarely had control of the puck. The Jets picked up the pace in the second, landing several heavy hits, but still generated only six more shots — none of which seriously threatened Lundqvist.

The Jets’ best scoring chance came with 4:36 left when Blake Wheeler tried to jam a shot in, but was stuffed by the post as Lundqvist spread out his pads. The puck skimmed through the crease, and was nearly deflected in by Lundqvist, but he lifted his right leg just in time — allowing the puck to slide by and out of danger.

Just 2 minutes earlier, Mitchell stretched the Rangers’ lead to 2-0 with his fifth of the season and third in five games. Michael Del Zotto sent a pass across the Winnipeg zone and hit Mitchell in stride in the middle of the left circle for a hard snap shot that appeared to tick goalie Ondrej Pavelec’s glove on its way to the top right corner at 13:22.

Richards pushed the lead to 3-0 with 3:38 left in the game, scoring his 16th this season and first in eight games.

The low shot total was out of character for the Jets, who had outshot their opponents in each of the previous five games — averaging 32.5 per contest.

When Winnipeg put pressure on Lundqvist, he was up to the task. Less than 3 minutes into the third period, Tanner Glass had a chance from point-blank range near the right post, but Lundqvist got over and stopped the drive with his pad and covered the puck.

NOTES: The Rangers recalled G Chad Johnson from Connecticut of the AHL to back up Lundqvist. … Jets C Evander Kane, who missed his third game because of a concussion, was placed on the injured list. Winnipeg recalled F Aaron Gagnon from St. John’s of the AHL. Gagnon, who made his Jets debut in place of Alexander Burmistrov, played a total of 21 NHL games the previous two seasons with the Dallas Stars. Burmistrov was injured during the third period Monday. … The Rangers went 0 for 4 on the power play and are 3 for 42 on the advantage the past 17 games. … Winnipeg has killed 20 of 21 power plays the past eight games, but went 0 for 2 with the advantage against New York. … The Rangers beat the Jets 3-0 in Winnipeg’s other visit to New York on Nov. 6

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