Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Semin scored an unassisted goal mid-way through the third period to lead the home team past the Boston Bruins, 2-1, before a capacity crowd at Verizon Center.

Semin had tried the same move twice earlier in the game with no success. But with the game in the balance, and less than nine minutes remaining in the game, Semin played the puck off the boards to himself at his own blue line, maneuvered around a flat-footed defenseman, and blew a slap shot past all-star netminder Tim Thomas for the game-winning goal.

Semin's unassisted goal broke a 1-1 tie and was the culmination of a strong third period performance that saw the Caps take control of a tense, tight-checking contest pitting two of the highest scoring--and winningest--teams in the NHL.

Boston had won four straight and seven on the road, their last road loss coming in the very same building to the Capitals on Dec. 10.

Washington, winners of back-to-back games, now trail Boston by nine points in the Eastern Conference. The teams have two games remaining, both in Boston.

Washington out shot the Bruins in all three periods, and for the game held a 30-24 advantage. The Caps, paying heed to coach Bruce Boudreau's mantra, got skaters in the Bruins crease in front of goalie Tim Thomas all night. The strategy made for more quality chances and better sustained attack on the offensive end of the ice all game long.

After an evenly-played first period, the Bruins scored first in the second period, as Boston leading scorer Marc Savard knocked in his 16th goal of the season. Savard gathered a rebound in the face-off circle to the left of goalie Jose Theodore and buried the shot past the Caps backstop. It was the only shot out of Boston's 24 that would beat Theodore on this evening.

Washington answered back 1:10 later. Mike Green took a beautiful cross-crease pass from center Michael Nylander and put a wrist shot past a helpless Thomas. It was Green's 12th goal of the season.

The Capitals have two games remaining before next weekend's all-star break, both on the road. They travel to Nassau County to face the New York Islanders on Tuesday, and the following night play in Ottawa against the Senators.


01:49 Power Play - Marc Savard (16), Slap Shot. Assist: Kobasew, Chara
02:59 Power Play - Mike Green (12), Snap Shot. Assist: Nylander, Laich

11:48 Alexander Semin (18), Slap Shot, Unassisted

1. A. Semin - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
2. J. Erskine - WAS (Goals: 0, Assists: 0)
3. T. Thomas - BOS (Saves: 28, Save Pct: .933)

Caps Captain Chris Clark was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row.

Boston was without LW Milan Lucic for the fifth straight game due to a shoulder injury.

C Boyd Gordon (back) and D Shaone Morrisson (lower body) were out for Washington.