Sergei Fedorov scored 2:20 into overtime to lift the Washington Capitals (41-21-6, first in Southeast, third in East) over the Nashville Predators (33-29-5-71, fourth in Central, T-7 in West) , before 16,064 at Sommet Arena.

Fedorov called the victory a "character win", but the Caps will take any type of win at this point, after losing their previous four games. Nashville has now lost two straight after winning their previous six games.

The win was punctuated by several big fights, with the Caps mainly on the losing end. Donald Brashear was knocked down by Wade Belak in the first period and did not return to the game. According to Capitals Insider, Brashear sprained his knee in the fight.

Matt Bradley then dropped with Jordin Tootoo and suffered a head butt to his nose, opening a gash that required several stitches, and a change of jerseys. Bradley returned to the game after getting stitched up. John Erskine mixed it up with Belak in the second period and managed to hold his own. The defenseman has been discouraged from fighting due to multiple concussions in the past.

As for actual hockey, the Preds got off quickly, scoring 50 seconds into the game. Ryan Suter put a long distance wrist shot through traffic and past a screened Jose Theodore low to the stick side.

Niklas Backstrom tied it with 1:21 remaining in the second period. Viktor Kozlov carried the puck into the offensive zone, went cross-ice to Alex Ovechkin, and Ovie found Backstrom slipping behind the defense. Backstrom caught the pass on the backhand, skated across the front of the crease, and lifted it over a committed Dan Ellis to tie things up.

Video courtesy of Caps365 at

The goalies took over from there, as Ellis--filling in for an ill Pekka Rinne--made several highlight saves in the third period. Eliis would finish with 39 saves on the night. Theodore was efficient in registering 26 saves against the Predators.

Washington had 17 shots on goal in the final frame, but went 0-for-3 on the power play and could not beat Ellis. The veteran backup made three excellent saves against Ovechkin in the third period, who may be suffering from the lingering effects of the bruised heel he suffered at practice last week.

The Capitals next face the Philadelphia Flyers, Thursday night at 7:00 PM from the Wachovia Center. The Flyers defeated Buffalo last night 5-2, as Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell had two goals apiece.

50.0 Ryan Suter (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Weber, Erat

18:39 Nicklas Backstrom (18), Slap Shot. Assist: Ovechkin, Kozlov


02:20 Sergei Fedorov (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Kozlov, Semin

1. D. Ellis - NSH (Saves: 42, Save Pct: .955)
2. S. Fedorov - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
3. N. Backstrom - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)

Alexander Semin extended his point streak to seven games with his assist on Fedorov's game-winner. It is one game shy of his career best streak. The Caps had a goal waived off after a video review determined that Tomas Fleischmann directed the puck into the net with his skate. Ovechkin has five goals and five assists in his last eight games. The Caps have won five straight on the road, improving to 11-3-2 in their last 16 games away from Verizon Center.