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Green reaches milestone in Caps’ win

- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Washington Capitals didn´t have any power plays in the first two periods, but Mike Green made sure the team took advantage once they did in the final 20 minutes.

Green had a pair of landmark goals to help the Caps rally for a 5-3 win Wednesday against the lowly New York Islanders in front of an announced sellout crowd at Verizon Center.

He knotted the score at 3-3 on a one-timer from Alexander Semin at 10:55 of the final period. It was Green´s 17th power-play goal of the season, which is a team record for defenseman.

He netted goal No. 30 of the season just 1:23 later to give Washington its first lead of the night. Green knocked down Nate Thompson's weak clearing attempt at the right point and wristed a shot past New York goaltender Joey MacDonald at 12:18.

Green is the first NHL defenseman to score 30 goals in a season since Washington's Kevin Hatcher in the 1992-93 season.

The Islanders had taken a 3-2 lead earlier in the period. The puck was chipped out from along the boards and Richard Park corralled it, split two Caps defenders and faked out Jose Theodore before potting a backhand shot 2:11 into the third.

After the Islanders went up 2-0, Alex Ovechkin cut New York´s lead in half 5:37 into the second period. Green chipped the puck past Jeff Tambellini, and Sergei Fedorov beat Islanders defenseman Jack Hillen to the puck in the corner and then made a beautiful drop pass as he skated behind the net to Ovechkin. Ovechkin one-timed it off MacDonald and in for his league-leading 54th marker of the season.

Keith Aucoin´s first goal with the Caps leveled the score. Eric Fehr knocked down a outlet pass, and Aucoin picked it at the top of the circles. His first shot was denied, but he slipped the rebound through MacDonald´s legs at 9:54.

Aucoin signed with the Caps this offseason and leads the American Hockey League with 94 points in 69 games. He now has a goal and two assists in seven games with the big league club. The Islanders opened the scoring with tallies from Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen.

After Washington´s Tom Poti failed to clear the puck, Okposo took a pass from Nielsen and netted a power-play goal at 14:04 of the first period. His shot from the right circle beat Jose Theodore with the help of a screen from Bailey, who may have interfered with Poti´s clearing attempt before moving to the front of the net.

Nielsen made it 2-0 on a two-on-one when Tambellini´s pass deflected off his ankle and into the cage just 37 seconds into the second period.

Notes — Goaltender Brent Johnson was on the ice near the end of the team´s morning skate Wednesday. He was in full gear and took shots from his teammates. Both Johnson and Boudreau declined to put a timetable on Johnson´s potential return. Johnson had hip surgery Feb. 12 and was expected to miss six to eight weeks.