- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2009

NEW YORK | The Washington Capitals may have lost in a shootout Wednesday night to the New York Rangers, but their work killing penalties certainly made it feel as if they earned a point.

Ryan Callahan had the deciding goal in the shootout - a quirky one that bounced off the left post before hitting Washington goalie Jose Theodore’s stick and ending up in the net - and the Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating the Caps 5-4 at Madison Square Garden.

The Caps forced overtime despite totaling four penalties in the final period, including a four-minute minor to Shaone Morrisonn for high-sticking. Washington’s penalty killers were up to the task, and the Rangers had only nine shots in the entire period despite all of the man-advantage time.

“I think it’s awesome that we stepped up there, and it seems like our penalty killing is going in the right direction,” Caps defenseman Karl Alzner said. “It was so bad for a while. I think we battled hard tonight to salvage that point.”

Mike Green had a pair of goals for the Caps. The dynamic defenseman now has scored a goal in seven straight games, tying a record set by former Boston defenseman Mike O’Connell in the 1983-84 season. Green has nine goals and 16 points in the past seven games.

Green’s first goal came after a diagonal pass from Alex Ovechkin at 10:32. His snap shot beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist high to the short side, and he celebrated his record-tying tally with a scream and a one-handed smack on the glass.

“I was pretty jacked,” Green said. “Just pure emotion - anger, happy, sad - I was pretty wound up.”

He brought Washington even at 4-4 with 57.6 seconds left in the middle period. Michael Nylander circled with the puck near the right point then dropped it for Green, who blasted a slap shot through a crowd for his 21st marker of the season in 42 games.

“Things just seem to be rolling right now,” Green said. “Hopefully it can keep going, but it feels pretty special.”

After Callahan put the Rangers on the scoresheet first, a newly constructed second line produced both of Washington’s first-period goals. Tomas Fleischmann potted his 16th of the season at 10:51 after his original shot didn’t reach the net but bounced back to him and he snapped a shot into the top right corner from between the hash marks.

Fleischmann set up the second goal late in the period. He grabbed a pass from Eric Fehr out of the air and then put a shot on net. The rebound kicked to the left of Lundqvist, and Fehr pounced on it for his seventh of the season at 18:08.

It was Fehr’s fourth goal in seven games since fellow right wing and team captain Chris Clark found out he needed wrist surgery.

A pair of mistakes by the Caps let the Rangers forge a 4-3 advantage. Markus Naslund made it 3-3 at 11:39 of the second after Nigel Dawes went around Morrisonn by banking the puck off the boards to himself before centering a pass to Naslund.

Paul Mara gave New York the lead at 16:00 just seconds after a penalty to Green had expired. Green went to the bench for a change, and Mara was alone as the trailing defenseman because Brooks Laich couldn’t join the play in time.

“We’re at the point where we are disappointed if we don’t get two points every night,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But I thought we played a pretty good game. There were a couple of breakdowns, but I thought the penalty killing was really good. … That team played hard, and I thought we played hard to match them.”

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