Continued from page 1

The Capitals have scored more than three goals only once in the last 15 games, a stretch that’s included three shutouts. Their frustration was never more obvious than a sequence with about 7½ minutes to go, after the Thrashers had just killed off a Washington power play.

Schultz ripped a screened shot from just inside the blue line, but Pavelec turned it aside with his right pad. The puck ricocheted off the boards and wound up back in front for Laich to get a whack at it. Pavelec stopped that one, too, and covered up amid a scrum of players in front of the net.

Schultz threw back his head in disbelief when the referee whistled the play to a halt.

“If you can’t score, you can’t score,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It wasn’t for lack of effort. Our power play was good. We just can’t score goals right now. We’re trying so hard, but we can’t score goals.”

Pavelec made another big stop in the final minute after the Capitals pulled Varlamov. Mike Green took a pass and moved in all alone off the right wing, ripping a shot from about 15 feet away. Pavelec whipped out his glove and snatched it out of the air.

Green skated on behind the net, looking as though he was about to slam his stick into the glass before catching himself.

“Sometimes,” Pavelec said, “it feels lucky.”

NOTES: Ovechkin was shaken up while sitting on the Capitals bench in the third period. He appeared to be struck over his left eye with a teammates’ stick, and spent several minutes holding his head and grimacing in pain. He was on the ice at the end, however. … All-Star Dustin Byfuglien, the Thrashers‘ top scorer, was held without a point for the 10th straight game. … Pavelec posted the fifth shutout of his career.