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Carlson, Laich score in third period to lift Caps

John Carlson and Brooks Laich scored in a 45-second span in the third period to help the Washington Capitals rally for a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.

The victory ended Washington's three-game losing streak and moved the Capitals into a tie with Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division.

Jason Chimera scored Washington's other goal, later in the third period, and goalie Michal Neuvirth finished with 22 saves.

Ottawa has lost eight of its last nine games.

Both teams have had problems scoring lately, and those troubles continued in this game. The Senators scored only 16 goals in their last nine games and were ranked 29th in scoring coming in.

Washington's offensive troubles also continued. The Capitals have scored three goals or fewer in their last 10 games and didn't create many scoring chances until the third period.

The Capitals trailed for most of the game after Mike Fisher gave Ottawa a quick lead with his goal just 72 seconds into the contest. He scored after Washington couldn't clear a loose puck from in front of Neuvirth.

That lead held up into the third period when Alex Ovechkin and Laich combined to help get the tying goal.

Ovechkin hit Erik Karlsson hard in the left corner, and the puck squirted over to teammate Chris Phillips on the other side. Phillips then tried to make a quick pass out of the zone, but Laich intercepted and fired a snap shot past goalie Brian Elliott at 7:15 of the third period.

The Capitals took the lead just 45 seconds later on Carlson's power-play goal. Milan Michalek got called for cross-checking at 7:58, and Carlson needed just two seconds to get the go-ahead goal. Nicklas Backstrom drew the face-off back to Carlson at the right point, and he beat Elliott with a hard slap shot to make it 2-1.

Chimera gave Washington an insurance goal with 6:29 left, getting the kind of break the Capitals haven't seen much of in recent weeks.

Chimera threw a shot towards the goal from the left corner with almost no angle to it, but the puck hit Elliott on his back and riccocheted into the net.

Neuvirth made just his second start in goal since Dec. 23 and played well, keeping Washington close until the offense awakened in the third period.

Washington has started slowly in recent games, and that trend continued against Ottawa. The Capitals got only five shots in that period and didn't create many scoring chances. That's the 15th time in the last 21 games they've either been trailing or tied after 20 minutes.

NOTES: Washington's Eric Fehr will be out three to four weeks after suffering an "upper body" injury against Vancouver on Friday. ... Laich hadn't scored a goal since Dec. 15 against Anaheim. ... Ottawa recalled goalie Mike Brodeur from Binghamton of the AHL on an emergency basis Sunday to replace the injured Pascal Leclaire. ... Nick Foligno got an assist on Ottawa's goal and has points in three straight games.