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Good news Jets, Habs worst in East after shutout loss

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MONTREAL -- A floater goal by Dennis Wideman and an unstoppable blast by Alexander Semin were all the talk after the Washington Capitals picked up yet another shutout win in Montreal on Saturday.

The Habs host Winnipeg this afternoon.

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Wideman hung his head after he got the opening goal in Washington's 3-0 victory at 8:10 of the first period. After Brooks Laich won a draw, Wideman only got a piece of a bouncing puck that went over the defence and knuckled down past helpless goalie Peter Budaj.

The veteran defenceman just leaned forward at the blue-line pondering his good fortune.

"It was kind of embarrassing," Wideman said. "I don't know what to do when something like that happens.

"It was up on end and I just swung at it hoping for the best and I guess the best happened. It went up and over everyone and no one picked it up. And it just dropped in. It was pretty high. It was a foot or two over (Max) Pacioretty's head."

At 11:57 of the third frame, Semin got the Capitals' second penalty shot of the game and beat Budaj with a spectacular shot from close range.

Caps' star Alex Ovechkin called Wideman's effort a '"flukey shot, and especially his reaction after that was kind of funny.

"But Sasha's goal, I don't think any goalie can stop that. He's maybe one and half metres from the net (takes) and a slapshot top shelf."

Matt Hendricks scored in a more conventional manner for the Capitals (27-20-4), who got a 30-save shutout from Tomas Vokoun.

Washington has picked up shutouts in its last three visits to Montreal, each time with a different goalie. Last March, it was Braden Holtby in a 2-0 victory, while Michal Neuvirth picked up a 3-0 win on Jan. 18.

It was the first time a visiting team had two penalty shots in a game in Montreal. Troy Brouwer was awarded one at 9:14 of the middle period after Budaj threw his stick in a bid to knock the puck away. But the Canadiens backup goalie stuffed Brouwer's attempt to score between the pads.

Semin got his shot after he had his stick slashed from behind by Tomas Kaberle.

Budaj made 20 saves for Montreal (19-24-9), which is 0-3-0 since the all-star break and is in the NHL Eastern Conference cellar.

It was Ovechkin's first game after serving a three-game suspension, but he had an uneventful afternoon.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 5, 2012 B4

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