NHL ROUNDUP \ Wednesday's other games
Capitals 5, Panthers 2
WASHINGTON -- Alexander Semin had a goal and an assist during Washington's five-goal first period. The Capitals, who hadn't scored more than five goals in any of their first four games, tallied five in the opening 15 minutes against the Panthers. The last time Washington scored five goals in a period was on Feb. 12, 2003, in a 5-1 win at Atlanta. Olie Kolzig had 34 saves, Jamie Heward and Matt Bradley scored unassisted goals and Richard Zednik had two assists for the Capitals. Florida goaltender Alex Auld was removed at 12:36 after yielding four goals on 12 shots. Josef Stumpel and Nathan Horton scored power-play goals for the Panthers.
Predators 3, Rangers 0
NEW YORK -- Tomas Vokoun made 38 saves in his 17th NHL shutout, and Scott Nichol had a goal and assist for his first points of the season in Nashville's win. Vokoun, who allowed 13 goals in Nashville's opening two losses, has starkly turned his early season around. He has been in the nets for each of the Predators three straight victories and stopped 91 of 93 shots. The Rangers outshot the Predators in every period but lost for the fourth time in five games. Nichol gave Nashville a 2-0 lead midway through the second period and then helped set up Jerred Smithson's first of the season, a power-play goal with 1:48 left in the frame. Jason Arnott scored his second goal in the first period for the Predators.
Avalanche 4, Maple Leafs 1
TORONTO -- John-Michael Liles scored twice to lead Colorado. Brett McLean and Milan Hejduk also scored for the Avalanche, who avoided a three-game losing streak. Backup goalie Peter Budaj got the start against Toronto and finished with 27 saves. Bates Battaglia scored for the Maple Leafs.
Blackhawks 2, Canadiens 1
CHICAGO -- Bryan Smolinski's goal early in the third period lifted Chicago over Montreal. Smolinski scored from the slot two minutes into the third after taking Tony Salmelainen's centering pass from behind the net. Jeff Hamilton set up the play by forcing Montreal's Janne Niinimaa to turn over the puck. Montreal (3-1-2) lost for the first time in regulation this season. Martin Havlat, who entered the game as the league's leading scorer, also scored for Chicago (4-2-0) but was held to one point in a game for the first time this season. Chris Higgins, the Canadiens' leading scorer, recorded his fourth goal and David Aebischer made 21 saves for Montreal. Nikolai Khabibulin had 28 stops for Chicago.
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