National Sports Briefs: Caps shut down NHL’s top offense

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2008

Associated Press
WASHINGTON ó Capitals goalie Brent Johnson shut down the Eastern Conference’s top offense, and Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexandre Giroux scored, leading Washington to a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.
The Southeast Division-leading Capitals improved to 11-1-1 at home.
Devils 4, Penguins 1
NEWARK, N.J. ó Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves, Travis Zajac scored the first goal and New Jersey kept rolling by beating Pittsburgh.
Clemmensen, who has emerged as the Devils go-to goalie with Martin Brodeur sidelined, improved to 7-1 in his last eight starts.
Sabres 4, Lightning 2
BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Thomas Vanek scored twice, including his NHL-leading 22nd goal, in Buffalo’s comeback win over Tampa Bay. It was the Lightning’s ninth straight defeat.
Rangers 3, Thrashers 2, OT
ATLANTA ó Scott Gomez scored 15 seconds into overtime and the New York Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak by beating struggling Atlanta.
Red Wings 4, Flames 3, OT
DETROIT ó Nicklas Lidstrom scored 3:50 into overtime to complete Detroit’s comeback from a two-goal deficit.
Brian Rafalski had a goal and an assist, and Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for Detroit.
CHARLOTTE ó Meineke Bowl officials have already sold more than 50,000 tickets for the Dec. 27 game between North Carolina and West Virginia.
Bowl officials are hopeful to sell out 73,000-seat Bank of America Stadium.
Corey Pavin will be introduced Thursday as the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain. The PGA of America chose Pavin with hopes of bringing the U.S. consecutive Ryder Cup victories for first time since 1993.
NORMAN, Okla. ó Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 5 Oklahoma to a 78-52 victory over Maine on Wednesday night.
No. 10 Xavier 78, Ohio 56
CINCINNATI ó Xavier (8-0) has matched the second-best start in its history.
Boston College 80, Bryant 61
BOSTON ó Rakim Sanders hit five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points.
Charlotte 70, Mississippi St. 64
STARKVILLE, Miss. ó Lamont Mack had a season-high 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Charlotte (3-6).