WASHINGTON — John Erskine scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:49 remaining to help the Washington Capitals beat the Atlanta Thrashers 6-4 on Sunday for their sixth straight home victory.
Trailing a rush into the Thrashers' zone, Erskine used a slap shot from the left point to convert a drop pass from David Steckel, beating Ondrej Pavelec to cap a sloppy, goal-filled game.
Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and Steckel had a goal and an assist each for the Capitals. Alexander Semin and Matt Hendricks also scored for Washington.
Bryan Little led Atlanta with two goals. Andrew Ladd had a goal and an assist, and Rich Peverley also scored for the Thrashers.
Pavelec allowed one goal on 16 shots after replacing Chris Mason in the second period.
Ovechkin scored just 1:30 into the game, blasting a slap shot from the left circle that trickled through Chris Mason. Green followed with a power-play goal with a second left on a slashing minor to Ben Eager, caroming a drive off defenseman Brent Sopel from the top of the right circle.
Peverley reached behind goalie Michal Neuvirth to whack in a loose puck on power play at 13:14 of the first, but Semin restored Washington's two-goal lead with 1:03 left, finishing off a 3-on-2 rush off a lead pass from Ovechkin.
Ladd eluded defenseman John Carlson, banked a pass to himself off the left boards and scored from a tough angle 1:12 into the second, and Hendricks' goal at 2:23 chased Mason.
Atlanta again crept within a goal at 3:07 when Evander Kane's rebound squirted to Little, who scored from between the circles, and Little tied it at 4 on a short-handed breakaway at 9 minutes. Ladd's shot was blocked by Neuvirth, then tipped by Little as it flipped in the air and rolled in off the goalie's mask and down his back.
Steckel scored an empty-netter with 37 seconds left.
NOTES: Washington D Tyler Sloan had two assists, his first career multipoint game. ... Capitals defensemen have scored a goal in eight consecutive games. ... Washington D Tom Poti missed his second straight game. Poti returned Thursday after sitting out eight games because of a groin problem. RW Boyd Gordon (leg) also was scratched.