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CHICAGO 4, WASHINGTON 3

3/12/2004

WASHINGTON (AP) -- When it became crowded in front of the net,
the Chicago Blackhawks got what they were looking for -- a
power-play goal by Tuomo Ruuttu against the Washington Capitals.

Ruuttu made his second goal of the game a winner Friday night.
He knocked the rebound of a shot by Bryan Berard past Olaf Kolzig
with 6:22 remaining, giving the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the
Capitals.

With the game tied after Brian Willsie's short-handed goal,
Chicago was given another chance on the power play. Berard, who had
earlier scored on a five-on-three in the second period, sent a shot
to the front that Ruuttu slipped behind Kolzig.

The gave Chicago its first win in seven games.

"You've got to have traffic in front," Blackhawks coach Brian
Sutter said. "You can have God in goal, but if you can't see
what's coming at him, it might go between his legs."

Jason Strudwick also scored for Chicago, which has a power-play
goal in eight straight games.

Jeff Halpern scored on the power play in the first period for
Washington, but the Capitals couldn't solve Adam Munro on a
five-on-three inside the final two minutes.

Munro finished with 27 saves for his first NHL victory, becoming
the fifth Chicago goaltender to win a game this season.

"On a five-on-three you have to score," Halpern said. "As
good or bad as you play, you have to score on that. It cost us at
least a tie."

Ruuttu's goals gave the Blackhawks their only leads of the
night.

He also broke a 2-2 tie when he hustled to keep the puck in the
attacking zone. Tyler Arnason collected the puck but lost control
of in front of the net. The loose puck ended up right on the stick
of Ruuttu, who beat Kolzig for his 16th goal of the season.

"I feel like I can do much more than I could earlier in the
year," Ruuttu said. "I'm more inside of the game right now. It
must come to you. If you think about it too much, it never comes to
you."

The Blackhawks needed to find some offense in the second period
after being held with a shot for more than 14 minutes in the first.

Strudwick scored at 2:50 in the second period to offset
Halpern's first-period goal. Berard's goal on a two-man advantage
tied the game at 2.

"You score two goals in the league this time of year you should
have a chance to win the game," Sutter said. "Three goals should
guarantee you a win"

Stephen Peat's fourth goal of the season, at 9:09 of the second
period, gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead.

Game notes
The Capitals recalled C Brooks Laich from Portland of the
AHL and assigned defender Shaone Morrison to the farm club. ...
Strudwick's goal was his first since March 22, 2003. ... Laich's
assist on Peat's goal was his first NHL point.