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Mario's back but Capitals still prevail

Capitals 4, Penguins 3

PITTSBURGH — The Washington Capitals don't care if Mario Lemieux is in the Pittsburgh lineup or not. They aren't even fazed when he has extra motivation.

The Capitals were the beneficiaries when Lemieux missed the first game of his amazing comeback to rest his ailing back last Friday.

On Wednesday, Lemieux was on home ice, and Washington still came away with its second 4-3 victory over the Penguins in five days.

The Capitals had beaten the Penguins only twice in 11 games, and hadn't won at all in Pittsburgh in more than three years.

Jeff Halpern scored the game-winner with 3:20 remaining as the Capitals improved to 8-0-1 on the road since Jan. 27.

HURRICANES 2, BLUE JACKETS 1:Rod Brind'Amour scored two goals, his second 4:52 into the third period, as Carolina edged Columbus.

SHARKS 3, PANTHERS 3: San Jose's Scott Thornton scored a career-high three goals, including the tying tally at Florida with 1:26 left.

BLACKHAWKS 4, STARS 1:Jocelyn Thibault stopped 18 shots, and Bob Probert had a goal and an assist as Chicago won at Dallas.

OILERS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 0:Tommy Salo made 25 saves for his sixth shutout of the season as visiting Edmonton beat Curtis Joseph and Toronto for the first time in nearly three years.

MIGHTY DUCKS 4, CANADIENS 2: Jeff Friesen made an immediate impact with his new team, setting up two goals by Paul Kariya in Anaheim's home victory over Montreal.