Capitals beat Devils to take lead in Metropolitan Division
Dec. 31, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson had a goal and two assists each, Alex Ovechkin had three assists and the Washington Capitals beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Saturday night to move atop the Metropolitan Division.
Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots as Washington won its eighth straight home game. Christian Djoos had a goal and an assist, and Tom Wilson and Matt Niskanen also scored for the Capitals.
New Jersey had gone eight games without a regulation loss. John Moore scored ate in the first period and Travis Zajac midway through the third. Corey Schneider stopped 30 shots.
Marcus Johansson played in his first game as a visitor in Washington after seven seasons with the Capitals and assisted on both goals.
Wilson got the game's first goal, his sixth of the season, beating Schneider at 2:26 in the first period. Djoos gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead at 11:09. It was Djoos' third goal this season and his first since Oct. 21.
After Moore's goal, Carlson's fourth at 7:01 of the second made it 3-1. Niskanen added his third goal of the season at 4:25 of the third. Backstrom added his eighth goal, an empty-netter, in the game's final minute.
The win was Washington coach Barry Trotz's 737th. He's now in fifth place on the career list, passing Lindy Ruff.
NOTES: Johansson was applauded by the crowd after a video tribute in the first period. "It feels a little weird," he said before the game. "It's going to be a fun one and a special one for me, and I think something I'm going to remember for a while afterwards." ... Washington F Andre Burakovsky was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. ... The Devils acquired G Eddie Lack from Calgary for D Dalton Prout. Lack will report to Binghamton of the AHL.
Devils: Visit St. Louis on Tuesday night.
Capitals: Visit Carolina on Tuesday night.
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