The Washington Capitals beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 Friday night at Capital One Arena in Washington. The win improves the Capitals record to 15-7-3 (33 points), good enough for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals are back in action Sunday afternoon when they host the Anaheim Ducks. Puck drop is set for 3:00PM ET.
Braden Holtby (9-5-0-2, 2.74 GAA, .917 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Keith Kinkaid (9-5-0-4, 2.72 GAA, .912 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Devils. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Jonas Siegenthaler and Travis Boyd
The Capitals opened the scoring with a net front goal from Nicklas Backstrom at 3:51 of the opening stanza. Backstrom’s tally was setup by a nice feed from Alex Ovechkin. Michal Kempny was credited with the second helper.
The period would conclude with the Caps leading 1-0. The Devils led in shots on goal 9-8, but the Caps out-attempted the Devils 14-10. The Devils were 0 for 2 and the Capitals 0 for 0 on the power play.
The Capitals would quickly make it 2-0 with a short-handed goal from Tom Wilson just .08 seconds into the middle frame. Matt Niskanen was credited with the lone assist.
The Devils would respond with their own short-handed goal from Travis Zajac at 9:23 of the middle frame, making it 2-1 Caps.
Tom Wilson would receive a five-minute major for this very questionable contact with the Devils Brett Seney. Seney would leave the ice but return and play the entire third period.
The period would end with the Capitals holding on to a 2-1 lead. The Devils led 17-10 in SOG and out-attempted the Caps 22-16 for the middle frame.
The Capitals would kill the remainder of the 5-minute major penalty to Tom Wilson to start the final frame. Then, Andre Burakovsky would add to the Caps total with a break away goal at 5:45 of the middle frame. Michal Kempny and Nicklas Backstrom would be credited for the assists.
Nicklas Backstrom would stretch the Capitals lead to 4-1 with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 10:57 of the final stanza.
The Devils would get one back with a goal from Nico Hischier at 12:31 of the third period, making it 4-2 Caps. Marcus Johansson would cut the Caps lead to 4-3, but Alex Ovechkin would add an empty net goal to make it 5-3 and Nicklas Backstrom would score his third of the game for a 6-3 final.
- Seven-game W streak longest for Caps since a nine-gamer, 12/31/16 – 1/15/17.
- Nicklas Backstrom netted his second career hat trick.
- Tom Wilson’s goal eight seconds into the second period matched the fourth-fastest goal to begin a period in Capitals franchise history. Bengt-Ake Gustafsson established the franchise mark on Jan. 18, 1983 (0:05).
- That marks Backstrom’s second straight three point game (2g, 4a).
- Alex Ovechkin scored his 626th career goal to surpass Joe Sakic and Jarome Iginla (625) for sole possession of 15th on the NHL’s all-time list.
- The NHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT