The Washington Capitals began their annual west coast swing with a convincing 5-1 victory over the Sharks at SAP Center in San Jose Thursday night. The win improves the Capitals record to 32-19-7 (71 points) on the season. The Capitals now head to southern California to face the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. Puck drop is set for 9:00 PM.
The Sharks struck first just 2:06 into the game, but the Capitals answered less than two minutes later with a power play goal from T.J. Oshie. The Capitals would grab their first lead of the evening with a goal from Jakub Vrana midway through the opening frame for a 2-1 lead at the first intermission. Alex Ovechkin would pot his 39th goal of the season to give the Caps a 3-1 lead early in the second period and T.J. Oshie would score his second goal of the game for a 4-1 lead at the second intermission. Oshie’s second goal was his 500th career NHL point. Tom Wilson added an empty net goal in the final frame for the 5-1 win.
The Capitals played maybe their best game of the season, with solid play for 60 minutes. After an early Sharks goal, the Capitals responded by slowly taking the game away from the Sharks, ultimately scoring five-unanswered goals. There was plenty of gritty puck battle, and deft defense for the entire game. Braden Holtby was sharp once again.
Braden Holtby (19-14-0-4, 3.04 GAA, .907 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Capitals. Martin Jones (27-10-4, 2.88 GAA, .899 sv%) got the start in goal for the Sharks. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Madison Bowey, Travis Boyd and Nic Dowd
The Sharks notched the games first goal just 2:06 into the contest with a tally from Kevin Labanc.
The Capitals would get it right back with a power play goal from T.J. Oshie at 3:38 of the first period. John Carlson (42) and Alex Ovechkin (27) were credited with the helpers.
The Capitals would take their first lead with a goal from Jakub Vrana at 11:33 of the first period. T.J. Oshie (18) and Nicklas Backstrom (41) were credited with the assists. The assist gave Oshie 499 in his NHL career.
The first period ended with the Capitals leading 2-1. The Capitals led in shots on goal 15-10 for the first frame. The Capitals were 1 for 1 and the Sharks 0 for 0 on the power play in the first 20 minutes.
The Capitals would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a goal from Alex Ovechkin at 4:14 of the middle frame. Evgeny Kuznetsov (39) and Tom Wilson (13) were credited with the assists.
T.J. Oshie would score his second goal of the game at 18:02 of the second period. The goal was also Oshie’s 500th career NHL point. Nicklas Backstrom and Jakub Vrana were credited with the helpers.
The period would end with the Capitals leading 4-1.
The Capitals added an empty net goal from Tom Wilson at 17:25 to make it 5-1.
- T.J. Oshie scored two goals and registered his 500th career NHL point.
- T.J. Oshie became just the seventh player from the 2005 NHL Draft class to reach the 500 point mark, and his 0.70 points per game rank tied for fourth among players selected in 2005.
- Alex Ovechkin gave the Caps a 3-1 lead with his NHL-leading 39th goal of the season, sitting one goal shy of his 10th career 40-goal season. Only three players in NHL history have recorded 10 or more 40-goal seasons: Wayne Gretzky (12), Marcel Dionne (10) and Mario Lemieux (10)
- Nicklas Backstrom recorded two assists tonight. Should he record eight more assists, he will be the only player in the NHL to record at least 50 assists the last six straight seasons.
- Tom Wilson scored his 15th goal of the season, a new career high.
- The NHL box score is here.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 15, 2019
SCENES FROM SAN JOSE