Oshie scores twice to end drought, Capitals rally past Devils

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WASHINGTON — T.J. Oshie scored two power-play goals and had an assist to help the Washington Capitals rally for a 4-3 win against the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena on Sunday.

John Carlson had a goal and an assist, Nicklas Backstrom had two assists, and Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington (9-5-3). Craig Anderson made 22 saves in his first start with the Capitals.

Oshie ended a nine-game goal drought. He had scored two goals in his first 15 games.

“It was nice. The goals came in different ways,” Oshie said. “We got ourselves into areas to score and the playmakers made the plays. One, [Carlson] on a good shot right to my stick. I barely had to move it. And then [Evgeny Kuznetsov] with a great play off the wall. So it felt good to get back on track.”

Andreas Johnsson had a goal and an assist, Kyle Palmieri had two assists, and Jack Hughes and Nikita Gusev scored for New Jersey (6-5-2). Aaron Dell made 37 saves in his New Jersey debut.

Video: NJD@WSH: Hughes finds twine on dish from Johnsson

The Devils were 1-for-3 on the power play. The Capitals went 3-for-4.

“I think if you look at it, the difference in the game was special teams,” New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. “We’ve got all the personnel we need. I think there was some good stuff I saw on the power play. We scored a goal. We did some good stuff for periods of time on the penalty killing, but then we had the crucial breakdown which really hurt us.”

Travis Zajac, who entered the NHL in 2006 with the Devils, became the 66th player in NHL history to play 1,000 games with one team.

“It wasn’t the result we hoped for. Nonetheless, it was a special moment for me and one I’ll never forget,” Zajac said. “The guys and the organization did just a great job really making it a memorable event for me. It’s definitely something I’ll never forget.”

Carlson tied the game 2-2 with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle at 9:16 of the third period. It was the defenseman’s first goal in seven games.

Oshie gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead at 11:53, scoring on a wrist shot from between the circles off a pass from Kuznetsov.

“I think everybody was feeling good when we scored a power-play goal,” Ovechkin said. “It was huge for us, kind of give us momentum. You can see in the third period, we just play smart and wait on our chance, and when we have [Oshie] on our team, every time he’s hot, he’s hot.”

Ovechkin scored a power-play goal off a pass from Oshie at 16:56 to make it 4-2. It was Ovechkin’s 712th goal, moving him within five of Phil Esposito for sixth in NHL history.

Video: NJD@WSH: Oveckin taps in dish from Oshie for PPG

Gusev, who was removed from the NHL COVID-19 protocol list Feb. 16, played his first game since Jan. 31 and scored with the extra attacker on to pull New Jersey within 4-3 with 12 seconds left.

The Devils outshot the Capitals 7-0 early on, and Johnsson gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 9:45 of the first period when he took a pass from Palmieri, spun and shot from below the left circle on a power play.

“I thought [Anderson] played a really good game,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “The first 10 minutes, we were a little bit slow out of the gate and then the next 50 minutes I thought we were pretty good, but he made some big saves in there and he gave us a chance.”

Hughes put the Devils ahead 2-0 at 3:55 of the second period when he redirected a centering pass from Johnsson during on a 3-on-1 rush.

Oshie deflected a Carlson shot past Dell from the slot to pull the Capitals within 2-1 at 13:38 of the period.

Video: NJD@WSH: Oshie deflects wrister by Carlson for PPG

“I thought he played a strong game,” Ruff said of Dell. “I haven’t really looked at the goals, but I know he made some key saves at key times for us, and there’s a couple of goals he couldn’t do anything about.”

NOTES: Backstrom has had at least one point in 14 of the Capitals’ 17 games (eight goals, 14 assists). … Palmieri has three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak…. Zajac is the fourth player to play at least 1,000 regular-season games with the Devils, joining Ken Daneyko (1,283), Martin Brodeur (1,259) and Patrik Elias (1,240).

Video: Oshie, Ovechkin lift Capitals over Devils
 

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