Capitals 6, Senators 3

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -The Capitals are gaining more confidence. The Ottawa Senators will attest to that.

Mike Green had two goals and an assist, Michael Nylander, Boyd Gordon and Brooks Laich each added a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Green, Nylander and Laich each scored during a four-goal first period for Washington, which beat Ottawa for the second time in four days. The Capitals topped the Senators 8-6 on Saturday.

"I think, with the win tonight, we're really starting to believe that we're a good hockey team," said goalie Olie Kolzig, whose 289th victory moved him into 25th place on the NHL list. "But again, we dug ourselves such a big hole at the beginning of the season; we're just slowly but surely creeping our way back into things."

The Capitals stumbled to a 6-14-1 record at the start before Bruce Boudreau took over for coach Glen Hanlon. Boudreau has pushed the Capitals to play more aggressively, to forecheck tougher and create scoring chances to spark the once-dormant offense.

Washington has improved to 16-19-5 and is back in the hunt for the playoffs.

"I think they're starting to believe a little bit in themselves, which is really good," Boudreau said. "You look, not necessarily at our record, but at the fact that (when) other teams are scoring first we don't hang our heads, we just say ... we're going to score two or three."

The Capitals pressured Ottawa throughout Saturday's game and did the same thing in the first period of this one. Washington made 15 of its 26 shots in the first period and created numerous scoring chances.

"We knew from the last game we played them that they don't give up," Green said. "Learning from the last game, don't change the way we're playing is the biggest thing. We weren't going to let them step up and take that play again."

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green celebrates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the first period on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008, in Washington, DC. Green led the Capitals to a 6-3 win with two goals and an assist.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Viktor Kozlov scored the other first-period goal. Gordon sealed the victory with an empty-net goal in the third period.

Washington's Alex Ovechkin added two assists. Kolzig recovered from a shaky start to finish with 31 saves.

Chris Neil and Dean McAmmond both had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, 0-3 against the Capitals this season. In the three losses, Ottawa has given up 18 goals.

Ottawa (25-10-4) scored twice in the game's first five minutes, but Washington took command with five consecutive goals over a 15:37 stretch.

Neil gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead on a breakaway 1:54 into the game. McAmmond made it 2-0 at 4:46 before the Washington offense awakened.

The Capitals got goals from Kozlov, Nylander and Green in a stretch of 2:19 to take a 3-2 lead just 7:34 into the game. Green's goal came 35 seconds after Nylander scored and ended Ottawa goalie Martin Gerber's day.

Gerber allowed three goals on just eight shots. He has allowed 10 goals on just 37 shots against the Capitals this season.

Washington stretched the lead to 4-2 when Laich beat goalie Ray Emery on a back-hander from his knees with 4:15 left in the first period. Green scored on a power-play goal in the first minute of the second period to put the Capitals up 5-2.

"You can tell they feel confident playing us," Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "I mean, you see them playing tonight, you'd think they would be at the top of the standings."

Notes: Kozlov's goal was his first since Nov. 8, ending a 23-game dry spell. ... Washington's Alexander Semin (tailbone) and Tom Poti (upper body injury) both missed big parts of this game and are listed day-to-day. ... Ottawa's Jason Spezza's 10-game point-scoring streak ended.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
01:54OTT Chris Neil (4) ASST: Christoph Schubert (11), Dean McAmmond (8) 1 - 0 OTT
04:46OTT Dean McAmmond (3) ASST: Chris Neil (8), Dany Heatley (30) 2 - 0 OTT
05:15WSH Viktor Kozlov (4) ASST: Nicklas Backstrom (22), Alex Ovechkin (19) 2 - 1 OTT
06:59WSH Michael Nylander (10) ASST: Jeff Schultz (3), Brooks Laich (5) 2 - 2 Tie
07:34WSH Mike Green (9) ASST: NONE 3 - 2 WSH
15:45WSH Brooks Laich (7) ASST: Donald Brashear (3), Boyd Gordon (4) 4 - 2 WSH
2nd Period
00:52WSH PPG - Mike Green (10) ASST: Michael Nylander (23), Alex Ovechkin (20) 5 - 2 WSH
3rd Period
01:10OTT Andrej Meszaros (6) ASST: Mike Fisher (13), Daniel Alfredsson (28) 5 - 3 WSH
18:09WSH EN - Boyd Gordon (3) ASST: Matt Bradley (6), Mike Green (11) 6 - 3 WSH
Penalty Summary
1st Period
01:59OTT Brian McGrattan  Fighting (maj) against  Donald Brashear
01:59WSH Donald Brashear  Fighting (maj) against  Brian McGrattan
06:42OTT Chris Phillips  Cross checking against  Alexander Semin
06:42WSH Alexander Semin  Cross checking against  Chris Phillips
13:19OTT Chris Phillips  Slashing against  Tomas Fleischmann
19:16OTT Shean Donovan  Elbowing against  Donald Brashear
19:36OTT Christoph Schubert  Hi-sticking against  Alex Ovechkin
2nd Period
08:06WSH David Steckel  Holding the stick against  Antoine Vermette
19:06WSH Alex Ovechkin  Too many men/ice - bench
3rd Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/21/3
Faceoff Wins3043
Blocked Shots817
Penalty Minutes1311
2L. RichardsonD0021016:31
4C. PhillipsD00-11419:14
5C. SchubertD0110216:22
6W. ReddenD00-35024:34
7J. CorvoD00-39020:45
10S. DonovanR0020214:00
11D. AlfredssonR01-22024:21
12M. FisherC01-22018:45
14A. MeszarosD10-12020:47
15D. HeatleyL01-22021:44
16B. McGrattanR000052:04
19J. SpezzaC00-22022:30
20A. VermetteC00-13017:14
22C. KellyC00-10017:42
25C. NeilR1121014:06
37D. McAmmondC1122013:23
58C. BassC000003:56
71N. FolignoL000205:12
1R. Emery1517.88251:40
29M. Gerber58.6257:34
2B. PothierD0002021:24
3T. PotiD00-1008:47
8A. OvechkinL0213022:45
10M. BradleyR0110015:41
15B. GordonC1122017:13
18M. PettingerL00-14016:10
19N. BackstromC0122017:33
21B. LaichC1122014:34
23M. JurcinaD00-20012:13
25V. KozlovC1013016:03
26S. MorrisonnD0030025:47
28A. SeminR00-2021:45
39D. SteckelC0002214:04
43T. FleischmannL00-20013:33
52M. GreenD2132025:11
55J. SchultzD0111023:34
87D. BrashearL0112511:37
92M. NylanderC11-11017:04
37O. Kolzig3134.91259:43