For the Washington Capitals, it was a night for team achievements and individual accomplishments.
The Caps continued their recent surge by shutting out Edmonton 5-0 on Wednesday for their sixth consecutive win, keeping them ahead of Tampa Bay as they try for their fourth consecutive Southeast Division title.
The individual accomplishments were numerous.
Alex Ovechkin had a pair of goals and an assist to surpass the 600-point mark -- he now has 601, moving him past Michal Pivonka into third place behind Petr Bondra and Mike Gartner on the Caps' all-time list.
"It was nice to get a couple of goals and get to 600," said Ovechkin, now in his sixth NHL season. "Kind of a big night."
Two new Caps hit milestone numbers -- center Jason Arnott notched his 900th career point and defenseman Dennis Wideman reached 200.
"It means a lot to Alex, I would think. I was glad to see it," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It must have been something in the water. Two-hundredth point, 900th point, 600th point. It's all great stuff. I'm glad we got them out of the way; I hope if there's any other milestones we get them out of the way so guys don't press for things."
Rookie goaltender Braden Holtby had a milestone of his own -- he stopped 22 shots, few of which were challenging, for his first NHL shutout. Holtby is 6-2-2 in 10 games, all this season.
"It feels good," the 21-year-old goalie said. "It almost feels better to get the win after an emotional game in Tampa, just to come back and make sure the team played well."
Eric Fehr scored twice in his return from a 22-game absence because of a shoulder injury, and Marco Sturm got his first point since the Capitals picked him up off waivers on Feb. 26.
Washington's six-game streak matches its longest of the season -- the Caps also won six straight from Oct. 30 to Nov. 11. They won by more than one goal for the first time in nine games since Feb. 6.
The Oilers, who lost 4-1 at Philadelphia on Tuesday after winning three in a row, are last in the overall standings. Their sloppy play helped the Capitals use their transition game to the fullest, including a two-man break that produced the game's third goal.
"When you see the 2-on-0, you think maybe you've given up too many," Edmonton coach Tom Renney said. "We did not manage the game well because we didn't manage the puck well."
Nikolai Khabibulin made 31 saves for the Oilers but fell to 10-27-2.
"It was one of those nights where he was alone back there a number of times," said Renney, who was surprised to see his team play so poorly.
"This is one of those games you don't like talking about in March," he said. "I can see maybe the first half of year, but this is March now. I don't care who we're playing and how they're touted, the thing is we have to play our game and tonight we deviated in a big way from that. And that's disappointing."
After a scoreless first period, the Caps opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 5:35 of the second. Holtby denied Andrew Cogliano on a shorthanded breakaway, and on the return rush, Ovechkin scored from the left of the net after taking a crisp pass from Arnott. It was his first power-play goal at the Verizon Center this season.
Fehr scored at 10:32 on a rebound of a shot by John Carlson, who had taken a cross-ice pass from Ovechkin.
Ovechkin made it 3-0 at 3:10 of the third period, converting a two-man rush with Marcus Johansson against a helpless Khabibulin. Ovechkin stripped Oilers defenseman Kurtis Foster of the puck, then went back and forth with Johansson before hitting a wide-open net.
Fehr scored into an open net at 7:47 after Khabibulin made the mistake of leaving his post to meet Jason Chimera, who was getting in position to receive the puck without a defenseman in sight. Chimera promptly passed the puck to Fehr for the easy score.
Alexander Semin made it 5-0 with 5:30 left. Washington is now 17-0-0 when Semin scores a goal.
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|PPG - Alex Ovechkin (26) ASST: Jason Arnott (13), Alexander Semin (21)|
1 - 0 WSH
|PPG - Eric Fehr (9) ASST: John Carlson (23), Alex Ovechkin (45)|
2 - 0 WSH
|Alex Ovechkin (27) ASST: Marcus Johansson (11)|
3 - 0 WSH
|Eric Fehr (10) ASST: Jason Chimera (13), Brooks Laich (23)|
4 - 0 WSH
|Alexander Semin (25) ASST: Marco Sturm (6), Dennis Wideman (26)|
5 - 0 WSH
|Power Play %||17.7%||25.3%|
|% on Road||18.9%||23.7%|
|% at Home||16.5%||26.8%|
|Tom Gilbert Slashing against John Erskine|
|Scott Hannan Interference against Alexandre Giroux|
|Jason Arnott Hooking against Shawn Horcoff|
|Ryan Jones Kneeing against John Erskine|
|Nikolai Khabibulin Delaying Game-Ill. play goalie|
|Alex Plante Tripping against Marco Sturm|
|Matt Hendricks Interference against Alex Plante|
|Alexander Semin Slashing against Alexandre Giroux|
|Magnus Paajarvi Holding against Marcus Johansson|