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#CapsOilers Postgame Notebook: Team Win

Caps score five unanswered in win over Oilers, Edmonton is Kuznetsov's kind of town as secondary scoring comes through

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps / Monumental Sports Network

The Caps stemmed a two-game slide with a 5-2 win over the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday night. The Caps got great games from their best players, namely Braden Holtby (38 saves), Evgeny Kuznetsov (two goals) and Alex Ovechkin (three assists), and they got some timely secondary scoring as well. 

"I think probably over 60 minutes, [this was] our most complete game so far," says Caps center Lars Eller. "Unlike some other games where things were coming a little easy for us sometimes with goals, I think we had to battle 60 minutes to win this one. That's good for our team; that's kind of what we needed. It was an effort from everybody tonight." 

Washington is now 4-2-1 on the road this season. Three of those four road victories have been achieved after coming back from a two-goal deficit. 
Video: Kuznetsov scores twice in 3rd as Caps beat Oilers
Scoring City - 
Caps center Evgeny Kuznetsov notched two goals in the third period, doing so just over two years after he put together a three-goal, five-point performance against the Oilers in Edmonton. That Oct. 23, 2015 game was the last game played between Washington and Edmonton at the Oilers' former home, Rexall Place.

After Saturday's game, Kuznetsov was reminded of that game two years ago. 

"Like I said, this is my favorite town because Jason Chimera is from this town," Kuznetsov replied. "It's true." 
Video: Caps Postgame Locker Room | October 28
Helping Hands - Ovechkin's three-assist game against the Oilers was his first in almost three years. The last time the Caps' captain piled up three helpers in the same game was on Nov. 2, 2014 in a 6-5 loss to the Arizona Coyotes in Washington. 

First Things First - Secondary scoring will be needed for the Caps this season, and the Caps got a pair of key secondary strikes in Saturday's win.

Devante Smith-Pelly notched his first goal of the season and his first as a member of the Capitals with just 17.8 seconds left in the first period. The goal was huge at that juncture of the contest; it cut Edmonton's lead in half, from to 2-0 to 2-1.

Midway through the second period, Eller netted his first goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2. 
Video: Barry Trotz Postgame | October 28
Stranger Things - Eller had an interesting night for the Capitals. From the start of the game, he was engaged and was a force on the ice. He had five of the Caps' 12 first-period shots on net, most of them coming in a furious netmouth flurry where he was stonewalled repeatedly by Oilers goalie Cam Talbot.

In the second, Eller pounded a puck past Talbot from the right circle, tying the game at 2-2. But less than four minutes later, Eller was sent to the penalty box for sailing the puck over the glass in his own end of the ice. Early in the third, Eller incurred another penalty for the same crime at the opposite end of the ice. Late in the third, he was busted for holding. Finally, Eller earned an assist on Jay Beagle's late empty-netter. 

By night's end, Eller had a goal and an assist, six minutes in penalties, six shots on net and a couple of hits. 

"I was feeling it too much," says Eller, "shots, penalties, everything. I've been trying to have the mindset of shooting more this year and getting pucks to the net. Good things happen when we do that." 
Video: Caps 365 | October 28
Down On The Farm - The AHL Hershey Bears spent Saturday night at Giant Center hosting the Providence Bruins. Hershey skated off with a 3-2 at night's end, getting all three of its goals on the power play.

After falling down 1-0 on a Providence power-play goal at 6:20 of the first, Hershey rallied to square the game just 100 seconds later. Liam O'Brien netted his first goal of the season with help from Chris Bourque and Travis Boyd at the 8-minute mark of the first frame. 

Boyd scored on a Hershey power play at 13:43 of the second to stake the Bears to their first lead of the night. Riley Barber and Bourque assisted on the Boyd goal that made it a 2-1 game. 

At 6:31 of the third, defenseman Connor Hobbs netted his first pro goal on a Hershey power play, getting help from Bourque and Boyd. The Bruins made it a 3-2 game less than a minute later, so Hobbs' first goal stood up as the game-winner.

Parker Milner stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced in the Hershey nets, improving to 1-4-1 on the season.

Hershey finishes off a busy three-in-three weekend on Sunday afternoon when it hosts the Hartford Wolfpack at Giant Center. 

Down a level, the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays took a 5-2 road win over the Admirals in Norfolk on Saturday night. The Stingrays scored the game's first four goals en route to their fourth straight victory at the outset of the 2017-18 season. 

Marcus Perrier scored the first two goals for South Carolina, and Dylan Margonari, Kelly Zajac and Paul Geiger added single tallies later on. Jeff Jakaitis made 17 saves on 19 shots to improve to 4-0-0 on the season.

The Stingrays are off until Friday when they visit the Swamp Rabbits in Greenville. 

By The Numbers - John Carlson led the Caps with 28:51 in ice time … Brooks Orpik skated a season high 27:47 on Saturday, marking the ninth time in 11 games in which he has exceeded 20 minutes this season. Orpik went over the 20-minute mark 13 times in 79 games last season. Orpik's ice time total from Saturday is his highest for a single game since joining the Capitals, and his highest since he skated 28:11 in a Feb. 3, 2013 game for Pittsburgh against the Caps … Eller led the Caps with six shots on net … Kuznetsov and Ovechkin led Washington with nine shot attempts each … Ovehckin led the Capitals with four hits … Orpik led the Caps with five blocked shots … Jay Beagle won nine of 13 draws (69%) in the game.

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