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Ovechkin's shootout goal lifts Capitals past Devils

Washington left wing scores in third round of 3-2 victory

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Ovechkin's shootout winner

WSH@NJD: Ovechkin sends the Caps home with the SO win

2/6/16: Alex Ovechkin uses a slick move and lifts the puck over the right pad of Cory Schneider for the shootout winner

  • 00:27 •

NEWARK, N.J. -- Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin has taken a page out of the playbook of linemate T.J. Oshie in the shootout.

The decision certainly paid off against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday when Ovechkin scored off a backhand in the third round of the tiebreaker for a 3-2 win at Prudential Center.

"I learned from Oshie," Ovechkin said with a grin. "How he uses his skill in the shootout really has the goalie confused. I watch what he does and I tried to do the same move."

While Ovechkin didn't score off the identical move Oshie used to score in the first round on a shot that went between the pads of Cory Schneider, the result was still the same. Ovechkin is 2-for-2 in the shootout.

Video: WSH@NJD: Oshie uses a wrist shot in the shootout

The Capitals captain has been on a roll since his return from a one-game suspension. He scored the game-winning goal with 2:40 remaining in the 3-2 victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday. 

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (32-5-3), who is on pace for an NHL-record 52 wins this season, stopped Joseph Blandisi and Jacob Josefson in the shootout. 

"With our skill we should be able to close out games because we have four or five units that we're able to put out there any given time and that makes my job easier," Holtby said.

Reid Boucher tied the shootout when he scored into the left corner past Holtby on the first shot of the third round before Ovechkin's clincher.

Video: WSH@NJD: Henrique gives Devils the lead

"We would prefer to be up and win in regulation but both teams played a hard game," Oshie said. "It was almost like a playoff-like atmosphere. We're very comfortable going into the shootout with the shooters we have and [Holtby] back there."

Andre Burakovsky and Paul Carey scored and Holtby made 22 saves for the Capitals (37-9-4), who host the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Blandisi and Adam Henrique scored and Cory Schneider made 28 saves for the Devils (26-20-7), who play at the New York Rangers on Monday. Schneider stopped Evgeny Kuznetsov in the shootout.

The Devils return home against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday when former goaltender Martin Brodeur will have his jersey No. 30 retired. Brodeur dropped the ceremonial puck between Schneider and Holtby before the game Saturday.

"It was a big honor to be here when [Brodeur] was dropping the puck," Holtby said. "I grew up in a time where he was part of the goalies of my era that included Patrick Roy and Marty Turco. Those are who I watched every single day and I was able to take away a lot from [Brodeur]."

Carey, who was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Friday, scored his first NHL goal 14:07 into the third tying the game at 2-2. The goal was extra exciting for Carey since he scored it against Schneider, a fellow Boston College alum.

Video: WSH@NJD: Carey 1st NHL career goal

"It's a great feeling; it took me a while to get that first one but I couldn't ask to do it with a better group of guys," Carey said. "Scoring against [Schneider] makes it a little sweeter. I'll see him in the summer and it'll give us something to talk about."

Devils coach John Hynes said he was disappointed his team couldn't hold the lead late in the game.

"When you get a lead like that you know the puck is going to be funneled to the slot or crease area," Hynes said. "We have bodies there but I think our attention to detail could be better. We're there, but there's a difference between being there and paying attention to details when there."

Matt Niskanen was along the left wing half boards and passed to Carey, who took a quick wrist shot past Schneider.

"I think [the fourth line] with Michael Latta, Brooks Laich and Carey played unbelievable today and did a great job on the tying goal," Ovechkin said. "I think with the skill we have up front we have to win every shootout game."

The Capitals are 3-1 in shootouts this season.

"We knew we would have to be very solid, system wise, against Jersey," Holtby said. "They don't give you much. They wait for you to make a mistake out of frustration and we did a good job not falling into that. We have tight games against New Jersey every time we play so you just have to be patient and mentally strong."

Video: WSH@NJD: Holtby uses his right pad to stop Blandisi

Blandisi and Henrique each scored in the third period to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead. Henrique, who was celebrating his 26th birthday Saturday, scored off a wrist shot from the high slot to break a 1-1 tie at 7:47. 

Blandisi and Lee Stempniak failed on a 2-on-1 breakout but the puck kicked out to Henrique who scored his 17th of the season.

"I got a face full of snow right before [Henrique] took that shot so I didn't see him release it at all," Holtby said. "We did a good job on the 2-on-1 but they did a good job on the second layer entering the zone; it was a good shot."

Blandisi scored his third goal 1:51 into the third on New Jersey's first power-play of the game. After Mike Richards was called for tripping at 1:34, Zajac took a pass from Josefson and shot from the right hash that slipped between Holtby's pads and trickled towards the cage. Blandisi beat Capitals defenseman John Carlson to the loose puck along the goal line.

Burakovsky gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 12:30 into the second when he deflected a rebound past Schneider at the right post. Justin Williams took a pass from Kuznetsov at the right hash and drove a shot that hit Schneider's left pad before Burakovsky scored his 10th of the season. 

"The key is our line really knows each other at this point," Burakovsky said. "We talk to each other every shift and we tell each other where we should go and what we should do better, and that's important."

Burakovsky, who was playing his 100th NHL game, extended his goal streak to five games and point streak to six. The 20-year-old has five goals and eight points the past six games on a line with Kuznetsov and Williams.

Video: Ovechkin's shootout winner leads Capitals past Devils

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