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game recap

Benoit Pouliot scores twice in Oilers win

Cam Talbot makes 34 saves against Capitals

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Benoit Pouliot scored two goals and Cam Talbot made 34 saves for the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-1 win against the Washington Capitals at Rogers Place on Wednesday. 

Patrick Maroon and Milan Lucic scored in the third period and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid each had two assists to help Edmonton extend its winning streak to four.

Alex Ovechkin scored his fourth goal in four games for Washington and Braden Holtby made 25 saves. 

"We have a lot of work to do but this start is huge for us," Pouliot said. "The last couple of years we haven't had great starts and it's tough to climb back. Now we just have to keep this going."

Pouliot gave Edmonton the lead at 7:48 of the second period when a shot from Nugent-Hopkins bounced off his leg and slipped past Holtby. 

Video: WSH@EDM: Nugent-Hopkins' shot goes in off Pouliot

Pouliot scored again at 17:08, banking the puck in off Holtby from behind the net after sending his initial shot wide and getting a lively bounce off the end boards. 

"The play happened so quickly, you have to cover the short side on the rebound," Holtby said. "Just a perfect storm. You're waiting for the tip at the last second, he misses it, and you try to get over and it hits the boards and bounces right back out. It's one of those nights."

Ovechkin scored nine seconds into the third period to make it 2-1 on a rebound in front of the Oilers net.

Edmonton responded at 1:25 when Maroon scored on a rebound off the goal post. 

"They scored the first goal and then the second, and in the third, we scored right away," Ovechkin said. "Then they scored another one. We didn't execute our plays, we made bad decisions and it cost us the game."

Video: WSH@EDM: Ovechkin forces home rebound on the doorstep

Lucic scored on the power play at 9:57 for a 4-1 lead, tipping a point shot from Andrej Sekera past Holtby.

"If you look at the goals, the first two goals, we win an offensive faceoff and it ends up in our net," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "We just need a little more push from the whole group."

The win was the Oilers' sixth in their first seven games. Edmonton has not done that since 1985-86. 

"I think they are believing now in their game and thus feeling more confident about it," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "It's each individual showing up with his tool kit and being ready to work and that's where the confidence comes from, where the swagger, the wins come from. 

"They don't just happen by accident. If you keep doing that, your belief system goes up and you believe you can come from behind and play with leads, and that is what we are working towards."

Video: WSH@EDM: Lucic redirects shot to net PPG


Goal of the game

Maroon restored Edmonton's two-goal advantage 1:16 after Ovechkin's goal. McDavid started the play, moving past Capitals defenseman John Carlson and centering the puck to Jesse Puljujarvi, who hit the post with his shot. The puck bounced to Maroon, who scored into an open net.

Video: WSH@EDM: Maroon cleans up rebound to finish attack


Save of the game 

Washington had a power play shortly after Pouliot's second goal. Capitals forward Marcus Johansson passed to T.J. Oshie at the side of the net, but Talbot slid across to stop the initial shot, and then the rebound, at 17:38 of the second period.

Video: WSH@EDM: Talbot denies Oshie on the power play


Unsung moment of the game

Puljujarvi made an excellent defensive play to take a scoring opportunity away from Ovechkin at 5:44 of the second period. Ovechkin took a pass on the right wing in the Edmonton zone and had a lane to the net, but Puljujarvi caught him from behind and lifted his stick, preventing a shot.


Highlight of the game

Pouliot second goal, when he banked the puck in off Holtby.

Video: WSH@EDM: Pouliot squeezes in rebound for second goal


They said it

"My execution when I had the chance to shoot the puck, it was not that good. The blame is on us if we didn't get success. It's not about their kill, it's about us, because I think we have the skill and we knew exactly what we had to do, but at the same time we didn't do it. With our experience and our skill, we have to use it to our advantage." -- Alex Ovechkin, on failing to capitalize on the power play


"Their speed and skill has been there for a while, but defensively they're better. [It's] harder to get to the net and harder to create odd-man stuff." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, on the improved Oilers 


"We knew that coming into the season that we had a chance to establish ourselves at home in October. We've had that opportunity before and haven't taken advantage of it. Starts are key, they can set you up for the season, and so far it's going well." -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, on Oilers' 6-1-0 start.


Need to know

Washington did not lose back-to-back games in regulation last season … The last time the Oilers started 6-1-0 they were eliminated in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Calgary Flames in the Smythe Division Final … Wednesday was McDavid's fourth multi-point game of the season. 


What's next

Capitals: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Oilers: At the Vancouver Canucks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, NHL.TV)

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