WASHINGTON -- T.J. Oshie scored two goals, and the Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 in a matchup of the top two teams in the NHL standings at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.
John Carlson broke a tie early in the third period and had an assist for Washington (23-5-5), which has won seven of its past eight games (7-1-0). Braden Holtby made 30 saves.
"It was a good game from both teams," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "They have a strong team and it was a good challenge. Their top line is exceptional. We needed to be at our best or close to it. I think it lived up to all it was meant to be."
[WATCH: All Bruins vs. Capitals highlights]
The Capitals are 16-1-0 in their past 17 games against the Bruins, including two wins this season.
David Pastrnak scored his NHL-leading 26th goal for Boston (20-6-6), which is winless in its past four games (0-3-1). Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves.
"We've got to keep going," Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara said. "I think it's easy to get frustrated. We realize it was obviously a good hockey team we played tonight. It was a good hockey game. We did a lot of things well. We've just got to continue to perform and keep getting better."
Carlson gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead at 4:42 on the rush. Nicklas Backstrom carried behind the net and passed to Carlson, who scored on a one-timer from the right circle.
"I was just trying to shoot it in the net," Carlson said of his fifth game-winning goal of the season, an NHL career high. "I mean, I had enough chances before. I was pretty frustrated, and it was nice to at least find the back of the net."
Pastrnak gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 9:36 of the first period when he took a pass in the right circle from Charlie McAvoy on the rush and beat Holtby top shelf on the short side for his first goal in five games.
Video: BOS@WSH: Pastrnak roofs shot past Holtby
The Bruins appeared to go up 2-0 when Patrice Bergeron knocked in his own rebound at 15:35, but the Capitals challenged for offside by Jake DeBrusk and the goal was overturned on video review.
"Every single goal I think about it now because I think it's my fourth one or fifth one that I'm part of," DeBrusk said. "I kind of knew it, though, as soon as I saw the replay. It was one of those things where it had no effect on the play, but obviously it's not a goal."
Oshie tied it 1-1 on a power play at 4:35 of the second period when he got free in front of the net, took a pass from Carlson and lifted the puck over Halak.
Video: BOS@WSH: Oshie nets PPG on second-chance opportunity
Washington went 1-for-3 on the power play, and Boston was 0-for-5.
Oshie made it 2-1 at 8:05 with a beautiful move. He split defensemen McAvoy and Connor Clifton, slid the puck around Clifton and lifted a backhand past Halak.
"I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know," Oshie said when asked about the move. "It felt pretty lucky for the puck to squeak through there. You just try to put it upstairs with a couple sticks on you, so happy it went in."
Sean Kuraly tied it 2-2 when he deflected Torey Krug's shot from the point at 2:53 of the third period, but Carlson scored 1:49 later.
"We were right there," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We score, we get a break finally, and they come down, what, a shift later? Simple D-zone coverage. We don't sort it out quick enough. Bang, it's in the net. And after that, now you're chasing it again."
They said it
"Give them credit. They did enough to win tonight, but I like our compete and I thought we generated more shots than the last four games. So to do that against a Washington team like this is obviously positive. They're the best in the League for a reason." -- Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk
"It's always fun to play [when] the two best teams right now in the League play against each other. You can see how tough the game was. We play hard, they play hard. It's always nice to get two points. We knew it's not going to be an easy game because they have a very good team out there. It was a challenge for us." -- Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin
Need to know
The Bruins are 2-for-25 on the power play in their past eight games. … Boston has scored three goals or fewer in each of their past eight games. … Carlson is one shy of the Capitals single-season record for game-winning goals by a defenseman (Kevin Hatcher, six in 1992-93). … Backstrom has one goal and two assists in two games since returning from missing eight games with an upper-body injury.
Bruins: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, SNP, TVAS, SUN, NESN, NHL.TV)
Capitals: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SUN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)
Video: Oshie scores twice, Capitals edge Bruins