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game recap

Capitals top Flames late, end losing streak at seven

Kuznetsov breaks tie in final minute for Washington, which was playing without Ovechkin

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Correspondent

Kuznetsov's top-shelf PPG

CGY@WSH: Kuznetsov gives Capitals late lead with PPG

Evgeny Kuznetsov slowly skates down the ice and rips a wrister from the left circle on a power play to put the Capitals ahead late in the 3rd

  • 01:01 •

WASHINGTON -- Evgeny Kuznetsov scored with 57 seconds remaining, and the Washington Capitals ended a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 win against the Calgary Flames at Capital One Arena on Friday.

Kuznetsov, who also had an assist, skated into the zone and beat Flames goalie Mike Smith short side over his right shoulder on the power play.

"I feel like probably any other game, I will pass that puck to [T.J. Oshie] … but I wasn't sure about that pass because the puck wasn't full on my blade," Kuznetsov said. "And then I was just in a bad position, I think, to pass the puck. I decided to shoot."

 

[WATCH: All Flames vs. Capitals highlights]

 

Nic Dowd, Dmitrij Jaskin and Tom Wilson scored, and Braden Holtby made 27 saves for Washington (28-17-6), which was 0-5-2 during the streak.

"Yeah [the losing streak's] behind us now, obviously," Wilson said. "We'll try and learn and take stuff from it, but we're looking forward. We're not looking back." 

Video: CGY@WSH: Wilson unleashes wrister from the circle

The Capitals played without Alex Ovechkin, who was serving a one-game suspension for skipping the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

Mikael Backlund, Garnet Hathaway and Elias Lindholm scored for Calgary (33-14-5), which had won three straight games and was 8-0-1 in its past nine. Smith made 36 saves and TJ Brodie had two assists.

"Anytime you lose a game with less than a minute left, it stings," Smith said. "It definitely hurts after coming back and making a game of it. We battled hard, but (came up) just a little bit short tonight."

Video: CGY@WSH: Backlund scores on pretty backhand

Each team was playing its first game following a mandatory five-day break after the 2019 NHL Honda All-Star Weekend.

Dowd gave Washington a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the game at 3:00 of the first period when he redirected John Carlson's shot from the point.

Backlund tied it 1-1 at 17:37. After two Capitals players collided at center ice, Backlund got the puck, went around defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler, and deked Holtby before tucking the puck in on his backhand.

Jaskin gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead at 19:24 on a rebound in the crease.

Video: CGY@WSH: Jaskin buries rebound from doorstep

Wilson scored 54 seconds into the second period to extend the lead to 3-1 following a turnover by Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. The goal was Wilson's 14th of the season, tying his NHL career high, which he set last season.

Hathaway cut it to 3-2 at 2:17 when Brodie's shot from the point deflected off Derek Ryan and Hathaway before going in.

The Flames killed off three power plays by the Capitals in the second period.

"They hit a couple crossbars. So it's too good of a power play to put on display, especially three times in a row in probably about a 10-minute span," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "I thought that hurt us and I thought it took some of our guys out of the game that don't kill."

Lindholm tied it 3-3 when he redirected Johnny Gaudreau's slap shot from the high slot at 12:01 of the third period.

Video: CGY@WSH: Lindholm tips home Gaudreau's drive

 

They said it

"We chased the game most of the night. Never had the lead and I think the desperation. I thought they were a little bit more desperate than us, a little hungrier early. Then, I thought we got better as we went along, and I liked our third period. But we had some opportunities to shoot the puck that we didn't." -- Flames coach Bill Peters

 

"That was a good team win. We won the special teams battle. Our goalie played really well. I thought our D played well. I think we responded well after the break. It was a good reset." -- Capitals forward Nic Dowd

 

Need to know

Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic left the game at 11:34 of the second period with a lower-body injury. … Lindholm has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in a nine-game point streak. … Gaudreau has 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in his past 13 games. … Capitals forward Lars Eller left the game at 5:52 of the second period with a lower-body injury. … Oshie had an assist on Kuznetsov's goal and has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in a four-game point streak. … Ovechkin's streak of 214 consecutive games played, which was the 12th longest among active NHL players, ended. … Washington had a season-high 27 blocked shots.

 

What's next

Flames: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday (2 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-SE, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the Boston Bruins on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC)

Video: Capitals top Flames to end seven-game skid, 4-3

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