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Stars end Capitals' home win streak

Kari Lehtonen makes 42 saves, denies Washington of 16th straight victory at Verizon Center

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Kari Lehtonen made 42 saves to help the Dallas Stars end the Washington Capitals' 15-game home winning streak with a 4-2 victory at Verizon Center on Monday.

Washington hadn't lost at home since Dec. 29.

"He's been really solid as of late for us," Stars forward Patrick Sharp said of Lehtonen. "That's what we need sometimes. Give up a few chances there as the game went on, and our goalie bailed us out. Definitely the first star for us tonight."

 

WATCH: All Stars vs. Capitals highlights

 

Devin Shore, Radek Faksa, Jason Spezza and Sharp scored for Dallas (27-29-10), which is five points back of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

"We've just got to take it one game at a time and just kind of chip away," Spezza said. "We've put ourselves in a position where we're chasing, so I think it's just small battles in that big picture and just keep plugging away."

Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie scored for Washington (44-14-7). Braden Holtby was pulled after allowing two goals on four shots in the second period. Philipp Grubauer made 11 saves in relief.

Video: DAL@WSH: Shore slams in opening goal from crease

Shore scored 1:48 into the game for his 11th goal of the season. He was pushed into Holtby by Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik and stayed in the crease to jam the puck over the goal line. The Capitals challenged for goalie interference but were unsuccessful.

Faksa gave Dallas a 2-0 lead at 4:04 of the second period. Backstrom turned the puck over in the slot to Faksa, who scored his 10th goal. Spezza scored 1:54 later to make it 3-0.

"Even if we worked [ourselves] into the game quickly this time, I thought we maybe gave away a couple goals," Backstrom said. "I gave away that second goal to them. It's all about managing the puck, and they capitalized on our mistakes."

Video: DAL@WSH: Faksa intercepts puck and finishes five-hole

Backstrom scored to make it 3-1 at 15:52 of the second when he redirected Kevin Shattenkirk's shot past Lehtonen.

Oshie made it 3-2 at 12:26 of the third period, his 25th of the season.

Sharp sealed it for Dallas with an empty-net goal with 1:18 remaining.

 

Goal of the game

Spezza hammered a one-timer from the right circle that went right under Holtby's arm at 5:58 of the second period.

Video: DAL@WSH: Spezza scorches a one-timer past Holtby

 

Save of the game

Lehtonen kicked Jakub Vrana's redirect try in the second period and made several more saves before the whistle.

Video: DAL@WSH: Lehtonen stones Vrana several times in front

 

Highlight of the game

Backstrom parked himself in front of the net and was in perfect position to redirect Shattenkirk's shot for his 21st goal of the season.

Video: DAL@WSH: Backstrom goes top shelf with nice redirect

 

Unsung performance of the game

Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov poked the puck away from Stars forward Remi Elie in the first period with Washington trailing 1-0. Orlov had three shots on goal, three hits and a blocked shot in 17:41.

 

They said it

"I don't think it's something that we have on them or anything, I think it's just that we've managed to get good starts against them, and I think it's one of those buildings where you know it can be a long night if you're not ready so we're always ready to come in here." -- Stars forward Jason Spezza

 

"We've been playing hard. We've lost some disappointing games. The game before we left on the road we were up 3-1 against the Islanders going into the third and lost the game. Those are tough losses. To rebound and get two on the road where we haven't played very well, I think it gives us hope still. It puts us within five points." -- Stars coach Lindy Ruff

 

"I don't think anyone was frustrated tonight. They have some really talented players, they have guys that can make really good plays and when you make mental errors that give them point-blank chances, they got guys that are going to put the puck in against you. Besides those three [goals] for a lot of the game there, we had the puck on our stick and we had a lot of chances. Their [goal]tender played great tonight, and sometimes you just got to tip your hat." -- Capitals forward T.J. Oshie

 

Need to know

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had nine shots on goal, equaling his season-high. … Dallas has won its past six games at Verizon Center dating to Nov. 30, 2006.

 

What's next

Stars: Host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; SN360, RDS, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the San Jose Sharks on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Stars hold off Caps' late rally for 4-2 win 

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