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game recap

Capitals score four on power play against Oilers, end skid

Kuznetsov has four points; McDavid gets goal, assist in 500th game for Edmonton

by Harvey Valentine / Independent Correspondent

Recap: WSH 5, EDM 4

Capitals hold on to beat the Oilers 5-4

Alex Ovechkin netted a goal and an assist, Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded 2 goals, helping the Capitals earn a 5-4 win over the Oilers

  • 04:47 •

WASHINGTON -- Evgeny Kuznetsov had two goals and two assists for the Washington Capitals, who scored four power-play goals in a 5-4 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Capital One Arena on Monday.

The goals were Kuznetsov's first this season.

"I thought he was going. He had speed and he was attacking the ice," Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. "I thought we moved the puck pretty good."

Dylan Strome had two goals and an assist, Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist, and Erik Gustafsson had three assists for Washington (6-6-2), which ended a four-game losing streak (0-2-2). Charlie Lindgren made 25 saves.

"Definitely tomorrow morning will be better than last eight mornings, probably," Kuznetsov said. "I felt like we play good but not good enough for wins lately. This win will give us big breath and we can breathe a little bit and coaches can finally show us some positive moments, because that's big when you come in next morning."

Video: EDM@WSH: Kuznetsov buries slick pass from Ovechkin

Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist in his 500th NHL game for Edmonton (7-6-0), which has lost three straight (allowed 15 goals in span). Leon Draisaitl also had a goal and an assist, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice, and Stuart Skinner made 26 saves.

"You can't give up four power-play goals in a game an expect to win it. Flat out not good enough on the penalty kill," Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. "I'd also say we put ourselves in positions to take those penalties that, you know, I didn't think that all of them we needed to take."

Strome gave Washington a 1-0 lead with an individual effort at 18:15 of the first period. He stole the puck from Warren Foegele in Edmonton's zone, skated into the left circle and shot over Skinner's right shoulder.

Strome then scored 26 seconds into the second period to make it 2-0, redirecting a centering pass from Kuznetsov on the power play.

"That ended up being a key moment in the game," Woodcroft said. "We turned it over, it ended up in the net, and then we took a penalty not long after that and we're down 2-0 a minute into the second period."

McDavid cut it to 2-1 at 8:33. With the teams skating at 4-on-4, McDavid received the puck at the point, split two Capitals players on his way to the crease, and tucked the puck past Lindgren's right pad.

Video: EDM@WSH: McDavid scores a beauty in his 500th game

Kuznetsov pushed the lead to 3-1 at 12:25 when he converted a pass through the low slot from Strome during a 5-on-3 power play.

Nugent-Hopkins got the Oilers back to within 3-2 at 14:10, batting the puck into the net after Zach Hyman's pass on a rush was deflected by Trevor van Riemsdyk's stick.

Ovechkin scored 26 seconds later with a wrist shot from the left circle on a power play to give the Capitals a 4-2 lead.

"We hadn't had a lot of practice time over the last 10 days, and so we're putting it together through video and through meetings and stuff like that, but they were really good tonight," Laviolette said of the power play.

Video: EDM@WSH: Ovechkin fires in a PPG from the circle

Draisaitl cut the lead to 4-3 at 2:54 of the third period when he scored to the left of Lindgren off a spinning pass from Hyman in the slot.

"It's getting old, battling back you know," Draisaitl said. "It's exhausting, it's tiring. We just give up too many goals."

Kuznetsov's second power-play goal made it 5-3 at 18:09. He converted from the low slot after receiving a backhand pass from Ovechkin that went through the legs of Darnell Nurse.

Nugent-Hopkins scored from in front at 18:54 for the 5-4 final.

"I had to have my head on a swivel there," Lindgren said of the final minutes. "I thought our guys did a really good job. … They got that one at the end, but we locked it down after that. Big win."   

NOTES: McDavid has 724 points (252 goals, 472 assists) in 500 NHL games. He extended his point streak to seven games (eight goals, nine assists). … Draisaitl extended his point streak to eight games (six goals, 11 assists). … Kuznetsov's four power-play points are tied for the most in a game in Capitals history. … Ovechkin has seven points (five goals, two assists) in a six-game point streak. … Forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who was claimed off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, had two shots and one hit in 10:19 of ice time in his Capitals debut. … Laviolette won his 723rd game, passing Alain Vigneault for the eighth in NHL history.

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