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game recap

Marcus Johansson scores twice in Capitals win

Braden Holtby makes 21 saves against Flames

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Marcus Johansson scored two goals for a second straight night, and Braden Holtby made 21 saves to help the Washington Capitals to a 3-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

Brett Connolly also scored for the Capitals (5-2-1), who have won two straight games after losing two in a row and are 2-1-0 on their four-game road trip.

"We never want to lose two in a row," Johansson said. "You never want to lose at all, but it's big for us to come back and get those points. We're never happy with losing, and especially not when we're not playing well. That's two big wins for us, and we'll just take it from there and move on to the next one. We're not happy yet."

Mikael Backlund scored, and Brian Elliott made 26 saves for the Flames (4-5-1), whose winning streak ended at three games.

"Disappointing," Backlund said. "I think we've got more in us. We got a good push there in the third, but our 60 minutes was not good enough."

Connolly scored on Washington's second shot 2:01 into the game. Zachary Sanford forced a turnover in Calgary's end, and Jay Beagle centered the puck to Connolly, who beat Elliott to put the Capitals up 1-0. The assist was Sanford's first NHL point.

Video: WSH@CGY: Connolly finishes nifty feed from Beagle

Johansson extended the lead to 2-0 on Washington's fourth shot, tipping Alex Ovechkin's one-timer by Elliott on the power play at 7:14.

"Great pass by Ovi," Johansson said. "He hit me right on the tape. I just had to put my stick there. Those are nice, and I'm happy to take those."

Backlund scored with a shot off the rush to cut Washington's lead to 2-1 at 13:44 of the first.

Holtby made six saves and Elliott had nine in the second period, when neither team scored.

Flames forward Troy Brouwer hit the side of the net early in the third period on a cross-crease setup, and Matthew Tkachuk missed a chance to tie the game from in close after taking a pass from below the goal line and pulling the puck between his legs to shoot at 12:23.

"They had some good plays from behind the net and in front, and our D and forwards collapsed down and they never got an opportunity to get one of those quick shots off," Holtby said.

Johansson, who had two goals in a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, scored into an empty net with 24.1 seconds remaining to put Washington up 3-1. It was his fifth goal.

"Sometimes they find a way to go in, and sometimes you struggle a little bit," Johansson said. "I guess I'll take it and move on, and hopefully it keeps going."

Video: WSH@CGY: Elliott turns away Ovechkin's one-timer

 

Goal of the game

Backlund picked up a loose puck with speed in the Capitals zone before snapping a shot that beat Holtby to the far side to trim Washington's lead to 2-1.

Video: WSH@CGY: Backlund beats Holtby with wicked wrister

 

Save of the game

Elliott slid to stop an Ovechkin one-timer from 18 feet out with 4:27 remaining in the third period to keep Calgary within one goal late in the game.

Video: WSH@CGY: Elliott makes late save against Ovechkin

 

Unsung moment of the game

Elliott made a glove save on Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt's slap shot from the point 11 seconds before Backlund's goal.

 

Highlight of the game

Johansson scored his third goal in two games on the power play by deflecting Ovechkin's one-timer by Elliott for a 2-0 Washington lead. "As long as we're winning and getting the power play going, I think that's huge for us," Johansson said. "It was a big factor last year. That's a good feeling."

Video: WSH@CGY: Johansson tips in PPG on tic-tac-toe setup

 

They said it

"You still have to start over again. It's a new game, a new barn and a new team we're playing. You're a little tired from the night before. You can't just come here and think everything is going to go smoothly. It's a tough game. But obviously it's nice to get the two points here." -- Capitals forward Marcus Johansson on playing a night after he scored two goals in a 5-2 win at the Vancouver Canucks

 

"They're a really good defensive team, but offensively, too. They generate a lot off the cycle. I still think we can do a better job, myself included. I think we can make better decisions with the puck and generate more offensively. We just didn't have the energy. I felt like at the start, it was the sort of game that took us awhile to get going." -- Flames captain Mark Giordano

 

"We've had that ability the last probably two years where we don't shy away from those tight games. We just try to play it the right way. You need a save here or there, and [Braden Holtby] or [Philipp Grubauer] gives us that. I think we just manage the game much better than maybe we did a few years back." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz

 

Need to know

Ovechkin has nine goals and 20 points in 13 career games against Calgary. … The Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks each have scored 11 first-period goals, tied for first in the NHL. The Flames have scored 11, tied for third with the Arizona Coyotes.

 

What's next

Capitals: At the Winnipeg jets on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Flames: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, SNF, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Johansson's two goals help Capitals top Flames, 3-1

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