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game recap

Capitals score seven in win against Penguins

Nicklas Backstrom has five points for Washington; Matt Murray leaves game for Pittsburgh

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and three assists for the Washington Capitals in a 7-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

T.J. Oshie scored twice, and Dmitry Orlov, Justin Williams, and Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals (10-4-2). Braden Holtby made 25 saves.

"It's going to give us confidence moving forward and kind of something to build off, I think," Backstrom said. "We're in good position in the standings, but we haven't played our best, so hopefully we can get going here and build from this."

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Capitals highlights

 

Phil Kessel scored, and Matt Murray made 12 saves for the Penguins (10-4-2). Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves in relief.

Murray left the game with 24 seconds left in the first period after a scrum near the net when he lost his helmet and was hit in the face by teammate Evgeni Malkin's stick.

Oshie scored a shorthanded goal at 7:32 of the first period to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. Malkin turned over the puck to Oshie, who chipped it past defenseman Kris Letang for a Jay Beagle breakaway. Murray stopped Beagle, but Oshie scored on the rebound.

Backstrom made it 2-0 at 17:30 of the first with his goal on the rush from the right circle.

Video: PIT@WSH: Ovechkin speeds in, tallies on a breakaway

Oshie scored his second on a 4-on-3 with eight seconds remaining in the first for a 3-0 lead. He poked in the rebound from defenseman John Carlson's shot past Fleury, who entered the game moments earlier.

Orlov scored at 5:19 of the second period to make it 4-0. His first goal of the season was off the rush from the slot.

Williams scored on the power play at 5:37 of the third period for a 5-0 lead, and Ovechkin scored his eighth goal at 10:26 to make it 6-0.

Kessel made it 6-1 at 16:28 of the third. Backstrom scored his second at 16:58 to make it 7-1. He has scored in consecutive games after scoring once in his first 14.

It was Pittsburgh's worst loss at Washington since Jan. 2, 1989, when it lost 8-0.

"These games are humbling," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We were embarrassed out there tonight, all of us, and it's humbling when you go through it. My hope is that we learn from it and make sure that it doesn't happen again."

Video: PIT@WSH: Kessel reaches to sweep in loose puck

 

Goal of the game

Oshie was in the right place at the right time when he scored his first goal of the game at 7:32 of the first period off a rebound from Beagle's shorthanded breakaway.

Video: PIT@WSH: Oshie finishes Beagle's break for SHG

 

Saves of the game

Holtby made a right-pad save on Chris Kunitz's wrist shot from the right faceoff circle at 15:27 of the first period. He got a piece of Kunitz's rebound attempt, and then reached back with his stick to stop the puck near the goal line after it hit off Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov. Malkin came into the crease and kicked the puck into the net, but the goal was waved off.

Video: PIT@WSH: Holtby makes unbelievable goal line save

 

Highlight of the game

Backstrom had five points in Washington's 7-1 win, but his first goal might have been his best play of the night. He entered the Penguins zone after taking a pass from Oshie, went 1-on-1 against defenseman Brian Dumoulin and beat Murray with a quick-release shot from the top of the right circle.

Video: PIT@WSH: Backstrom's wrister adds to Capitals' lead

 

Unsung moment of the game

Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist blocked Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik's slap shot with his head with 2:32 left in the second period.

 

They said it

"I thought we were pretty good early. I think we just took too many penalties, and that's where we got into trouble. You can't win when you're killing eight minutes out of the second period, or whatever it was. We need to be better with that going forward." -- Penguins goalie Matt Murray

 

Video: PIT@WSH: Murray takes stick to face, leaves game

 

"When you manage the puck, I think it makes your team look faster. I think when you're consistently going toward their end and you're not having to stop at center ice and come back and defend, I think it makes you look fast. I think we're in good shape, but I think we played a very north, very direct game." -- Capitals forward T.J. Oshie on their play against the Penguins

 

Video: PIT@WSH: Oshie pushes in rebound for second of game

 

"We played fast. We didn't stop skating all night. Tonight, guys were committed. I think it was a game where we realized we need to be better and play more to our identity. When you get performances from your leaders, with [Nicklas Backstrom] and [T.J. Oshie], the team follows. Those guys are the heartbeat of our team. They keep things going. Finally, it started paying off because they'd been playing really well the last few games. It was good to see." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby

 

Need to know

The Capitals have scored two shorthanded goals in a four-game span for the first time since 2014-15, when they scored one in two consecutive games (Feb. 17 and 19, 2015).

 

What's next

Penguins: At the New York Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SN, ROOT, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Home against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, FS-D, NHL. TV)

 

Video: Oshie, Backstrom lead Capitals' rout of Penguins

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