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game recap

Capitals defeat Golden Knights for sixth straight victory

Backstrom scores twice for Washington, which extends point streak to 11; Vegas falls to 1-1-1 on road trip

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Backstrom's power-play goal

VGK@WSH: Backstrom extends Capitals lead with PPG

Nicklas Backstrom snaps a shot on the power play that sneaks through Marc-Andre Fleury and rolls across the goal line

  • 01:10 •

WASHINGTON -- Nicklas Backstrom scored two goals in the third period for the Washington Capitals in their sixth consecutive win, 5-2 against the Vegas Golden Knights at Capital One Arena on Saturday.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist, Jonas Siegenthaler scored his first NHL goal, and Jakub Vrana and John Carlson each had two assists for Washington (13-2-3), which is 10-0-1 in its past 11 games, outscoring opponents 50-31. Braden Holtby made 30 saves in the win.

"I think we're working together as a team," Backstrom said. "We're doing all the details right. We're trying to follow the system that the coaches want us to play. I feel like when you have confidence like we have … we're just trying to keep going and get better every day. So far, so good."

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Capitals highlights]

 

Max Pacioretty and Reilly Smith scored for Vegas (9-6-3), which is 1-1-1 on its four-game road trip and 1-1-3 in its past five. Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves.

"I don't think we played as good as we had in the past lately, and we just didn't look [like we were] getting ready to beat a good team," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "We had to play a lot better than that."

Video: VGK@WSH: Kuznetsov nets early breakaway goal

Backstrom scored on the power play with a shot from the right face-off circle that trickled through Fleury's pads to make it 4-2 at 11:30. He scored an empty-net goal with 46 seconds remaining for the 5-2 final.

Kuznetsov scored on a breakaway off a Dmitry Orlov stretch pass to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead 58 seconds into the game.

"When we support each other in our zone when we have the puck, that's how we get those 3-on-2, 2-on-1 looks," Kuznetsov said. "The hockey's pretty simple right now. You have to go back for the puck. Not only one defenseman. It has to be all five guys."

Tom Wilson made it 2-0 with a shot from the high slot at 5:53 off a pass from Vrana following a turnover by Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault.

"Obviously, it's a tough way to start the game, but I feel like I wasn't good," Fleury said. "I didn't make the key saves, or I didn't change the game in a good way for us. I didn't make those key saves to keep the score close."

Video: VGK@WSH: Vrana feeds Wilson after turnover

Pacioretty cut it to 2-1 when he scored unassisted at 8:57, knocking a loose puck past Holtby from the slot following a face-off.

Siegenthaler took a cross-ice pass from Travis Boyd and beat Fleury far side from the left circle to make it 3-1 at 15:32 of the second period. His first goal came on the one-year anniversary of his NHL debut.

"It feels pretty good, even better with a win," he said. "It's been exactly a year. It took a year. It feels great."

Smith pulled the Golden Knights within 3-2 with a one-timer from the top of the left circle on the power play at 17:27.

Video: VGK@WSH: Smith fires home power-play goal

The Golden Knights had two power plays while trailing 3-2 in the third period.

"That definitely hurt," Gallant said. "We scored one late in the second that made it 3-2, and we had the one starting the third that we didn't get much on, and the next one, we didn't get much on. That was a huge part of it."

 

They said it

"Consistency is a hard thing in hockey to find. I think we're not playing with the swag we should have, the confidence that we should have. There's a glimpse of it, and I think it's [important] to stay a little bit more simple. It doesn't matter where we play, just play a strong forecheck game, and when we do that, I think we're one of the best teams." -- Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault

"I was really impressed with our start to the game because they were ready to go. They've been hyping this game up, and we responded. I challenged our guys pretty good before the game and got, I thought, a really good response to start with." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

 

Need to know

Wilson has three goals in the past two games and four in the past four. ... Pacioretty has three goals in the past four games, and Smith has three in the past three. ... The Capitals have scored at least one goal in the second period of every game this season. ... Carlson (333 assists, 431 points) passed Scott Stevens (331 assists, 429 points) for second in assists and points among defensemen in Washington history. Calle Johansson is first in each, with 361 assists and 474 points.

 

What's next

Golden Knights: At the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; FS-D, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Capitals top Golden Knights for sixth straight win

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