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game recap

Capitals shut out Senators for fifth straight win

Braden Holtby makes 30 saves in victory, T.J. Oshie scores only goal

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Braden Holtby made 30 saves, and T.J. Oshie scored in the first period to help the Washington Capitals win their fifth game in a row, 1-0 against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

The Capitals (25-9-5) are 12-2-2 in their past 16 games.

The Senators (20-14-4), who had not played since a 2-1 loss to the Capitals on Sunday, have lost a season-high four consecutive games (0-3-1). Mike Condon made 19 saves.


WATCH: All Capitals vs. Senators highlights


It was the 500th NHL assist for Backstrom.

"It was nice. I think it's something that has been built up for the last couple of weeks," said Backstrom, who played his 691st game in the League. "It feels good that I got it done so we can stop talking about it. I got a big congrats from the guys here too; that was nice. It was nice to get it over with and look ahead here.

"It feels a lot better when you're winning than if I had done it and we lose. I'll remember this. It was a tough game, but we pulled it off. That's all that matters."

Oshie left the game in the second period after being hit by Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf. He returned to play a few shifts in the second but did not play in the third period.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz did not have an update on Oshie, who missed seven games Nov. 20-Dec. 5 with a shoulder injury.

The Senators had some good chances through two periods but couldn't beat Holtby, who has back-to-back shutouts after making 29 saves in a 5-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

Holtby stopped a shot from Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot from the edge of the crease at 5:35 of the first period.

Video: Rask, Holtby earn Saturday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson hit the crossbar at 2:07 of the second period, and Mike Hoffman hit the side of the net off the rebound.

Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan was scratched; coach Guy Boucher did not say why.

"I'm hopeful he's playing tomorrow," Boucher said.

Goal of the game

Oshie took Backstrom's pass on the left wing and scored with a shot from the circle over Condon's left shoulder.

Video: WSH@OTT: Oshie pots Backstrom's 500th career assist


Save of the game

With the Capitals on the power play with Hoffman off for high sticking, Condon moved to his right to stop Alex Ovechkin's shot from the left faceoff dot at 14:59 of the second period.

Video: WSH@OTT: Condon gloves Ovechkin's power-play laser


Highlight of the game

With 1:02 left in the second period, Holtby got his blocker on Ryan Dzingel's shot off a 2-on-1 with Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Holtby might have been helped a bit when Dzingel couldn't get a bouncing puck to settle down.


Unsung performance of the game

Defenseman John Carlson had a game-high six blocked shots among 21 for the Capitals, who killed off three Senators power plays. In its two wins against Ottawa in the past week, Washington blocked 44 shots.

They said it

"It was kind of a boring game for both teams, not many chances, a couple of posts. We want to take what they give us, and we protected the lead. The penalty-killers do a great job, there were lots of blocks, and [goalie Braden Holtby] was outstanding again. We just do our thing and collecting the points." -- Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin


"It's hard, but I think every team goes through stretches when they lose a few games in a row. We're there right now. We've got to try and find a way to snap out of it as fast as possible, and hopefully get on the other side of things. It's not something that's a concern as of right now, but again the effort could be there, but if we don't start winning games, it's going to be tough." -- Senators captain Erik Karlsson on their four-game losing streak


"[Nicklas Backstrom has] made a lot people look good over the years, 500 times you could say. He's a tremendous player. It's really special to be in that picture with his 500th (NHL assist). Kudos to him. He's been the ultimate pro. He's such a leader for us. It gets the guys going when something like that happens." -- Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt

Need to know

The Capitals, whose 2.03 goals-against average leads the NHL, held an opponent to two goals or fewer for the 13th time in the past 17 games. They are 20-1-5 when allowing two goals or fewer. … Washington defensemen have at least a point in 33 of 39 games this season.

What's next

Capitals: At the Montreal Canadiens on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, RDS, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Senators: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

Video: Holtby, Oshie lift Capitals past Senators, 1-0

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