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game recap

Ovechkin stuck two from 700, Capitals lose to Golden Knights

Fifth straight game without goal; Vegas wins third in row

by Danny Webster / Independent Correspondent

Pacioretty snaps home quick shot

WSH@VGK: Pacioretty fires quick shot past Holtby

William Karlsson fires a pass from behind the net to Max Pacioretty, who scores to give the Golden Knights a 3-0 lead in the 2nd period

  • 00:21 •

LAS VEGAS -- Alex Ovechkin remained two goals from 700 for a fifth straight game, and the Washington Capitals lost to the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 at T-Mobile Arena on Monday.

Ovechkin is trying to become the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 goals. He had four shots in 21:31.

T.J. Oshie scored twice, and Braden Holtby made 26 saves for Washington (37-17-5), which has lost three of four and is 3-6-0 in its past nine games. The Capitals lead the Pittsburgh Penguins by one point for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

"I think we're able to turn the momentum of the game a little bit with our physicality and eventually we wear the opposition down in the third, which is why we can have some more success," said Capitals coach Todd Reirden. "But the mistakes that we're making to start the game is really putting us behind the eight ball to start with."


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Golden Knights highlights]


The Golden Knights (31-22-8) won their third consecutive game and are tied with the Edmonton Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves, and Nick Holden, Reilly Smith and Max Pacioretty scored for Vegas.

Vegas' three wins have come during a five-game homestand, each by one goal [6-5 in overtime against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, and 1-0 Saturday against the New York Islanders].

"That was a strong game from our group," Pacioretty said. "You knew they were going to have that pushback, and ultimately having three goals to lead on them was enough tonight."

Holden scored on a deflection from William Carrier to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead at 3:43 of the first period.

Video: WSH@VGK: Holden gives Golden Knights early lead

It was the sixth consecutive game the Capitals allowed the first goal of the game.

"They came out, were getting pucks deep, were playing the body and we had a little bit of it, but our level just wasn't high enough and you can't say one word or write something on the board that will kind of get that going," Oshie said. "That's got to be the guys in the room here."

Smith scored for the second consecutive game at 17:17 of the first period to give Vegas a 2-0 lead. The goal came 17 seconds after Oshie missed an open net below the right circle.

Pacioretty scored his team-leading 27th goal at 14:06 of the second period to make it 3-0.

Oshie made it 3-1 at 8:47 of the third period on a wrist shot from the right circle, then scored his second on the power play at 10:40 to make it 3-2.

Video: WSH@VGK: Oshie scores PPG on one-timer

Fleury has won consecutive starts for the first time since Dec. 28 - Jan. 4. He was 3-6-0 in his previous nine starts.

"Our guys were solid from start to finish," Fleury said. "Guys took care of the rebounds and blocked some shots, and helped me around the net. Once again, they were great in front of me."


They said it

"We have no concern about anyone else. We're obviously struggling a little bit to get wins and to play a full 60 minutes. But right now, that second part, playing a full 60 minutes, is our only concern. … I'm not concerned where we are in the standings come playoffs. We want to get there, and we want our game going the right way before we do." -- Capitals forward T.J. Oshie

"Despite how many goals he has or what he's trying to accomplish, you're always trying to shut him down. They're always looking for him, but I think we did a pretty good job taking away his chances. It'd be no different if it were his first game in the League, or him trying to get 700 goals." -- Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty on allowing four shots from Alex Ovechkin


Need to know

This is Ovechkin's first five-game goal drought since Dec. 19-31, 2018. … John Carlson of the Capitals became the first defenseman this season to reach 70 points with an assist on Oshie's second goal. Carlson reached 70 points in 58 games, the third-quickest in NHL history (Paul Coffey in 54 games twice; Phil Housley, Brian Leetch and Al MacInnis each did it in 57 games).  … Golden Knights forward Cody Glass, who played 13:04, was assigned to Chicago of the American Hockey League after the game. He has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 38 games with Vegas this season. … Vegas center William Karlsson had an assist on Pacioretty's goal in his 400th NHL game. … Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson had one shot in 15:10 in his first game against his former team. Stephenson, who was traded to Vegas on Dec. 2, was a third-round pick (No. 77) by the Capitals in the 2012 NHL Draft. 


What's next

Capitals: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Golden Knights: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, ATTSN-RM, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Golden Knights hold on to defeat Capitals

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