John Carlson and Lars Eller set the tone with first-period goals and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.
The Capitals (27-13-3) have also won 10 consecutive home games, the longest streak in the NHL this season.
Vancouver (16-21-6) is trending the opposite way, having dropped its fifth consecutive game. The Canucks have won just twice in their past 15 matchups.
Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer started for the first time since Dec. 27. He finished with 37 saves as Washington avenged a 6-2 loss to Vancouver on Oct. 26.
Washington winger Devante Smith-Pelly and Vancouver’s Ben Hutton traded punches in the third period. Smith-Pelly didn’t like a hard hit Hutton put Brooks Orpik.
Vancouver forward Sven Baertschi (eight goals, 10 assists) was able to play for the second straight time after missing 11 games because of a broken jaw.
Smith-Pelly was called for hooking with 12:55 left in the first period. Less than a minute later, the Capitals were penalized again for too many players on the ice that set up a 5-on-3 for Vancouver. The Canucks took advantage when Daniel Sedin deflected a shot by Alexander Edler into the bottom of the goal.
Washington tied the game on a close-range shot by Carlson with 4:47 left. The net had fallen on goalie Jacob Markstrom just prior to the score, but the Canucks lost a challenge. The Capitals took the 2-1 lead 2:39 later on a long-distance shot by Eller over Markstrom’s left shoulder.
Markstrom, who finished with 33 saves, fell to 0-6 all-time against Washington.
Evgeny Kuznetsov was credited with the Capitals’ third goal five minutes into the second period when the puck deflected off the hand of defenseman Erik Gudbranson.
Vancouver outshot Washington 38-36.
—Field Level Media