EditorsNote: Removes extra word (“victory”) from lede; tweaks/combines 3rd and 4th grafs; corrects “seconda” to “seconds” in 6th graf
Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, and Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals defeated the visiting Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 Saturday night.
Backstrom scored both of his goals in the third period — the final two goals of the game and last into an empty net. Tom Wilson and Jonas Siegenthaler each also scored as Washington won its sixth consecutive game.
Jakub Vrana and John Carlson both added two assists, as the Caps are on a 10-0-1 roll. Goalie Braden Holtby earned the win with 30 saves and has gone 7-0-1 in his last eight games.
These two teams met in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals, which Washington won in five games. But this is the first time they’ve played since Dec. 4, when the Golden Knights won 5-3.
The Capitals started quickly Saturday when Dmitry Orlov made a pass that sprung Kuznetsov on a breakaway, and he beat goalie Marc-Andre Fleury 58 seconds into the game.
Washington kept the pressure on and made it 2-0 after a Vegas turnover in its own end that Vrana sent over to Wilson. The big winger quickly fired one past Fleury 5:53 into the first period.
The Golden Knights answered when Max Pacioretty scored from in front just under nine minutes in. Vegas won a draw, and the puck rolled over to Pacioretty, who put it into the net.
Washington and the Golden Knights traded goals in the second period. Siegenthaler scored his first NHL goal — and even grabbed the puck off the ice moments later — with 4:28 left.
Then, Reilly Smith notched his 10th goal of the season, a power-play score just under two minutes later to cut the Knights’ deficit to 3-2.
But Backstrom gave Washington some insurance on a power-play goal with 8:30 remaining in the game. His goal snuck between Fleury’s left arm and body and dribbled into the net for a 4-2 lead.
Backstrom’s empty-net goal came in the final minute.
—Field Level Media