Washington Capitals take 3-0 lead, beat NJ Devils 5-2
Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway (21) scores a goal past New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)NEWARK, N.J. – Garnet Hathaway and Daniel Sprong scored in the opening 5:06, the streaking Washington Capitals built a big lead and held off the slumping New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Saturday. Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha each scored for the second consecutive game for New Jersey, which has lost four of five. The Capitals, who rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat New Jersey last Sunday, learned from that game and started fast. Vanecek, playing in his 16th game, made at least three good saves early in the third period to keep Washington ahead. NOTES: The Devils presented C Travis Zajac a silver stick before the game for playing his 1,000th game last weekend.
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“I wasn’t thinking about it," Vanecek said of his first NHL shootout. “We want to win hockey games in good ways and feel good about ourselves,” Dowd said. Buffalo rookie Dylan Cozens scored his first NHL goal on a top-shelf snipe past Vanecek in the second period. The Capitals were fined $100,000 Wednesday for breaking league rules since those four players were together in a hotel room not wearing masks. Goaltender Carter Hutton didn’t travel with the team because of an apparent head injury from a collision Tuesday in Philadelphia.
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DeSmith figured Ovechkin would try to fire one past him rather than deke his way to the net. DeSmith stayed upright as Ovechkin closed in and felt the familiar smack of rubber hitting him and not the net. “I thought our guys played hard in the second and third against a really good team,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. While Sullivan remains confident Jarry will be fine, he turned to DeSmith to help get Pittsburgh going. Washington went 1 for 4 on the power play, a tap-in goal by Backstrom in the second that gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead.