Capitals Beat Canucks to Win NHL-best 10th in a Row at Home
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Carlson, Lars Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored as the Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive victory and NHL-best 10th in a row at home.
Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped 37 of 38 shots to pick up his third win of the season. The Capitals haven't lost at home since Nov. 30 and are 18-2-0 in their past 20 games in Washington.
Alex Ovechkin assisted on Carlson's goal to get him to four away from 500 for his career. Carlson, who's sixth among defensemen with 30 points, could join Ovechkin as an All-Star when the league announces rosters on Wednesday.
Daniel Sedin scored the only goal and Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves for the Canucks, who have lost five in a row. Vancouver has gone 2-11-2 in its past 15 games to go from third in the Pacific Division to 14th in the 15-team Western Conference.
The Capitals got off to a sluggish start and gave up the game's first goal on a Vancouver 5-on-3 power play when Sedin deflected Alexander Edler's point shot past Grubauer. They responded quickly with a goal by Carlson that held up on a goaltender interference challenge and a snipe by Eller that made it 2-1 after the first period.
Kuznetsov made it 3-1 in the second when he batted the puck out of the air on his own rebound with help from Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who accidentally gloved it into his own net. Markstrom did his best to keep his team in the game while the Caps outshot Vancouver 18-4 in the second period, and Grubauer was up to the task in the third with 20 saves.
NOTES: Linesman Greg Devorski left with an illness, and the game finished with one linesmen and two referees. ... Capitals F Chandler Stephenson returned to the lineup, replacing Alex Chiasson. ... Canucks D Derrick Pouliot was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Coach Travis Green said Pouliot's game had slipped recently.
Canucks: Make their fourth stop on a five-game trip before the bye week when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.
Capitals: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday to start a back-to-back home-and-home series.