Chimera lifts Capitals over Devils 3-1
Jason Chimera scored a short-handed goal 2:27 into the third period and Marcus Johansson added an insurance tally eight minutes later, leading the Washington Capitals to a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils Friday night.
The Capitals (10-4) snapped a two-game losing streak and broke a three-game winning run for the Devils (7-6-1). The teams will meet again Saturday night in Washington, and the Capitals will be looking for their sixth win in seven games over New Jersey.
With Mike Knuble in the penalty box for tripping, Chimera stole the puck in the Devils end, pushed it off the boards, and outskated two defensemen for the goal. Johansson faked out diving goalie Martin Brodeur with a backhander for his sixth of the season, making it 3-1 at 10:43.
Devils rookie defenseman Adam Larsson, who turns 19 on Saturday, scored his first NHL goal in the first period to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead.
The Devils remained in front until Alex Ovechkin tied it with just under three minutes left in the second period. It was Ovechkin's seventh goal of the season and his 10th in 23 career games against New Jersey.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 32 shots for the Capitals in earning his eighth win of the season. Brodeur made 17 saves.
After a relatively quiet first 10 minutes, the Devils grabbed the early lead. Patrik Elias made a fine move to get the puck on goal, but it was kicked out to the right side. Larsson alertly skated in and unleashed a slap shot that Vokoun never had a chance to stop.
The pace in the second period picked up considerably, much to the liking of the Capitals, who had several chances on a power play early in the period. It was the 28th consecutive power play that the Devils killed at home.
Ovechkin was basically kept under wraps by the swarming Devils, who sent two skaters toward him every time he touched the puck.
However, the Devils couldn't keep Ovechkin completely shut down. He was camped at the left post in the closing minutes of the second period and stuffed home a pass from Dennis Wideman for his seventh goal of the season. Nicklas Backstrom earned his NHL-leading 15th assist.
After Chimera's go-ahead goal, the Devils had a few good scoring chances, the best being a wrist shot from in front by Elias that went over the net.
Johansson then put the game away with his slick backhanded shot after bringing Brodeur out of the crease.
NOTES: Devils LW Ilya Kovalchuk missed his third straight game because of an undisclosed lower body injury. Kovalchuk, who skated on his own Thursday, will travel with the team to Washington but he is questionable for the game. ... Elias tracked the puck down after Larsson's goal and secured it for the rookie. ... Devils coach Peter DeBoer moved things around with his lines, trying to get second-year forward Nick Palmieri out of an early season funk. Palmieri has only one goal and three assists in 13 games. He was placed on a line with rookie Adam Henrique and captain Zach Parise.