WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored in his third straight game, Braden Holtby made 26 saves and the Washington Capitals beat New Jersey 6-2 on Thursday night, handing the Devils their first loss.
Marcus Johansson scored the go-ahead goal early in the second period for the Capitals (2-0-2). Chris Brown, Nicklas Backstrom, Joel Ward and Andre Burakovsky also scored for Washington, and Troy Brouwer, Mike Green and Matt Niskanen each had two assists.
Rookie defenseman Damon Severson scored twice for the Devils (3-1-0), who were seeking their first 4-0 start since 1995-96.
Cory Schneider had 21 saves before being lifted at 3:25 of the third after Ward’s shot from the blue line caromed off the end boards, hit Schneider and went in, making it 5-2.
Mike Cammalleri had an assist, giving him points in each of his first four games with the Devils.
Holtby, lifted in the first period after allowing three goals on seven shots in Tuesday’s shootout loss to San Jose, allowed two goals in the opening period against the Devils, but that was all.
With the score tied late in the first, and New Jersey on a power play, he made a sliding save to rob Jaromir Jagr and blanked the Devils for the final two periods.
Burakovsky, Washington’s first-round draft choice in 2013, has points in each of his first four games.
Johansson put the Capitals ahead 3-2 when he took a pass from Brooks Laich and wristed a shot past Schneider from the slot.
New Jersey hadn’t trailed in its three previous games, but the Capitals took a 1-0 lead just 34 second in.
Schneider made a kick save on a shot by Brouwer, but Ovechkin got the rebound and sent a high wrist shot in for his fifth goal in his last three games.
Severson tied it at 10:15 with a blast from the right point off a nice pass from Travis Zajac, who pushed the puck out to Severson as he was knocked down in front of the net.
Brown put the Capitals back on top less than a minute later when he beat Schneider to the short side off a tough angle from the left circle.
Severson evened it again late in the period, again from the right point.
NOTES: Backstrom has 499 points in 499 NHL games. … Cammalleri joined Neal Broten (seven games), Bobby Holik (five games) and Doug Gilmour as Devils who picked up points in their first four games with the team. … Devils forward Martin Havlat left with a bloody nose in the second period after Jason Chimera shoved him and Havlat collided with referee Darcy Burchell behind the Washington net. . Washington’s John Carlson played in his 300th consecutive game, tops in franchise history for defensemen
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