NSH
48-26-8
WSH
42-32-8

21 SOG
23 SOG

Capitals 4, Predators 1

Associated Press | Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 10:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - It was like old times for the Washington Capitals. Their Big Three - Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom - scored in the same game for the first time since Oct. 30, 2010.

The trio led the Capitals to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Ovechkin and Backstrom scored first-period goals. Semin scored in the third, and Troy Brouwer added a fourth goal.

"I think we want to dictate our game, and we want to dictate our style and this system, so it was pretty cool," Ovechkin said.

Washington improved to 5-5 under new coach Dale Hunter. The Capitals are 6-1 in their last seven games against the Predators.

"When your top end guys score the confidence goes up for the rest of the bench," Hunter said. "The big guys scored."

Michal Neuvirth stopped 20 shots for the Capitals. Starting a third straight game for the first time this season, Neuvirth, who shut out Winnipeg on Thursday, has allowed three goals in that span.

"He's been solid," Brouwer said. "He makes it easy for us to play in front of him. We know if we do make a mistake he's going to be there for us."

Nashville lost for the first time in six games, and for the first time in 11 contests, had a game decided by more than one goal. The quirky 10-game streak was two shy of an NHL record, according to STATS LLC.

The Capitals grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period. Ovechkin scored just his fourth goal in 18 games when he took a pass from Karl Alzner at the blue line, and in a blur, cleanly beat goalie Anders Lindback at 7:42 for his 11th goal of the season.

"It doesn't matter if Ovie scores, or anyone scores, the team is going right away. It all started with a good first shift," Brouwer said.

Backstrom netted his 12th at 15:51. He carried the puck behind the net, skated in front, and slammed a shot past Lindback. Washington dominated play in the first, jumping out to a 10-1 edge in shots.

The two-goal outburst in the period was a welcomed change for the Capitals, who had scored only goal in each of their previous three games.

"I liked the first period more than anything," Hunter said. "We should have scored more."

The Predators' Sergei Kostitsyn broke Neuvirth's shutout bid 4:40 into the third period with his fifth goal.

"We didn't give enough run support for Lindy," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "When it was 2-1, we had lots of chances to tie it up, and we didn't."

Semin's seventh of the season made it 3-1 midway through the third and marked the first time this season he has scored in consecutive games.

"I told him after the second period, he has to shoot more," Neuvirth said.

Brouwer pushed the lead to 4-1 at 13:46.

NOTES: Capitals RW Mike Knuble played in his 1,000th NHL game. The team honored him in a pregame ceremony, and each of his teammates wore a jersey with his No. 22 during warmups. ... The Predators recalled D Jonathon Blum and LW Blake Geoffrion from Milwaukee of the AHL. ... Nashville D Kevin Klein didn't make the trip because of flu. ... Washington D John Erskine was a healthy scratch. ... Capitals C Marcus Johansson assisted on the last two goals.

1st2nd3rdT
NSH
WSH
Scoring Summary
1st Period
07:42WSH Alex Ovechkin (11) Snap shot - ASST: Karl Alzner (9), John Carlson (16) 1 - 0 WSH
15:51WSH Nicklas Backstrom (12) Wrap-around - ASST: Roman Hamrlik (1) 2 - 0 WSH
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
04:40NSH Sergei Kostitsyn (5) Snap shot - ASST: Shea Weber (17) 2 - 1 WSH
10:21WSH Alexander Semin (7) Snap shot - ASST: Marcus Johansson (11), Nicklas Backstrom (22) 3 - 1 WSH
13:46WSH PPG - Troy Brouwer (9) Tip-in - ASST: Dennis Wideman (16), Marcus Johansson (12) 4 - 1 WSH
Three Stars of the Game
Nicklas Backstrom
1st
Nicklas Backstrom
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 20:31
Alex Ovechkin
2nd
Alex Ovechkin
G: 1Shots: 7
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 15:05
Marcus Johansson
3rd
Marcus Johansson
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:58
Penalty Summary
1st Period
09:12NSH Blake Geoffrion  Roughing against  Matt Hendricks
16:52WSH Alexander Semin  Boarding against  Jordin Tootoo
2nd Period
04:17WSH Alex Ovechkin  Too many men/ice - bench
12:25WSH Karl Alzner  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
17:27WSH Jason Chimera  Cross checking against  Roman Josi
3rd Period
13:19NSH Craig Smith  Holding against  Mathieu Perreault
14:16WSH Joel Ward  Slashing against  Matt Halischuk
shots by period
PeriodNSHWSH
1st411
2nd83
3rd99
Total2123
Team Stats
CategoryNSHWSH
Power Plays0/51/2
Hits2117
Faceoff Wins2335
Giveaways56
Takeaways64
Blocked Shots818
Penalty Minutes410
  • NASHVILLE
  • WASHINGTON
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
5B. GeoffrionC000129:31
6S. WeberD0101029:34
7J. BlumD00-12018:59
10M. EratR00-20018:10
11D. LegwandC0002015:42
12M. FisherC00-12019:52
13N. SpalingC00-10015:40
15C. SmithC0000214:08
20R. SuterD00-12026:24
22J. TootooR00-15014:49
24M. HalischukR000109:17
25J. SmithsonC00-1009:58
27P. HornqvistR00-12018:24
33C. WilsonC0001016:05
38J. HillenD00-1009:43
51F. BouillonD0000019:21
59R. JosiD00-11015:28
74S. KostitsynL1011016:28
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
39A. Lindback1923.82660:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
6D. WidemanD0113028:44
8A. OvechkinR1017015:05
15J. HalpernC0000018:05
19N. BackstromC1113020:31
20T. BrouwerR1012016:42
21B. LaichC0011017:24
22M. KnubleR0000010:07
25J. ChimeraL0002215:31
26M. HendricksC000106:10
27K. AlznerD0110221:59
28A. SeminR1012215:58
42J. WardR0000212:47
44R. HamrlikD0110018:06
55J. SchultzD000006:01
74J. CarlsonD0110025:24
81D. OrlovD0001017:54
85M. PerreaultC000006:43
90M. JohanssonC0211016:58
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30M. Neuvirth2021.95260:00