Recap: Capitals 5, Predators 2
Capitals 5, Predators 2: Captain Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 22nd goal and Braden Holtby turned aside 34 shots as host Washington skated to its third win in four contests.Karl Alzner tallied to snap a 63-game drought and fellow defenseman Nate Schmidt scored his first NHL goal in his 25th career contest. Eric Fehr recorded a goal and an assist, Troy Brouwer also tallied and Nicklas Backstrom notched his first two assists since setting up three goals in a 4-1 win over St. Louis on Nov. 17.Defenseman Roman Josi netted and set up a goal, Eric Nystrom also scored and captain Shea Weber had an assist in his return from an eye injury. Rookie Marek Mazanec finished with 28 saves for the Predators, who have been outscored 18-7 during a season-high five-game winless streak (0-4-1).After Brouwer opened the scoring at 6:44, Ovechkin doubled the advantage nearly 6 1/2 minutes later with his ninth goal in 11 contests. Backstrom won an offensive draw before the three-time Hart Trophy winner blasted a shot from above the left faceoff circle that deflected off Mazanec's pad and into the net.Alzner gave Washington a 3-0 lead just over three minutes later with a slap shot from just inside the blue line. Josi answered with 23 seconds remaining in the session with a wrist shot from the left circle, but Schmidt's blast from just outside the left circle restored the Capitals' three-goal advantage 3:29 into the third period.GAME NOTEBOOK: Ovechkin has collected six goals and four assists in eight career games versus the Predators. ... Washington scored at least three goals in the first period for the third time this season. ... Alzner's last tally came in the Capitals' 6-5 win over Florida on Feb. 12.