T.J. Oshie scored as part of a dominant performance, Braden Holtby made 30 saves and stopped a penalty shot and the Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 Tuesday night in Jay Beagle’s return to his old home arena.
Alex Ovechkin assisted on Oshie’s 16th goal of the season to pick up his 1,180th career point and become NHL’s all-time scoring leader among Russian players. Ovechkin went into the game tied atop that list with former teammate Sergei Fedorov.
Oshie, whose penalty late in a loss to Boston on Sunday hurt the Capitals’ chances of coming back against the Bruins, was at his best against the Canucks. He forced the turnover that led to his goal, flipped the puck over defenders for a scoring chance in the first and created another one in the second.
Holtby made 13 saves and denied Bo Horvat on a penalty shot in a busy second period to help the struggling Capitals pick up two important points. Holtby was run over by Horvat prior to Elias Pettersson’s goal with 7.6 seconds remaining and was attended to by a team athletic trainer before finishing the game.
Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana scored third-period goals for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who had lost eight of their previous nine games.
Markus Granlund also scored for the Canucks, who lost for the second consecutive night and have dropped three of four. Forced to start each side of this back-to-back because of an injury to rookie Thatcher Demko, Jacob Markstrom made 17 of his 28 saves in the first period to keep the Canucks in it.
The game was Beagle’s first time facing his former teammates after playing parts of 10 seasons with the Capitals and helping them win the Stanley Cup last year. Beagle, who signed a $12 million, four-year contract with Vancouver, got a standing ovation from the crowd during a video tribute in the first period and a hug from Ovechkin after it was over.
NOTES: Connolly’s goal was his first in 14 games. … Canucks D Alexander Edler will miss at least a week with a concussion from a scary fall to the ice Monday in Philadelphia. Coach Travis Green said Edler needed stitches, but X-rays showed no facial fractures from hitting his head on the ice. … Junior G Mike DiPietro backed up Markstrom after Demko injured a knee Monday in warmups and went back to Vancouver for an MRI. … Capitals D Lars Eller returned to the lineup after missing a game with a lower-body injury.
Canucks: Wrap up their four-game trip Thursday at the Chicago Blackhawks.
Capitals: Continue their six-game homestand Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche.