Capitals thrash lowly Senators after poor start

February 27, 2019 GMT

The Ottawa Senators own the worst record in the NHL. They entered Tuesday’s game 3-11-0 in their previous 14. And they dealt away their three top assets before Monday’s trade deadline to accumulate draft picks and build for a better tomorrow.

It should have been easy pickings for the Washington Capitals. But early on, the defending Stanley Cup champs looked doomed.

The Capitals scored seven unanswered goals after giving up two in the first 7:10 of the game, beating the Senators 7-2 at home.

T.J. Oshie led with two goals, becoming the second Capital to reach 20 for the year. Tom Wilson, Lars Eller, John Carlson, Brett Connolly and Evgeny Kuznetsov also got in on the action. Braden Holtby needed to make just 21 saves.

Coupled with the New York Islanders’ loss Tuesday, the Capitals (36-21-7, 79 points) tied the Isles in standings points atop the Metropolitan Division. Those clubs face off again Friday on Long Island.

The Senators got off to their surprisingly hot start courtesy of two players who just joined them as trade returns. First, Oscar Lindberg tapped in a back-door goal behind Holtby, and Anthony Duclair followed that up with a power-play tally.

Ottawa continued to out-class Washington until late in the first, when Wilson and Eller drew the Capitals even with a pair of tic-tac-toe goals.

The Capitals poured on four more in the second, including Oshie’s two. They outshot Ottawa 17-5 in the period and spent most of the time in their offensive zone.

Kuznetsov left late in the second period when a puck caught him on the hand, but not only did he return to start the third, he scored on the first shift of the frame with a smart backhand assist from Alex Ovechkin.