Holtby leads surging Caps past Senators

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) – Braden Holtby’s outstanding performance
between the pipes kept the Washington Capitals on a roll with a 2-1 decision
over the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center.

Holtby recorded 38 saves in a game in which the Capitals were outshot by a
39-23 count, with Nicklas Backstrom accounting for the deciding goal on a
power play late in the second period to help Washington earn a point for a
ninth straight outing. The Caps are 7-0-2 during the surge.

“Holts bailed us out and gave us the chance to win,” said Capitals forward Jay
Beagle, who scored Washington’s other goal.

Mike Green assisted on both Capitals’ markers.

Erik Condra had the lone goal for Ottawa, which received 21 saves from Craig

A holding call on Senators’ defenseman Eric Gryba with the game knotted at 1-1
led to Backstrom’s eventual game-winner, in which the standout center rifled a
a wicked shot through a tight window from the right circle with just 34.6
seconds left in the second period

The goal was one of three scored between the teams over the final 6:01 of the

Beagle got the flurry started by outracing the Senators’ Jared Cowen for a
puck dumped into the Ottawa zone by Evgeny Kuznetsov, then slipping a shot
that trickled underneath Anderson’s right skate.

Condra drew the Senators even less than two minutes later, stealing the puck
away from Green and firing it past Holtby while in all alone on the
Washington netminder.

Ottawa made a feverish attempt to tie it during the final period, unloading 15
shots on Holtby that were all turned aside. Anderson was pulled for an extra
skater with nearly two minutes left to no avail, as the Senators managed just
one good attempt down the stretch.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game,” Senators head coach Dave
Cameron said. “We ran into a guy who was seeing the puck really well tonight,
that’s going to happen from time to time.”

Both goaltenders were sharp during a scoreless opening period. Holtby came up
with 14 saves, including a few tough ones to allow the Caps to kill off two
early penalties, while Anderson helped thwart a 5-on-3 advantage Washington
had for just over a minute late in the stanza.

“He’s been outstanding,” Backstrom said of Holtby. “We really needed those
(saves), especially the first one in the (power play) there.”

Game Notes

The Capitals halted a seven-game losing streak in the series, having last
previously bested Ottawa on Dec. 7, 2011 …. Washington improved to 16-1-2
this season when scoring first … The Capitals are now 12-2-2 in their last
16 matchups with the Senators at the Verizon Center … Ottawa defenseman
Patrick Wiercioch returned from a three-game absence due to a lower-body