BOSTON (AP) — T.J. Oshie scored his 299th career goal, Charlie Lindgren stopped 18 shots for his third shutout of the season and the Washington Capitals snapped a six-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 57th career empty-net goal with 27 seconds remaining to pass Wayne Gretzky for the most in NHL history.
Dylan Strome also scored for the Capitals, who won for the first time since beating St. Louis 5-2 on Jan. 18.
“Our most complete game of the year, hands down, start to finish. In all the different areas we needed to be dialed in, we were," Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said. “Our structure. We were so connected in everything we did in all three zones, it was impressive from our group today.”
Lindgren wasn’t tested much as the Capitals dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Bruins 23-7 through the first 40 minutes and finishing with a 28-18 shot advantage.
“This win tonight, this shutout, all the credit in the world goes to the guys in front of me," Lindgren said. “I thought the effort right from the drop of the puck start to finish was incredible. If we play that way, we’re a playoff hockey team. There’s no doubt about it.”
Jeremy Swayman stopped 25 shots for the Bruins, who lost for the third time in their last four home games.
Boston fans booed at the end of the second period as the Bruins made their way to the locker room, down 1-0 after being outplayed through two periods. The boos continued in the third and got louder when Strome’s 20th goal of the season 3:24 into the period put Washington up 2-0.
“They can cheer us if they like what they see. They can boo if they don’t,” Bruins captain Brad Marchand said. “So that’s up to them. Obviously we know we have a very passionate sports city and very passionate fans and they expect us to win every game. It’s not going to happen, but they’ve got to see the effort and obviously they didn’t like it tonight.”
Lindgren stopped Jake DeBrusk with a glove save from just outside the net early in a power-play opportunity for Boston with about seven minutes remaining. With Boston pushing for a goal, Washington's Connor McMichael got free for a short-handed breakaway but couldn't beat Swayman.
“Swayman made a few huge saves and we just couldn’t break through,” Carbery said. “That’s where we need to play so mentally disciplined with everything that we do and just believe it will come. We did a phenomenal job of sticking with it tonight.”
Max Pacioretty went to the ice late in the first after taking a stick to the left wrist from Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who received a major penalty and game misconduct for spearing. Officials reviewed video of the play before upholding the call.
Pacioretty went to the locker room for the remainder of the period but was back for the start of the second, setting up the game’s first goal with a pass from behind the net to Oshie for a wrist shot that deflected in off Swayman’s left pad.
Washington outshot the Bruins 15-4 in the first period but neither team scored. Swayman came up with two big saves on Ovechkin, gloving a shot with about 4:30 left in the period and getting his left pad on another early in the major penalty to Grzelcyk .
With his goal, Oshie passed Bobby Carpenter for the ninth-most in franchise history.
A hooking penalty to Ovechkin gave Boston one more power-play chance late in the third but Lindgren was there again with a glove save on a one-timer by Brad Marchand after a crossing pass from David Pastrnak.
Ovechkin, who also had an assist, had goals in his previous three games and was running out of time to extend the streak before coming out of the penalty box to an empty Boston net. Ovechkin now has 834 career goals, 60 short of tying Gretzky's mark of 894 for the most in NHL history.
After beating the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Capitals get the best in the Western Conference on Sunday at home against the Vancouver Canucks.
“It’s something to build off of with how much we’ve been struggling,” Carbery said.
Capitals: Host Vancouver on Sunday.
Bruins: Host Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
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