Series (Game 1 of 1)

Washington leads 1-0

Game 1: Wednesday, March 9th

Oilers 0

(23-37-8, 54 pts)

Capitals 5

(38-20-10, 86 pts)

Coverage: TSN

7:00 PM ET, March 9, 2011

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 T
EDM 0 0 00
WSH 0 2 35

A. Ovechkin (Capitals - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

B. Holtby (Capitals - G): Saves: 22, Save Pct.: 1.000

E. Fehr (Capitals - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Oilers-Capitals Preview


The Washington Capitals have reclaimed first place in the Southeast Division, but they sure haven't made it easy on themselves by winning five straight, all in come-from-behind fashion.

Washington will try to match its longest run of the season Wednesday night when it hosts the last-place Edmonton Oilers.

The Capitals (37-20-10) won a showdown with Tampa Bay for the division lead Monday. Alexander Semin tied the score late in the third period, and Alex Ovechkin scored the lone shootout goal in a 2-1 victory.

"I don't think we're dwelling on first place," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think we're comfortable playing the underdog role or of that as a favorite, but at the same time we want to be as high as we can."

It marked the fifth straight game in which Washington rallied to victory after allowing the opening goal. The Capitals are an NHL-best 20-16-4 when their opponent scores first.

The Capitals last won six straight games from Oct. 30-Nov. 11.

Ovechkin assisted on Semin's goal, giving him four goals and nine assists during Washington's 8-2-0 stretch. However, the Capitals' goaltending situation muddled.

Michal Neuvirth left after the first period due to an eye injury and was replaced by rookie Braden Holtby, who made 21 saves and stopped all three shots in the tiebreaker.

"I think it's one of the tougher things to do," Holtby said of entering the game cold. "But you have so much adrenalin -- especially at this level -- that when you get told you're going in that you usually feed off that and then just hope for the best, try and battle as hard as you can, and hopefully the pucks hit you."

Boudreau said Tuesday that Neuvirth is "fine," but he's unsure who will start in net -- and didn't seem too concerned.

"If we have to go with Braden, great. If we have to go with Neuvirth, great. If we have to go with (Semyon Varlamov), great," Boudreau said.

It may not matter against Edmonton, which enters the game with a league-low 54 points.

The Oilers (23-36-8) had won three straight before falling 4-1 at Philadelphia on Tuesday. Edmonton has played the last two games without star rookie Taylor Hall, who will miss the rest of the season after injuring his left ankle in his first NHL fight Thursday against Columbus.

The Oilers had outscored their opponents 11-4 during their three-game run, but allowed the Flyers to score the first three goals Tuesday.

Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves but fell for the first time in three starts, while Shawn Horcoff was held scoreless for the first time in three games.

"It was frustrating. It feels like we felt our way into that game," Horcoff said. "They took it to us early, but we have to give us a little bit of credit. I thought we came back strong in the second, got ourselves back in the game."

Ovechkin had two goals and an assist in the most recent meeting -- a 4-2 Capitals victory Dec. 19, 2009.