- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2008

NEWARK, N.J. | Michael Nylander had a pair of nifty assists and Brent Johnson recorded a shutout for two periods in a 3-2 win for the Washington Capitals against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night at Prudential Center.

Nylander set up both second-period goals as Washington forged a 2-0 advantage. The first came on the power play when he hit Mike Green with a backhanded pass through traffic (caused by Alex Ovechkin standing in front of the net) for an easy one-timer.

A little more than four minutes later, Nylander fed Boyd Gordon in front with a perfect pass, and he had enough time to stop the puck and turn partially before putting it in the net.

Johnson looked very sharp in net for the Caps. He stopped all 18 shots he faced in 40 minutes, including a couple to help thwart a three-on-five for 97 seconds in the first. Johnson has now turned aside 33 of 34 shots in his two appearances this preseason.

“I’ve just been trying to simplify and not make too many moves around the net,” Johnson said. “Sometimes you go out there and think too much, and it ends up hurting you.”

Ovechkin added his third of the preseason on a short-handed give-and-go with David Steckel 27 seconds into the third period.

Jose Theodore relieved Johnson and yielded a pair of goals, including one in the waning moments after the Devils had pulled goaltender Kevin Weekes.

Viktor Kozlov, who began the night on the top line with Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, left the game in the first period with a slight groin strain.

“He’s fine,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He just felt something tightening up and we said, ‘Whoa, get him out of here.’”