- Associated Press - Monday, October 31, 2016

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Marcus Johansson had quite a weekend for the Washington Capitals.

Johansson scored twice Sunday night, leading the Capitals to a 3-1 vicotry over the Calgary Flames. The previous night, he had two goals and an assist in a win at Vancouver.

“Sometimes they find a way to go in and sometimes you struggle a little bit,” said Johansson, who has five goals and a team-leading nine points. “I guess I’ll take it and move on and hopefully it keeps going.”

The reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners had lost two straight before the 5-2 win over the Canucks.

“It’s big for us to come back and get those points. We’re never happy with losing, and especially not when we’re not playing well,” Johansson said.

Brett Connolly also scored for Washington, Jay beagle had two assists, and Braden Holtby stopped 21 shots.

Connolly opened the scoring 2:01 into the game and Johansson redirected Alex Ovechkin’s snap pass on the power play at 7:14 to double the lead and give the Capitals two goals on their first four shots.

“Great pass by Ovie. He hit me right on the tape. I just had to put my stick there,” Johansson said.

Mikael Backlund scored his first of the season for Calgary, and Brian Elliott had 26 saves while ending a three-game win streak.

Chronic poor starts at home are becoming a concern for the Flames, who have lost four of six at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

“We have to find a way to play way better at home and have better starts,” Backlund said. “It’s our barn.”

Backlund pulled the Flames within one with 6:16 remaining in the first as he whipped a shot inside the far post from near the boards.

Calgary had two power plays in the second to try and tie it but were unable to generate any dangerous chances.

“I was disappointed with our execution,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. “Just throwing each other grenades, it seemed like. We didn’t generate, we didn’t get any momentum from those.”

Both goalies made some stellar saves in the second period. First, it was Holtby kicking out a pad to deny Micheal Ferland from 15 feet out.

Elliott, was especially sharp during a power play. First he scrambled across to thwart Ovechkin at the side of the net. Shortly after, he threw up his glove to stab John Carlson’s blast from the blue line.

Another big glove stop for Elliott came in the first. Keeping the Flames within two goals, he snagged a hard shot from Nate Schmidt.

Backlund socred just 11 seconds later.

Backlund had one of Calgary’s best chances to tie it in the third when the puck squirted out to him in front, but he wasn’t able to get very much wood on it.

“I was going the other way, and I had to shift the other way and the puck was just a little too far away,” he said.

Calgary now departs on a four-game road trip to Chicago, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim.

“This is a huge road trip obviously,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “We can’t dwell on this one too long. We’ve got to learn from it, get going again. We had two big wins on the road earlier in the week. Hopefully we can carry some of that into the next few games.”

NOTES: The Capitals have outscored teams 11-4 in the first period this season. They’ve also scored first in seven of their eight games. … The Flames play 11 of their next 15 games on the road. … Ferland and Sam Bennett each had his four-game point streak snapped.

UP NEXT

Capitals: At Winnipeg on Tuesday night to complete a four-game road trip.

Flames: At Chicago on Tuesday night.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide