WASHINGTON — Usually, when the Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers meet, Alex Ovechkin or Connor McDavid would be expected to figure in the win. This time, it was the goalies who stood out until T.J. Oshie came through in the shootout.
Oshie scored the only goal of the tiebreaker to lift the Capitals to a 2-1 victory over te Oilers on Sunday night. Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots through overtime — including a flurry late in the second period — and all three Edmonton attempts in the shootout.
“It was a pretty dead game up to then, kind of both sides,” Holtby said. “We knew they were going to come with a push somehow with their talent offensively.”
Dmitry Orlov scored in regulation for the Capitals.
Holtby stopped the only shot in overtime, and he admitted that he would have liked some more action in the five-minute scramble.
“That was probably the most boring 3-on-3 I’ve played,” Holtby said. “Everyone was just winding back and winding back. There was barely anything. It was kind of disappointing.”
While the adrenaline junkie goalie wanted some more to do, his teammates are delighted that they have him.
“Holts is the best player every night for us,” right winger Tom Wilson said. “He made some huge saves, obviously, but at this point that’s a pleasure that we have — him showing up every night. We got to do our best to kind of keep the shots to the perimeter, but he does a good job when they do have a scoring chance. As a team, I thought we did a good job. Holding that squad to one goal is pretty good.”
Jujhar Khaira scored for the Oilers, who finished 2-1-1 on a four-game trip after winning the first two in overtime. Laurent Brossoit, starting just his second game of the season and 12th in four NHL seasons, finished with 18 saves.
Brossoit thought he played well, but obviously wasn’t pleased about Orlov’s goal or the one that Oshie managed to get by him.
“I was prepared for it and he still snuck it through,” Brossoit said.
Washington coach Barry Trotz hadn’t seen the Oilers’ backup play before.
“I don’t think we tested him enough early,” Trotz said. “We didn’t make the shots hard enough. We didn’t get in front of him enough. We had some really good looks.”
Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said he was satisfied with how his team performed on its first four-game trip of the season.
“We’ll take the five of eight (points),” McLellan said. “We wish we could have got more, but now we’ve got a real test ahead of us going home where we haven’t performed well.”
The Oilers appeared to score at 6:16 of the second period, but the goal by Oscar Klefbom was waved off after a challenge by Trotz because of goaltender interference by Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
NOTES: Washington F Brett Connolly returned after missing seven games due to a concussion. … G Cam Talbot, who led NHL goalies in games last season, had played 11 straight games and 15 of the Oilers’ 16 games this season. He hadn’t been rested since Oct. 17. … Capitals D Matt Niskanen (hand) and F Tyler Graovac (upper body) have been skating with the team, but neither has been cleared to play. … Edmonton F Anton Slepyshev missed his second straight game with a lower body injury.
Oilers: Host Vegas on Tuesday night.
Capitals: At Nashville on Tuesday night.