Washington Capitals hold on to beat slumping Ottawa Senators

Tom Wilson scored, Tyler Lewington and Madison Bowey each got their first career goals and the Capitals beat the short-handed Ottawa Senators 3-2.

OTTAWA — It was a night of firsts for the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

Tyler Lewington and Madison Bowey became the first two Capitals defencemen to score the first goal of their careers in the same game as Washington edged the short-handed Ottawa Senators 3-2.

What’s more, Lewington had a Gordie Howe hat trick as he added an assist and a fight with Zack Smith.

"The first game I was definitely nervous, and this game I was still a little nervous but the guys have been great making me feel comfortable," Lewington said, adding goals, assists and fights were never really on his mind.

"I wasn’t really thinking of (the Gordie Howe hat trick). It just kind of happened, but it’s kind of cool. I’ve only had one other one back in junior. I don’t know if I’ll ever get another one."

Tom Wilson had goal and an assist for Washington as the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals (24-10-3) won their fourth in a row. Bowey had the game winner and Pheonix Copley made 31 saves.

The slumping Senators, meanwhile, have lost four in a row.

Ottawa was without top defenceman Thomas Chabot and fellow blue-liner Christian Jaros following injuries Friday in a loss to the New York Islanders.

Jaros broke a finger while Chabot was placed on injured reserve with an upper body injury following a hit from Islanders forward Matt Murray in the second period.

Both players are expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

The Senators also had goaltender Marcus Hogberg making his first NHL appearance with starting netminder Craig Anderson also injured. Hogberg made 21 saves while Colin White and Mark Stone scored for the Senators (15-20-4), who are last in the Eastern Conference.

"It was as tough … for him coming in but he gave us a chance, and we had a chance to the very end so he did his job," Senators coach Guy Boucher said of Hogberg.

Stone scored at 16:30 of the third period, creating a white-knuckle finish.

"The boys played really well in front of me and helped me see some pucks and it’s nice to have it done," said Hogberg, who has split time between the AHL and ECHL the past two seasons.

"It’s a good opportunity to show who I am and it was a good test and make some stops in the beginning and keep it going. I will look at the game and see where I can do better."

The Capitals took a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.

It was quite an opening 40 minutes for the Edmonton-born Lewington, who was playing in just his second NHL game.

Lewington drew an assist on the game’s opening goal by Wilson at 7:12 of the first period for the first point of his career and then whistled a shot past Hogberg at 16:00 for his first NHL goal.

Late in the second period, he got his first fighting major in a bout with Smith.

Bowey gave the Capitals a 3-0 lead just 61 seconds into the second period when he skated in from the point and beat Hogberg with a shot from the top of the faceoff circle.

It took Lewington just two games to get his first goal whereas Bowey was playing in his 78th career game.

"I’m happy it went in, obviously. It’s been a long time and it definitely felt great. It turned out to be a big goal for us and I’m happy we got the two points," Bowey said.

"To see (Lewington) score and get the Gordie Howe hat trick is really special."

The Senators got one back as White was credited with a goal at 4:22 of the second after a Washington challenge for goaltender interference was dismissed.

Senators rookie Brady Tkachuk earned an assist on that goal but just 33 seconds later was knocked to the ice by a hit to the head from Bowey. Tkachuk immediately jumped to his feet and received an instigator minor, fighting major and misconduct for going after Bowey, meaning he was lost to the Senators for 17 minutes.

He drew a load cheer from the home crowd when he left the penalty box three minutes into the third.

NOTES: The Capitals have won the past four meetings between the two teams … Saturday was the second of three meetings between two teams this season. The Capitals were 4-0 winners in Ottawa on Dec. 22 and they meet again in Washington on Feb. 26 … The Senators recalled defencemen Stefan Elliott and Christian Wolanin from Belleville of the AHL on Saturday

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