NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—The Washington Capitals found a way to snap their season-worst, four-game losing streak. Hit the road.
The Capitals had lost their previous four games, all at home. Now they have won five straight on the road, improving to 11-3-2 in their last 16 away from the nation’s capital.
“I thought we played as good of a game we have played in a long time,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We should have won in regulation, but didn’t. We got the two points anyway.”
The Predators dropped their second straight after winning six in a row. Nashville has earned at least one point in eight of nine games.
“We kept plugging away, and we were finally able to score,” Fedorov said. “It was a good character win for us, and something we need to shake things up.”
Nicklas Backstrom tied it with 1:21 left in the second period. Alex Ovechkin sent a pass to Backstrom in the low slot, and he saw goalie Dan Ellis fall to the ice. Backstrom then lifted a wrist shot into the vacated net for his 18th goal.
“We’ve had a bit of a struggling streak, so it was a good game for us to play, and it was a great team effort,” Backstrom said. “I think it was one step forward. It’s something we have to continue to start winning games again.”
Ovechkin has five goals and five assists in his last eight games.
Ellis started for Nashville after projected starter Pekka Rinne showed up to the morning skate with flu-like symptoms and was sent home. Despite playing in just three games since the All-Star break, Ellis was strong in stopping 42 shots.
“In a fun way, it was a real challenge,” Ellis said. “When you don’t play for seven or eight games, to jump back in there against the best player in the world is something that I look forward to and try to make the most of it, enjoy the moment, and show them I can still play.”
“Actually Pekka was scheduled to start today, and he came up sick so Ellie jumped in there,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Danny was really good, but I thought we gave up too many chances obviously against a very good offensive team.”
The Capitals thought they had taken a 2-1 lead at 4:50 of the third, but a video review determined that Tomas Fleischmann had directed the puck into the net with a kick.
Nashville center Scott Nichol played in his first game since sustaining a concussion Dec. 9 against Vancouver. … The Predators recalled G Drew MacIntyre from Milwaukee (AHL) to serve as Ellis’ backup. … Predators D Shea Weber’s assist gave him a career-best 41 points. … Semin extended his point streak to seven games, one shy of his career high.