WASHINGTON (AP) — Tom Wilson scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period and the Washington Capitals beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Sunday for their third straight win.
Dylan Strome and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored, Alex Ovechkin had two assists, and the Capitals have their longest win streak since also winning three straight last December. Darcy Kuemper stopped 30 shots.
“We started to build our game as the game went on, they came out, obviously worked really hard. You felt our game building, gaining more control of the game… a lot of confidence in this group,” Kuemper said. “Just keep doing the right things and we’d get rewarded like we did.”
Luke Kunin scored for San Jose and Mackenzie Blackwood finished with 39 saves. The Sharks fell to 0-7-2 and have lost 15 straight dating back to last season.
“There’s a lot of good things to come out of tonight. You look at the record and the way we lost tonight, giving up a goal with about five minutes to go, it’s deflating … but it’s a long, long season,” Sharks head coach David Quinn said.
San Jose came out with urgency and piled on the pressure to start the game after being shut out in their previous two outings. Kunin finally ended the Sharks’ 163-minute, 10-second scoreless streak, crashing the net and burying a rebound at the left post to open the scoring at 11:40 of the first period. It marked the seventh time in eight games that Washington gave up the first goal.
Sharks defenseman Ty Emerson got his first NHL point on the play.
Strome’s shot through traffic tied the score at 2:18 of the third. Strome is now on a three-game goal-scoring streak and leads Washington with six goals. Capitals defenseman Hardy Häman Aktell had an assist for his first career point.
“I felt like it was only a matter of time. I think everyone had that belief in here,” Strome said. We had a bunch of chances… Coach (Spencer Carbery) said we were gonna get three in the third, and we got three in the third.”
Wilson put the Capitals ahead with 4:45 remaining as he crashed the net sent a shot off Sharks defenseman Kyle Burroughs and in. It was Wilson’s second of the season and gave him 300 points for his career. It also extended his point streak to four games.
“The puck was kind of bouncing everywhere, so you just try and get it towards the net,” Wilson said. “Got to make your breaks a little bit in that type of game, desperate team coming in and we worked hard and stuck with it and got it done, got a bounce finally and got it done.”
Kuznetsov capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 58 seconds to go.
Sharks: Return home to host Vancouver on Thursday night.
Capitals: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
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