Evgeny Kuznetsov continues hot streak as Caps top Devils

Evgeny Kuznetsov continues hot streak as Caps top Devils

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Daniel Sprong each had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-1 Thursday night in Newark, N.J.

Kuznetsov has eight points (three goals, five assists) through four games.

Anthony Mantha and Dmitry Orlov also scored for Washington, which has collected seven of a possible eight points. Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves for the win.

Alex Ovechkin had two assists, giving him a four-game point streak (four goals, four assists) to open the season.

Janne Kuokkanen scored and Scott Wedgewood made 23 saves for the Devils, who took their first loss of the season after two wins.

The contest was the first of the teams’ season series after Washington won all eight meetings with New Jersey last season.

Mantha gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 4:14 of the first period when he scored on a backhander from in front of the net off a pass from Sprong behind the end line.

Mantha has scored in two straight games after going 17 games (including the postseason) without a goal.

The Capitals increased the lead to 2-0 at 9:33 of the first. Wedgewood made the initial save on Alex Ovechkin, but the puck went right to Orlov, who moved it to his backhand and scored from the slot.

Sprong made it 3-0 with an individual effort midway through the second period. He poked the puck past Dougie Hamilton at the Washington blue line, regained it, skated in alone on Wedgewood and slid the puck between his pads.

Later in the period, New Jersey’s Yegor Sharangovich beat Vanecek but hit the post. Vanecek has not given up a goal over the first two periods of each of his three starts.

Kuznetsov made it 4-0 when he knocked in a pass from Tom Wilson at 9:16 of the third period. The Devils averted the shutout when Kuokkanen wristed a shot past Vanecek from the slot on a power play at 13:18.

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