Vanecek, Capitals hand Devils first loss


NEWARK, N.J. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Daniel Sprong each had a goal and an assist for the Washington Capitals in a 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday.

Anthony Mantha and Dmitry Orlov scored, Alex Ovechkin had two assists to extend his point streak to four games, and Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves for the Capitals (3-0-1).

Janne Kuokkanen scored, and Scott Wedgewood made 23 saves in his season debut for the Devils (2-1-0). New Jersey is 0-7-2 in its past nine games against Washington (0-6-2 last season).

Mantha gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead on a backhand from the slot at 4:14 of the first period. Orlov made it 2-0 on a backhand from the left circle off a long rebound of a shot taken by Ovechkin from the high slot at 9:33.

Ovechkin has seven points (four goals, three assists) this season.

Sprong extended the lead to 3-0 when he banked the puck off the boards past defenseman Dougie Hamilton at the Devils blue line and scored on a breakaway at 9:56 of the second period.

Kuznetsov scored on a snap shot at the right post and along the goal line to give the Capitals a 4-0 lead at 9:16 of the third period. Kuznetsov has scored eight points (three goals, five assists) this season.

Kuokkanen scored a power-play goal on a slap shot from the slot at 13:18 of the third period to make it 4-1.

The Devils were without center Jack Hughes, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday with a dislocated left shoulder.

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