Road loss to Senators is first since March
OTTAWA -- Kyle Turris scored twice and the Ottawa Senators ended Washington's winning streak at eight games with a 3-1 victory over the Capitals on Thursday night.
Cory Conacher also scored and Craig Anderson made 18 saves to help the Senators (23-14-6, 52 points) win their fourth straight.
Mike Ribeiro scored and Braden Hotlby stopped 35 shots for the Southeast Division-leading Capitals (24-18-2, 50 points).
While Anderson was rarely tested, he did make some timely saves to bail out his team in the third. With the Senators holding a 2-1 lead midway through the final period, Anderson made a huge save on Eric Fehr when he skated in on net all alone.
Turris, who had an empty-net goal with 1:27 remaining to seal it, opened the scoring early in the second, beating Holtby for his 100th career point with a shot the Capitals goalie should have stopped off the rush.
Chris Neil nearly made it 2-0 after taking a pass through the middle and making his way around Mike Green but saw his shot bounce off the post and stay out.
The Capitals tied it midway through the period when Ribeiro, standing just outside the crease, hit the puck out of midair to beat Anderson.
But the Senators got the lead right back just over two minutes later when a bad pass from behind the net by Holtby landed right on the stick of Conacher, who easily made it 2-1 on the turnover.
The Senators have won eight of their past ten at home against the Capitals, including a 3-2 victory Jan. 29 in the first of three scheduled meetings between the teams this season. The series finale is in Washington on April 25.
Washington next plays at Montreal on Saturday night while the second-place Winnipeg Jets (23-19-2, 48 points) face the New York Islanders at home. The two teams then see each other at Verizon Center on Tuesday in what could be a decisive game for the division title.
More troubling for the Caps was the absence of star center Nicklas Backstrom, who didn't play the final 7:22 against the Senators. The team announced he was out with an upper-body injury. Television replays showed Backstrom skating to the bench after a shot by teammate Mike Green slammed into his arm. Washington coach Adam Oates told reporters in Ottawa that Backstrom would be re-evaluated in Montreal on Friday.
Notes » Senators C Mika Zibanejad celebrated his 20th birthday. ...
C Jim O'Brien, C Peter Regin, LW Matt Kassian, C Mike Hoffman, D Mike Lundin and D Andre Benoit were healthy scratches for the Senators. ...
Ottawa was without C Jason Spezza (upper-body injury) and D Erik Karlsson (Achilles). ...
The Capitals were without C Brooks Laich (strained groin), RW Joel Ward (knee) and D Tom Poti (back). LW Wojtek Wolski and D Jeff Schultz were healthy scratches.
- AP, staff reports