Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Green tallied the game-winning goal in the third to lift the Washington Capitals over the Vancouver Canucks, 4-3, on Friday.
Joel Ward, Alexander Ovechkin, and Tom Wilson also scored for the Capitals, who snapped a two-game skid. Evgeny Kuznetsov added three helpers and Jaroslav Halak turned made 38 saves in the win.
"[Kuznetsov] did a great job battling down the corner and keeping control of the puck," said Green on his game-winning goal. "He made a great play to Nicky [Backstrom], and I noticed when Nicky was wheeling the net that he saw me before he even looked up. That's just the way Nick operates, so I just had to freeze the goalie and get a good shot."
Already without Daniel Sedin, Vancouver head coach John Tortorella announced earlier on Friday that another star would be out of the lineup. Ryan Kesler is expected to miss a few weeks with a right knee injury.
Jordan Schroeder, Shawn Matthias, and Nicklas Jensen all lit the lamp for the Canucks, who have dropped two of their last three. Eddie Lack made 17 stops in defeat.
"We played well. We came away empty. No regulation points. It's a frustrating one for us because I thought a lot of people did a lot of good things," Tortorella said.
Ward opened the scoring at 8:17 of the first. Jason Chimera entered the zone on the right side and found Eric Fehr in the middle. Fehr retrieved his own rebound and fired it to the front of the net, where Ward was in front to deposit the puck into the open net.
Vancouver evened it up just over three minutes later. Zack Kassian tracked the puck down on the boards and slid a pass to the middle. Schroeder received the puck and lifted a wrister in the top right corner over the glove of Halak.
Ovechkin broke the tie on the power play 8:28 into the second. John Carlson worked the puck over to Ovechkin, who launched a one-timer from the left circle to beat Lack. Four minutes later, Kuznetsov sent a slap pass over to Wilson, who beat Lack from the right circle to give the Capitals a two-goal advantage.
Chris Higgins backhanded a pass from the left side to a wide-open Matthias, who wristed a shot through the pads of Halak less than five minutes into the third.
The Canucks tied the game at three after Jensen tallied his first NHL goal with a wrister from the slot 7:34 into the final frame.
Washington broke the tie just past the midway point of the third. Kuznetsov cycled behind the net and dropped a pass to Nicklas Backstrom. The forward emerged from behind the net and dished the puck to Green, who stepped up into the slot to wrist a shot home.
Kuznetsov picked up his first NHL point with a secondary assist on Ovechkin's marker ... Kassian returned to the lineup after serving a three-game suspension ... The Capitals snapped a four-game losing streak to the Canucks.