Ovechkin, Holtby help Caps shut down Pens

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Braden Holtby posted his fifth shutout of the season to lift the Washington Capitals to a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

Mike Green tallied a goal and an assist, Eric Fehr also scored and Nicklas Backstrom supplied two assists as the Capitals ended a four-game skid.

"We stayed diligent. We kept pushing the pace. We kept just hounding the puck," Washington head coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought we just had more determination in our game. We actually just made sure we weren't going to be outworked."

Holtby made 27 saves to earn his 16th career shutout.

The Penguins lost their fifth game in their last six despite getting captain Sidney Crosby back from a lower-body injury which kept him from All- Star weekend.

"We had a few opportunities but we need to create more if we want to win a game," said Crosby.

Marc-Andre Fleury allowed all four goals on 36 shots in the loss.

Less than five minutes into the game, Backstrom gathered the puck along the right boards and delivered a cross-ice pass to Karl Alzner. Ovechkin set the screen in front and tipped Alzner's point blast into the net to give the Capitals an early lead.

After Robert Bortuzzo went off for interference, the Capitals doubled their advantage late in the second period.

Backstrom sent a slick backhanded pass to Green at the high slot. Instead of shooting, Green passed to Ovechkin, who wound up and fired a shot past Fleury from the left circle dot with 2:41 left in the stanza.

Brooks Laich tried to backhand the rebound of Brooks Orpik's point blast, but Fleury made the save. The puck trickled to the right side of the net, where Fehr roofed the puck for a 3-0 game with 8:58 remaining.

Just over a minute later, Green finished off a 2-on-1 with Evgeny Kuznetsov with a snap shot over the shoulder of Fleury to conclude the scoring.

Game Notes

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin missed a third straight game due to a lower- body injury ... The Capitals have earned a point in 10 straight home games (8-0-2) ... Ovechkin tied Peter Bondra for first place on Washington's multi- goal games list with 93 and passed Rod Langway for seventh place for the most games played in franchise history with 727 ... Penguins forward Maxim Lapierre made his debut with the team after being acquired from the Blues in exchange for Marcel Goc on Tuesday, picking up a blocked shot and two hits in 14:15 of ice time ... The two teams next meet on Feb. 17 in Pittsburgh.