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Capitals beat Stars, former teammate Holtby 5-0

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists and Vitek Vanecek had 30 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Washington Capitals beat former teammate Braden Holtby and the Dallas Stars 5-0 on Friday night.

Trevor van Riemsdyk, Tom Wilson, John Carlson and Connor McMichael also scored for the Capitals, who won in regulation for the first time since Jan. 15. Evgeny Kuznetsov also had two assists.

Holtby allowed all five goals and stopped 22 shots before being replaced after two periods by Jake Oettinger, who made two saves. It was Holtby’s first career game against the Capitals, his former team for the first 10 of his 12 NHL seasons.

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) and right wing Tom Wilson (43) celebrate after a goal scored by Carlson in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. Wilson also scored in the same period. (AP PhotoTony Gutierrez)

The Stars, who retired Hall of Famer Sergei Zubov’s number before the game, lost after winning four straight, all on the road. They were shut out for the second time this season, the other coming on Dec. 9.

Backstrom’s goal on a wrister from the left circle came with 3:10 left in the second period to complete out the scoring. Limited to 12 games beginning Dec. 15 primarily because of a hip injury, all three of his goals this season plus four assists have come in the last five games.

It appeared Dallas’ Joe Pavelski scored only 42 seconds in on ithe team's first shot on goal, but Washington successfully challenged the play for being offside. Soon after, the Caps began target practice on Holtby.

Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin (91) has his shot blocked by Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP PhotoTony Gutierrez)

The first two goals were one-timers on power plays, by Wilson from the right circle at 1:29 only 10 seconds into the penalty on Washington’s first shot on goal and Carlson from the high slot at 7:54. Van Riemsdyk made it 3-0 at 13:08 from near the blue line just inside the far post past a screened Holtby.

McMichael shot into an open net with 7:57 to play in the second period after Lars Eller skated into the trapezoid and brought Holtby out of his crease for a 4-0 lead.

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Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski (16) work against Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, left rear, and Tom Wilson (43) for control of the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP PhotoTony Gutierrez)

Capitals: At Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Stars: Host Boston on Sunday night.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43), Dallas Stars right wing Denis Gurianov (34) and left wing Jamie Benn (14) chase after a loose puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP PhotoTony Gutierrez)

Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) takes a shot in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP PhotoTony Gutierrez)

Former Dallas Stars player Sergei Zubov fist bumps fans as he arrives for his jersey retirement night prior to the Stars game against the Washington Capitals at the American Airlines Center on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in Dallas. (Smiley N. PoolThe Dallas Morning News via AP)

Former Dallas Stars player Sergei Zubov watches as a banner bearing his number 56 is raised during ceremonies for his jersey retirement prior to the NHL hockey game between the Dallas Stars and the Washington Capitals at the American Airlines Center on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in Dallas. (Smiley N. PoolThe Dallas Morning News via AP)

Dallas Stars goaltender Braden Holtby (70) blocks a shot from the Washington Capitals in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP PhotoTony Gutierrez)

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) controls the puck in front of Dallas Stars left wing Jason Robertson (21) in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP PhotoTony Gutierrez)

Dallas Stars goaltender Braden Holtby left, and Andrej Sekera (5) stand nearby as Washington Capitals center Connor McMichael, center rear, celebrates with Joe Snively, center left, and Lars Eller, center right, after McMichael scored in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP PhotoTony Gutierrez)