WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Capitals shut down former teammate Alexander Semin, scored a goal with a one-of-a-kind combo and put together a second consecutive impressive performance, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 Tuesday night in their quest to make a quick last-to-first move in the Southeast Division.
Nicklas Backstrom scored in the first period and supplied the pass for John Erskine's goal in the second -- the first Backstrom-to-Erskine score in their six seasons as teammates. John Carlson scored in the third and Braden Holtby, who signed a two-year contract extension Monday, made 33 saves for his fifth career shutout for the Capitals.
After a miserable start to the season, Washington has back-to-back wins by more than one goal for the first time this season. The victory moved the Capitals within four points of the Hurricanes, who led the NHL's weakling division at the start of the day's play.