NEWARK, N.J. – Cristobal Huet stopped 18 shots in his first start with the Washington Capitals and fellow newcomer Sergei Fedorov made a sensational no-look pass to help break a scoreless tie in a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
Mike Green, Viktor Kozlov, Alexander Semin and Donald Brashear scored for the Capitals, who pulled to within three points of first-place Carolina in the Southeast Division. Semin also had an assist for Washington, which has played two fewer games than the Hurricanes.
The shutout was the third of the season for Huet, who was acquired from Montreal for a draft pick in a trading deadline deal on Tuesday.
It marked the first time the Devils were shutout since Dec. 18. The loss in regulation was the team’s first in 10 games (7-1-2).
While the Devils didn’t get a lot of pucks on goal, and only two in the final 20 minutes, Huet was outstanding when needed. His best save came with 12:31 left in the second period and the game still scoreless. Jay Pandolfo sprung Zach Parisi on a breakaway and the former Canadien stopped him cold.
Huet also stopped a blast by Jamie Langenbrunner and a rebound attempt by Patrik Elias less than a minute later.
Fedorov, who was acquired from Columbus for Theo Ruth, made a great play along the boards to set up Green’s power-play goal at 11:27 of the second period.
Rookie Nicklas Backstrom kept the puck in the offensive zone and slid it along the boards to Fedorov, who made a no-look behind the back pass to Semin. The Russian forward quickly passed the puck across the ice to Green, who shot the puck into the net before goaltender Martin Brodeur get across the net.
Green leads NHL defenceman with 17 goals, including eight with the extra skate.
Washington put the game away with three goals in the third period, the biggest being Kozlov’s shot from the left circle just 43 seconds into the period on a setup by NHL goal-leader Alex Ovechkin, who has now gone seven games without a goal.
Semin got his 20th goal of the season at 8:59 of the final period with Elias serving a four-minute high-sticking penalty after cutting Green.
Brashear added insult to the Devils’ loss, scoring his fourth goal in 64 games with a snap shot right in front of Brodeur, who finished with 25 saves.
Notes: Ovechkin has scored in every Eastern Conference arena expect the new Prudential Center. He has played two games here. … Devils defenceman Andy Greene was off for tripping when Green scored for Washington. … Brodeur has started 23 straight games for New Jersey. … The game marked the Devils debut of Bryce Salvador, who was acquired Tuesday from St. Louis. … Matt Cooke, who was acquired from Vancouver on Tuesday, did not play because of problems getting his visa. … Washington is 20-0-2 when leading after two periods.