Edmonton Oilers Shawn Horcoff (left) tries to fight off Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin in front of Oliers goalie Dwayne Roloson during the third period of NHL hockey action at Edmonton\'s Rexall Place on Saturday. (CP/Jimmy Jeong)
Ryan Smyth had a goal and an assist and Dwayne Roloson stopped 19 shots for the shutout as the Edmonton Oilers earned a 4-0 over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.
With the victory the Oilers improve to 6-0 at home and 7-4 overall .
Fernando Pisani, Joffrey Lupul and Marty Reasoner also scored for the Oilers who were coming off a pair of 6-2 losses on a two game road trip to Anaheim and Phoenix.
"It's a little bit of a change from last year," said Roloson. "Last year when I got here we were a great road team and at home we weren't as great. But we'll be fine on the road. We have a long trip coming up in a couple weeks and I'm sure we can turn it around then."
Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish is pleased with the Oilers play at their own rink, but says they need to improve on the road.
"We haven't had a lot of success on the road this year," he said. "We've only won one game out of five, which is certainly not the level we want to be at."
The Capitals, who lost 3-2 in a shootout on Friday night in Vancouver, actually felt better about their play in this game despite the 4-0 result.
"That is likely our best game of the three-game trip so far," said Capitals head coach Glen Hanlon. "To me it wasn't really a four goal game. I almost have a better feeling tonight than I had after taking
a point in Vancouver. It's a long process to get where we want to go this year but I think we looked farther ahead tonight than we did the night before."
The Capitals dropped to 3-3-4, though MacTavish agreed that Washington played better than the score indicated.
"They played us hard," MacTavish said. "They are going to win some games."
The Oilers kicked off the scoring midway through the first period when Ryan Smyth blasted a slapshot to the top corner that blew by Capitals starter Brent Johnson. The power-play goal was Smyth's sixth goal of the season.
The Oilers outshot the Caps 10-3 in the first period, the only real sniff on offence for Washington came when Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson was forced to make an acrobatic glove save on a hard
wrist shot from Alexander Ovechkin.
The game remained at 1-0 through a scoreless second period, the best chance coming late in the second when Washington's Brian Pothier ripped a point shot that hit the post.
The Oilers took a two goal lead five minutes into the third when defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron drifted a knuckleball at the Capitals net and Fernando Pisani tapped it in.
Edmonton put the game away with just under four minutes left when Johnson allowed a big rebound on a Petr Sykora shot and Joffrey Lupul capitalized for a power-play goal.
Marty Reasoner added an empty-net goal to cap the scoring.
It was the first time Ovechkin played against Edmonton. The only team last season's rookie of the year hasn't faced is Calgary. He'll get a crack at the Flames on Tuesday.
Notes - The last time these two teams met was way back on January 11, 2004 when the Capitals defeated the Oilers 1-0 at MCI Center in Washington . . . The Caps lost their previous six games in
Edmonton, outscored 31-11 over that span . . . Entering the game against the Oilers, the Caps had scored eight power play goals this season and seven had been scored by either Semin or Ovechkin.
Semin led Washington with eight goals. Last season, the Capitals did not have a player other than Ovechkin get eight goals until Matt Pettinger scored on December 23. . . . Oilers forward Jarret Stoll
recorded his 100th career NHL point with an assist in the first period.