EDMONTON, Alberta -- The statistics made it perfectly clear that neither team was supposed to win Thursday's game at Rexall Place.
The Oilers, back home after a six-game Eastern swing, were 1-13 over the last two years in their first game back in Edmonton after a road trip. The Washington Capitals were 1-8 in their previous nine visits to Edmonton.
Something had to give. That something was Edmonton.
The Oilers trailed 1-0 after the first period, 2-0 after two, and watched the Capitals pull away for a 4-1 victory.
Edmonton (3-7-1) started strongly and a few times came close to scoring first, especially on power play midway through the first period. However, the Capitals (5-5-0) jumped on top after a botched faceoff in Edmonton's end.
Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins won the draw, but Edmonton's Nail Yakupov and Jeff Petry let Washington's Marcus Johansson get to the puck first. A split second later, it was on Alex Ovechkin's stick, and a split second after that, it was behind Devan Dubnyk for the only goal of the first frame at 18:13.
The Capitals extended the lead to 2-0 in the second on what looked like a harmless shot from the point. Jason Chimera and Joel Ward were both crashing the net at the time, turning the harmless shot into Ward's third goal of the season.
Washington's Nicklas Backstrom scored at 1:24 of the third period, fighting off Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the crease for the tap-in to put the contest out of reach at 3-0. Jason Chimera rounded out the scoring midway through the third.
Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz broke Washington goalie Braden Holtby's shutout at 17:56 of the third.
Holtby finished with 30 saves. Dubnyk stopped 22 shots.
NOTES: Ovechkin's 10th of the season late in the first period extended his goal-scoring streak to three games. ... Capitals RW Martin Erat has played Edmonton 38 times in his career, more than any other Washington player. ... The Oilers go back out on the road for six of their next eight, starting with a Saturday visit to play the Phoenix Coyotes. ... Oilers C Mark Arcobello became one of only three rookies in the last 20 years to get 10 points his first 10 games. The other two are Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Chicago's Patrick Kane. ... Oilers RW Ben Eager is trying to regain his place in the NHL after being recalled from AHL Oklahoma City on Oct 22. ... The Capitals won beat the Oilers 4-2 in Washington on Oct. 14. ... Oilers LW Taylor Hall will be sidelined a month with his knee injury, but said he doesn't blame Ottawa D Eric Gryba for the hit that put him out.
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