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Karl Alzner

Backstrom, Ovechkin power 1st-place Caps past Blue Jackets

A refreshed Braden Holtby handled an early push from Columbus until Washington's high-powered offense revved up.

Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist and Holtby earned his league-leading 30th win to lift the NHL-best Capitals past the last-place Blue Jackets 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Marcus Johansson added a goal and an assist, and Jason Chimera and Andre Burakovsky also scored for Washington, off to the best start in franchise history at 35-8-3. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a career-high four assists, and Matt Niskanen chipped in with two.

Columbus took an early 1-0 lead and held a 10-1 shots advantage at one point during the first...

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