WASHINGTON — T.J. Oshie scored twice in under four minutes and John Carlson got the go-ahead goal to extend the Washington Capitals’ longstanding domination of the Boston Bruins with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night in a showdown between the NHL’s two best teams.

The Capitals have won 16 of their last 17 games against the Bruins. Boston has lost four in a row, with three of those defeats coming in regulation.

Carlson’s blast past Jaroslav Halak in the third period fired up a crowd quieted by Sean Kuraly’s deflection goal minutes earlier.

These teams entered with the most points in the league. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin trailed only Boston’s David Pastrnak in the goal-scoring race, the Bruins are coming off a trip to the Stanley Cup finals, and Washington won its first title in 2018.

After all the talk about this being a mid-December measuring stick for a couple perennial playoff contenders, the skill level matched the hype.

Pastrnak ripped a perfect shot over goalie Braden Holtby’s left shoulder midway through the first period for his league-best 26th goal of the season.

It looked like the Bruins had a two-goal lead on a Patrice Bergeron power-play goal, but Capitals Coach Todd Reirden challenged for offside and video review showed Jake DeBrusk was into the zone just before the puck.

Oshie, who had just one goal in his previous 10 games, made the most of a defensive breakdown by the Bruins, scoring off his own rebound during a power play early in the second. Soon after, he turned Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton into a human pylon and beat goalie Jaroslav Halak with a high backhand for a highlight-reel goal.

NOTES: Holtby stopped 30 shots. Halak made 25 shots. … Carlson has 45 points in 33 games, which is the second-most among defensemen over the last 40 season, behind only Al MacInnis’ 47 in 1990-91 with Calgary. … The Bruins went 0 for 5 on the power play and are 2 for their last 25. … Clifton was in the Bruins’ lineup because John Moore is being eased back from a lengthy absence and will play the second half of their back-to-back Thursday night at Tampa Bay. … Referee Jon McIsaac left the game in the third period after a collision with Ovechkin.


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