WASHINGTON -- With his parents watching from the stands, Washington Capitals defenseman Julien Brouillette made his first NHL goal a game-winner in a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Verizon Center.
Called up by the Capitals on Feb. 6, Brouillette recorded his first NHL point in his debut on Thursday night.
He followed with his first goal, snapping a wrist shot past Devils goaltender Cory Schneider 10:50 into the third period. Capitals left winger Marty Erat scored his first goal of the season into an empty net and defenseman Karl Alzner also scored an empty-netter as the Capitals won their second straight game.
The Capitals (27-23-9) snapped a seven-game losing streak against Metropolitan Division opponents and moved two points ahead of the Devils (24-22-13) in the Eastern Conference standings.
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby turned aside all 25 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season and 10th of his career.
The Devils lost in regulation for the first time since Jan. 28, snapping a 2-0-2 points streak.
Before the game, Capitals coach Adam Oates -- a former Devils assistant -- said he wanted his team to play more like the Devils, who entered the game with the Eastern Conference's second-lowest goals-against average (2.33).
Through two periods, both teams played a risk-free, tight checking game that resulted in few offensive chances.
Through 40 minutes, the Devils outshot the Capitals 19-16, but their best scoring chance came 3:17 into the second period when center Adam Henrique rang a shot off the left post. Holtby's biggest save came on a power-play blast from Devils center Damien Brunner.
At the other end, Schneider was sharp in his sixth straight start, squaring up to stop Capitals right winger Troy Brouwer on a power-play slap shot from the slot in the first period and standing his ground on goal-mouth shots by fourth-line center Jay Beagle and left winger Brooks Laich.
NHL goal leader Alex Ovechkin led all skaters with four shots in the first 40 minutes but his power-play wrister early in the third period ricocheted off the crossbar behind Schneider and into the netting behind the goal.
NOTES: The game featured nine Olympians who will leave from Newark Airport on Sunday for Sochi, Russia, where they will represent their countries in the Winter Games. The Capitals are sending five players -- RW Alex Ovechkin (Russia), C Nicklas Backstrom and LW Marcus Johansson (Sweden), RW Martin Erat (Czech Republic) and D John Carlson (U.S.). The Devils have four Olympians -- RW Jaromir Jagr, LW Patrik Elias and D Marek Zidlicky (Czech Republic) and C Damien Brunner (Switzerland). ... Jagr entered the game leading the Devils in goals (17), assists (32), points (49) and plus-minus (plus-22). He was also two goals away from becoming the seventh player in NHL history to score 700 goals. The others are Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708). Jagr turns 42 on Feb. 15. ... The Capitals return to action on Feb. 27 when they visit the Florida Panthers. The Devils are back in action Feb. 27 at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.