Washington’s Tom Wilson, middle, is checked by Sam Bennett, left, and Deryk Engelland in Calgary. The Capitals won their second game in as many nights. (Jeff Mcintosh/AP)

The Washington Capitals could’ve had the excuse of feeling tired, playing their second game in as many nights. Instead, they looked the part of the fresher team to start Sunday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, and fittingly, it was the team’s “energy line” that gave Washington an early lead.

“Sometimes, on back-to-backs, it’s tough finding your legs right away,” center Jay Beagle said. “You know, I felt pretty good right off the hop and I think the team did, too, the way we played.”

It’s not that the two western Canadian cities are that far from each other — roughly one hour by plane — but going from Vancouver to Calgary can be a challenge in back-to-back games because an hour is lost in the time-zone change. Yet the Capitals weathered any fatigue from their schedule in the first period, taking an early lead and then maintaining it in a 3-1 win over the Flames.

Washington’s fourth line of Beagle, Brett Connolly and Zach Sanford got the Capitals on the board just two minutes into the game and the power play scored for a second straight contest. Shut out by goaltender Brian Elliott in the second period, Marcus Johansson scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to give Washington a last-minute cushion.

“I think we had a good mindset,” goaltender Braden Holtby said. “If we get them moving a lot in their own zone, we’d have some success. If you have flow to your game, it’s a lot easier in a back-to-back. It looks like you’re working hard, but it’s a lot harder when it stops and starts in your D zone and stuff like that. We had a lot of energy from executing in the offensive zone especially and wearing them down.”

Capitals Coach Barry Trotz juggled his forward lines before the game in Vancouver, wanting to spark the offense after Washington had uncharacteristically lost back-to-back games in regulation. The Capitals exploded for five goals against the Canucks on Saturday night, and with Trotz keeping his forward combinations the same on Sunday, Washington’s offensive success carried over.

Before the Capitals embarked on the trip, Beagle said he’d have about 50 friends and family at the Saddledome. A Calgary native, Beagle still lives there in the offseason. Just two minutes into the game, he put on a show for the hometown crowd, skating around the back of the net before feeding Connolly in the slot.

Connolly beat Elliott with a snap shot for his first goal, this being just his fourth game with the team. Sanford, a rookie, picked up a secondary assist on the goal for his first NHL point.

“For the three games that I’ve played this year, I had at least two, three, four shots on net, so I had some good chances,” Connolly said. “I knew it was going to come. Beags made a good play there on the goal, and I was in a good spot to shoot it. I’d like to think if I get shots from there, I’ll score a little bit.”

Trotz has chided the media this season when it has referred to the Beagle line as the Capitals’ “fourth” line, as he’s felt that its played above that ranking. That trio is counted on primarily to be strong defensively and to tire opposing teams in the offensive zone with its cycle game, but it’s also been able to contribute points for Washington this season. With all four of the Capitals’ lines playing well, Trotz has been able to play all of them, enabling him to divide the five-on-five ice time more evenly. That’s especially helpful for a team coming off a game the night before.

“Sometimes, that line is sort of the grind line,” Trotz said. “They’re very appreciated by everybody. When they score, it gives your bench a boost, no question.”

After the Capitals’ power play underwhelmed to start the season, it scored for a second straight game. Deryk Engelland was whistled for high-sticking on Tom Wilson 6:39 into the game, and Washington capitalized 35 seconds later. Alex Ovechkin sent a slap pass from his sweet spot in the left faceoff circle that Johansson skillfully deflected in front of Elliott to lift the Capitals to a 2-0 lead. That marked Johansson’s second power-play goal in as many games from point-blank range in front of the net. He’s scored four goals in roughly 24 hours.

“Great pass by Ovi,” Johansson said. “He hit me right in the tape, and I just had to put my stick there. Those are nice and I’m happy to take those.”

Calgary halved Washington’s lead 13:44 into the first period on a Mikael Backlund goal that the Capitals immediately took issue with because in the sequence leading up to the goal, Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk leveled defenseman Nate Schmidt in what could’ve been considered an interference penalty.

After the game, Trotz said he thought Tkachuk should’ve been called for interference, but “it doesn’t matter now.”