The Washington Capitals continue a three-game road trip tonight against Tampa Bay.
A handful of Capitals players are within striking distance of career milestones tonight. Defenseman John Carlson will be playing in his 200th career NHL game tonight, making him just the 11th player from his 2008 draft class to have skated in 200 or more NHL games. Washington’s leading scorer Mike Ribeiro is just one assist shy of 400 career NHL assists, which would make him one of just 34 active players to have reached the 400-assist plateau. Eric Fehr, riding a two-game point streak, is just one point shy of 100 points in his career.
Today, 6:15 p.m.: John Walton on LaVar and Dukes, FAN 106.7 FM
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Fireworks – Only four players have recorded multiple 50-goal seasons since 2005-06. Alex Ovechkin has collected four 50-goal seasons during that time period while Steven Stamkos has two. Ovechkin has registered 62 points (28 goals, 34 assists) in 48 career games against Tampa Bay while Stamkos has recorded 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in 25 career games against Washington.
Going streaking – Several Capitals enter play tonight in the midst of scoring streaks. Alex Ovechkin (three games) and Troy Brouwer (two games) enter tonight’s game with goal-scoring streaks while Mike Ribeiro (4g-5a in five games), Ovechkin (3g-4a in five games), Joel Ward (1g-3a in two games), Brouwer (3g in two games) and Eric Fehr (1g-2a in two games) all enter play tonight with point streaks intact. Ovechkin and Ribeiro’s five-game point streaks are both tied for the team’s season-high, set by Nicklas Backstrom from 1/29-2/5.
Powering up - The Capitals are 7-for-14 (50%) on the power play in their last five games, and they have scored a power-play goal in five consecutive contests. Washington ranked 18th in the league in power-play efficiency on Feb. 1 (17.9%), and with its current run now ranks tied for fourth in the NHL (25.5%) in that category (as of Wednesday). Washington is now 3-1-0 this season when it scores with the man advantage and does not allow a power-play goal in a game.
Goals by the bunches – The Capitals have scored five or more goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season. Washington accomplished the feat twice in 2011-12, with the last instance coming Nov. 1-4, 2011 in wins against Anaheim and Carolina.
Good omens – Karl Alzner scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday at Florida and his first goal since Oct. 27, 2011 at Edmonton. Last season the Capitals went 14-3-0 when Alzner recorded a point and in his career Washington has a record of 2-2-1 when Alzner scores a goal.