The Washington Capitals continue their three-game homestand with a matinee contest against the New Jersey Devils.
Braden Holtby turned in a 34-save effort on Thursday against New Jersey and stopped 38 of the 40 shots he faced on Sunday against the New York Rangers, the second-highest save total in a single game in Holtby’s career. In his last two games, Holtby has recorded a .935 save percentage. Thursday also marked Holtby’s fifth-consecutive start, setting a new career high for consecutive games started. Holtby started four straight contests from March 9-15, 2011.
Must Read/See/Hear Material
Washington Post: Capitals Insider: Alex Ovechkin searching for finishing touch / Capitals Insider: Mike Green taking the cautious route: ‘Better I be safe than sorry’ / Capitals Insider: One-timers: Caps can’t shake the penalty problem / Capitals Insider: Eric Fehr promoted, Wojtek Wolski demoted in Capitals practice
Washington Times: Capitals Watch: Alex Ovechkin shows vintage flashes vs. Ilya Kovalchuk, Devils / Capitals Watch: Mike Green: It’s better I be safe than sorry’ / Capitals Watch: Wojtek Wolski demoted, Eric Fehr promoted as Capitals shuffle lines
Washington Examiner: Analyzing the Caps’ penalty problem
Associated Press: Devils-Capitals Preview
Ted’s Take: Caps Red Line To Debut on Monumental Network on Feb 25 / Heads Up – Metro Delays This Weekend / “Catholic 7” / 100 Million Americans Are Single / Wizards Make Trade Deadline Deal / Mirror Image
Injury UpdateD Jack Hillen – day-to-day
D Mike Green – day-to-day
F Brooks Laich – day-to-day
F Marcus Johansson – day-to-day
You again? – The Capitals host New Jersey today for the second game in a row. The last time the Capitals played consecutive games, both at home, against the same opponent was April 5-7, 2006 vs. Carolina. The game before those two games (April 3) was also against the Hurricanes in Raleigh, and all three contests were decided by one goal (courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau).
Powering up - The Capitals are 10-for-23 (43.5%) on the power play in their last eight games, and they have scored a power-play goal in seven of those eight contests. Washington ranked 18th in the league in power-play efficiency on Feb. 1 (17.9%), and with its current run now ranks third in the NHL (26.8%) in that category (as of Friday). Washington is 4-1-0 this season when it scores with the man advantage and does not allow a power-play goal in a game.
Face-off fancy – Washington won 58% of its face-offs on Thursday against New Jersey and has now won 50% or more face-offs in each of its last five games. Matt Hendricks leads Washington in face-off percentage, having won 63.3% of his draws this season.
A devil of a time – The Capitals are 3-2-1 in their last six home games against New Jersey, having outscored the Devils 20-15 in that span. The 92 wins that the Capitals have in team history against New Jersey are their second-most wins against any franchise. Washington has earned more points against the Devils (209) in its franchise history than against any other NHL team.
Snipers – Alex Ovechkin (344) and Ilya Kovalchuk (304) rank first and second, respectively, in goals scored since the 2005-06 season. Ovechkin ranks first in that span in points (689) while Kovalchuk ranks sixth (596). All time among Russian-born skaters in the NHL, Kovalchuk ranks fifth in career points while Ovechkin ranks 12th.