The Washington Capitals conclude their three-game homestand tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied the 11th hat trick of his career on Saturday against New Jersey and since his rookie season in 2005-06, only Carolina’s Eric Staal (13) has more hat tricks than Ovechkin. His hat trick places him one ahead of Dennis Maruk for third on the Capitals’ all-time list in that department. Only Peter Bondra (19) and Mike Gartner (13) have had more hat tricks in a Washington sweater.
Today, 12:45 p.m.: Alan May on The Sports Fix, ESPN 980 AM
Today, 6:15 p.m.: John Walton on LaVar and Dukes, FAN 106.7 FM
Must Read/See/Hear Material
Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Re-Sign Holtby To Two-Year Extension / Caps Ink Erskine To Contract Extension
Caps365: Alex Ovechkin 2/25/13 / Mike Green 2/25/13 / Rinkside Update 2/25/13 / Troy Brouwer 2/25/13 / George McPhee 2/25/13 / Adam Oates 2/25/13 / John Erskine 2/25/13 / Braden Holtby 2/25/13
Washington Post: Capitals Insider: Braden Holtby agrees to two-year contract extension / Capitals Insider: John Erskine agrees to contract extension with Capitals / Capitals Insider: Status updates on Backstrom, Green, Laich and Chimera (updated) / DC Sports Bog: Alex Ovechkin trick shot
Washington Times: Capitals notes: Braden Holtby solidifies future with 2-year deal / Capitals Watch: Capitals’ plans unclear if Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Chimera can’t play / Capitals Watch: Capitals sign Braden Holtby to 2 year, $3.7 million contract / Capitals Watch: Capitals extend John Erskine for 2 years, $3.925 million / Capitals Watch: Nicklas Backstrom sick, not on ice for Capitals practice
Associated Press: Braden Holtby, John Erskine sign
NBCWashington.com: Capitals Re-Sign Braden Holtby, John Erskine to Two-Year Extensions
Sports Illustrated: Capitals, goalie Braden Holtby agree to two-year extension
Ted’s Take: Caps Re-Sign John Erskine And Braden Holtby / This Tweeter Will Get Fired / “The Ox” / Best Oscars Coverage Here / Wizards Play Raptors In Toronto Tonight / Monday Caps Clips / The Fines Win An Academy Award
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
Striking first – Saturday marked the seventh straight game in which Washington has notched the game’s first marker. The Caps are 4-3 in those seven games and it marks the first time the Capitals have scored first in seven consecutive contests since a streak of nine consecutive games scoring first from 10/29/09-11/14/09.
Holtby heating up – Braden Holtby started his sixth consecutive game on Saturday and has gone 4-2 in those six starts with a shutout, a 2.33 GAA and a .926 save pct. He also stopped the first penalty shot opportunity in a Washington game this season, stopping New Jersey’s Steve Bernier in the first period. Holtby is now 1-2 in penalty shot attempts in his career with both coming against New Jersey.
Making the most – Mike Ribeiro ranks tied for second in the NHL in power-play points with 12 (five goals, seven assists) despite ranking tied for 73rd in the league in average power-play ice time per game (3:43). Ribeiro leads all Capitals skaters in power-play points while ranking fifth in power-play ice time per game.
Killing fields – The Capitals have successfully killed 21 of their last 23 (91.3%) shorthanded situations and are now 6-1-0 when not allowing a power-play goal in a game. Eric Fehr tallied Washington’s first shorthanded goal of the season on Saturday and the first of his career.
Powering up - The Capitals are 12-for-26 (46.2%) on the power play in their last nine games, and they have scored a power-play goal in eight of those nine contests. Washington ranked 18th in the league in power-play efficiency on Feb. 1 (17.9%), and with its current run now ranks second in the NHL (28.8%) in that category (as of Monday). Washington is 5-1-0 this season when it scores with the man advantage and does not allow a power-play goal in a game.