The Washington Capitals continue their final homestand of the regular season tonight against the Ottawa Senators.
The Capitals clinched their sixth-straight playoff berth on April 23 vs. Winnipeg, marking the longest streak of playoff appearances in franchise history since their 14-straight postseason trips from the 1982-83 season through 1995-96. The streak of six straight playoff appearances is tied for the fourth-longest active playoff streak in the NHL. The Capitals have won five Southeast Division titles in the last six seasons, joining Vancouver as the only two teams in the league to have won five division titles in the last six seasons. This marks Washington’s 24th playoff appearance in franchise history and its eighth division title (seven Southeast, one Patrick Division).
Today, 3:05 p.m.: George McPhee on Hockey Night in Canada Radio, SiriusXM
Must Read/See/Hear Material
WashingtonCaps.com: Caps Host Sens, Hope to Keep Rolling Along
Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Ink Two Wingers to Two-Year Extensions
Monumental Network: Adam Oates 4/24/13 / Alex Ovechkin 4/24/13 / Mike Green 4/24/13 / Troy Brouwer 4/24/13 / Aaron Volpatti 4/24/13 / Eric Fehr 4/24/13 / Rinkside Update 4/24/13 / Monumental Today 4/24/13 / Monumental Memories: Bryan “Bugsy” Watson
Capitals Voice: Your Capitals Minute for Wednesday, April 24
Washington Post: Washington Capitals’ ‘Wagons’ prove instrumental as team clinches Southeast / Capitals Insider: Alex Ovechkin jokes about ‘Russian celebration’ after Capitals clinch Southeast / Capitals Insider: Caps sign Eric Fehr and Aaron Volpatti to two-year contract extensions / Capitals Insider: Joel Ward skates for first time since suffering knee injury / Capitals Insider: Caps clinch Southeast Division (video) / DC Sports Bog: Matt Hendricks and Al Koken make postgame magic / DC Sports Bog: An Alex Ovechkin ‘MVP chant’ at Verizon Center / DC Sports Bog: MC Hammer, Alex Len, George McPhee fist pumps at Caps game / DC Sports Bog: I was wrong on the Caps
Washington Times: Capitals don’t plan to relax in final regular-season games / Capitals notes: Eric Fehr proves worth to get contract extension / Capitals Watch: Aaron Volpatti has ‘nothing to complain about’ with Capitals / Capitals Watch: Capitals re-sign Eric Fehr, Aaron Volpatti to 2-year deals / Capitals Watch: What Southeast Division title means to Capitals / Capitals Watch: John Erskine is Caps’ ‘unsung hero’ in clinching win
Washington Examiner: Thom Loverro: Capitals drop the Hammer on Southeast Division again / Cheers and Jeers: Capitals’ John Erskine proving his worth / Capitals give Eric Fehr two-year, $3 million extension / Loose Pucks: Caps 5, Jets 3: Five Observations
CSN Washington: Ottawa gets a boost before Caps matchup / Ovechkin says critics can 'close their mouths' / Capitals’ first-round opponent? Pick your poison / Fehr, Volpatti reach new agreements with Caps
NBCSports.com: Caps re-sign Fehr and Volpatti
NBCWashington.com: By Clinching Southeast Division & Playoff Berth, Capitals Finally Validated / Capitals Re-Sign Eric Fehr, Aaron Volpatti to Two-Year Extensions
TSN: Brains Behind the Brawn (Aaron Volpatti mentioned)
Ted’s Take: Classy Mea Culpa / What Do Two Teenagers, Showtime and Snagfilms Have in Common? / The 45 Best Restaurants in America / They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore / Power to the People / And the Reporter is Wearing a Caps Jersey / Thank You
D Tom Poti – day-to-day
F Brooks Laich – day-to-day
F Joel Ward – day-to-day
TOP FIVE CAPS FACTS
600 for the captain – Alex Ovechkin is appearing in his 600th career NHL game tonight. No player with 600 or fewer games played in their NHL career has amassed more points (732) or goals (370) than Ovechkin. He will tie Robert Gould for 15th place in games played in Capitals history, becoming just the 16th Washington Capital to play in 600 or more games in a Caps sweater.
So long to the Southeast – Tuesday’s game was Washington’s last-ever Southeast Division game. The Caps finished the season with a 15-0-3 mark against division opponents, despite losing the first two divisional games they played. Washington finished out the campaign with nine straight divisional triumphs and five wins in their last six games against Southeast foes. The Caps went 185-97-44 in their 326 regular season Southeast Division games over the last 14 seasons. Washington won the most Southeast Division titles during that 14-season span, claiming seven division championships.
April success – The Capitals have opened the month of April with a 10-1-0 record in their first 11 games. 2012-13 marks the most productive month of April in Capitals regular-season history as their 10 wins and 20 points set franchise marks in both categories. The previous record for wins and points in April came in 1994-95 when Washington went 7-6-1 (15 points). April marks the Capitals first 10-win month since March of 2011 (12-2-1). Alex Ovechkin set an NHL record when he scored on Tuesday vs. Winnipeg. Ovechkin has racked up 13 goals in 11 games this month, besting the league mark for April goals in one season set by Mario Lemieux in 1993 (in only seven games) and equaled by Winnipeg's Alex Zhamnov in 1995 (courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau).
Assist assignment – Nicklas Backstrom recorded a goal and an assist for the second straight game on April 23 vs. Winnipeg and has now recorded two goals and 15 assists in 11 games during the month of April. Backstrom currently ranks third in the NHL in assists (40) and tied for eighth in points (48). Since his rookie season in 2007-08, only four players have tallied more helpers than Backstrom’s 306 career assists.
Dirty thirty – Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 29th and 30th goals of the season on April 20 at Montreal, marking the eighth consecutive season that Ovechkin has tallied 30 or more goals. Ovechkin is the only player to have recorded 30 or more goals each season since 2005-06 and is one of just nine players in NHL history to score 30 goals in each of his first eight seasons in the league, joining Glenn Anderson, Mike Bossy, Mike Gartner, Wayne Gretzky, Dale Hawerchuk, Jari Kurri, Luc Robitaille and Bryan Trottier in that accomplishment.