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Caps Today and Top Game Notes, 3/12/17

March 12, 2017
The Capitals complete their three-game California road trip on Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The Capitals have won five of their last six games against the Ducks and have earned a point in 10 of their last 12 games against Anaheim (9-2-1). In addition, Washington has won six consecutive road games at Anaheim. Alex Ovechkin has earned 20 points (9g, 11a) in 13 career games against Anaheim and the Capitals have posted an 8-1-0 record against the Ducks in games when Ovechkin earns a point. Nicklas Backstrom has recorded 15 points (5g, 10a) in 11 career games against the Ducks. He has tallied a point in nine of his 11 games against Anaheim and has recorded a multi-point game in five of his last eight games against the Ducks. Braden Holtby earned a win in each of his two career appearances against Anaheim.

Top Game Notes
Here to Assist – Kevin Shattenkirk earned an assist on Saturday at Los Angeles, extending his assist streak to four games (3/4-3/11: 4a). Shattenkirk’s four-game assist streak ties his season-long assist streak (2/6-2/11: 4a). In addition, Shattenkirk’s assist marked his career-high 46th point of the season (11g, 35a), passing his previous career high set during the 2013-14 season (45). He also sits one assist shy of tying his career high in assists in a season (2014-15: 36). The New Rochelle, N.Y., native ranks tied for fourth among NHL defensemen in points this season (46), tied for seventh in assists (35) and tied for eighth in goals (11). Shattenkirk is one of just five defensemen to rank in the top-10 in the League in goals, assists and points, joining Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Justin Schultz and Victor Hedman. He also ranks tied for second among defensemen in power-play goals (7), tied for third in power-play points (22) and tied for sixth in power-play assists (15).

Osh With the Most – T.J. Oshie scored his 26th goal of the season on Saturday at Los Angeles, tying his single-season career high (2015-16: 26). Oshie scored his 26th goal in his 54th game this season, 23 games fewer than he scored his 26th goal of the 2015-16 season (77 GP). Oshie is one of just 14 players in the NHL to score 26 or more goals in each of the last two seasons. He has earned 10 points in his last nine games (2/9-3/11: 6g, 4a) and ranks second on the team in goals (Alex Ovechkin: 27).

Holt-beast – Braden Holtby leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.97) and shutouts (8) this season, ranks third in wins (34) and fifth in save percentage (.928). Holtby posted a 21-game point streak from Dec. 29 to March 4 (19-0-2), marking the third-longest point streak in franchise history, trailing Jose Theodore in 2009-10 (20-0-3) and himself last season (20-0-2). In addition, Holtby joined Pete Peeters (1979-80, 1982-83) as the only goalies in NHL history to post two single-season unbeaten streaks of 20 or more decisions. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native is one of four goaltenders to earn 30 wins in each of the last three seasons (Devan Dubnyk, Henrik Lundqvist, Tuukka Rask) and is aiming to become the third goaltender in NHL history to record three consecutive 40-win seasons, joining Martin Brodeur (2005-08) and Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10). Since 2012-13, Holtby leads the NHL in wins (169) and shutouts (28).

Starting Strong – Washington has posted a 36-7-4 record this season when scoring first and has scored first in 24 of its last 31 games (1/3-3/11). The Capitals have scored first in a League-leading 47 games this season and lead the NHL in wins when scoring first (36). In addition, Washington has outscored opponents 69-31 in the first period this season, ranking first in the League in first period goals-against and tied for second in goals. The Capitals also lead the NHL with 28 wins when leading after the first period (28-4-3).

Power Surge – The Capitals have scored 23 power-play goals in their last 28 games (1/9-3/11), posting a 28.8% power-play percentage during that span. Washington ranks eighth in the NHL in power-play percentage this season (21.3%) and has posted a 29-4-2 record in games when it scores a power-play goal. Since Jan. 1, the Capitals rank fourth in the NHL in power-play goals (24), trailing Boston (25), Buffalo (25) and Toronto (25). Nicklas Backstrom ranks tied for sixth in the NHL in power-play assists (19) and tied for fifth in power-play points (25) and Alex Ovechkin ranks tied for fourth in power-play goals (12).

Must Read/See/Hear Material
Dump n’ Chase: Kings Hand Caps Third Straight 4-2 Setback 
Monumental Sports Network: Caps Postgame Locker Room 3/11/17 / Barry Trotz Postgame 3/11/17
CSN Mid-Atlantic: Caps Lose Third Straight in Regulation for First Time Since 2015 / 3 Bold Predictions: Caps Face Kings in the City of Angels /  Matt Niskanen Says a Little Adversity is ‘Not a Bad Thing’ / 3.11.17 Rewind: Caps Suffer Third Straight Regulation Loss
Washington Post: Capitals’ losing streak reaches three after 4-2 loss to Kings / Capitals Insider: Tom Wilson is ‘playing hockey,’ and is getting rewarded by a move up the lineup Kings send Capitals to third straight loss
Associated Press: Kempe's first NHL goal propels Kings past slumping Caps, 4-2
Reuters: Kempe's first career goal lifts Kings
Toronto Sun: Mike Zeisberger's NHL power rankings
Japers’ Rink: Sunday Caps Clips

FOX  Edmundson’s late goal lifts Blues to 4-3 victory over Ducks Recap: Ducks Give up Late Goal, Fall 4-3 to BluesDucks Reassign Enroth to San Diego
Orange County Register: What you need to know: Late goal keeps Ducks from prosperous road tripWhicker: Overcoming Red Wings propelled Ducks to Stanley Cup 10 years agoDucks fall, 4-3, on St. Louis goal with 20 seconds left
The Sports Xchange:  Joel Edmundson's late goal sends St. Louis Blues past Anaheim Ducks