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Game Notes vs. Nashville, 3/16/17

March 15, 2017
LAST GAME
Washington 4, Minnesota 2
March 14, 2017 * Verizon Center * Washington, D.C.
Washington Goals: Nate Schmidt, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jay Beagle
Shots: WSH: 40; MIN: 32
Power Plays: WSH: 1-5; MIN: 1-7
Three Stars: 1. Backstrom (WSH), 2. Ovechkin (WSH), 3. Holtby (WSH)

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
None

CAPITALS MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Karl Alzner – Two assists shy of 100 NHL/Capitals assists
Nicklas Backstrom – Three goals shy of passing Bobby Carpenter (188) for eighth place on the franchise goals list
Braden Holtby – Three games shy of 300 NHL/Capitals games
T.J. Oshie – Four points shy of 100 Capitals points

CAPITALS MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED
Tom Wilson – Played in his 300th NHL/Capitals game, March 14 vs. MIN
Marcus Johansson – Scored his 100th NHL/Capitals goal, March 12 at ANA

INJURIES/ILLNESSES
Andre Burakovsky, missed 14 games (2/11-3/14)
T.J. Oshie, missed 13 games (11/20-12/5, 1/9, 1/26, 2/24-3/2)
John Carlson, missed six games (1/16-1/26)
Matt Niskanen, missed three games (12/9, 2/24-2/25)
Brooks Orpik, missed three games (2/24-2/28)
Lars Eller, missed one game (11/20)
Jay Beagle, missed one game (1/24)
Justin Williams, missed one game (2/1)
Total Man Games Lost: 41

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Capitals face the Nashville Predators at Verizon Center on Thursday in the second and final meeting between the teams this season.

UPCOMING GAMES
DATE
OPPONENT
TIME
TV
AUDIO
March 16
Nashville
7 p.m.
CSN, NHLN
104.7 FM, WFED 1500, Caps 24/7
March 18
at Tampa Bay
7 p.m.
CSN
104.7 FM, Caps 24/7
March 21
Calgary
7 p.m.
CSN
104.7 FM, WFED 1500, Caps 24/7
March 23
Columbus
7 p.m.
CSN
104.7 FM, WFED 1500, Caps 24/7
March 25
Arizona
7 p.m.
CSN+
104.7 FM, Caps 24/7
* All times are Eastern

NOTE OF THE NIGHT
50 for Nicky – Nicklas Backstrom earned three assists on Tuesday against Minnesota, including his 50th assist of the season. This season marks his fourth consecutive (2013-2017) and seventh career 50-assist season. Backstrom is the only player in the NHL to record 50 assists in each of the last four seasons and he ranks first in the NHL in 50-assist seasons since 2007-08 (7). In addition, Backstrom ranks first in franchise history in 50-assist seasons and is the 35th player in NHL history to record seven or more 50-assist seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Backstrom is the first player to record at least seven 50-assist seasons in his first 10 NHL seasons since Joe Sakic posted seven 50-assist season in his first 10 NHL campaigns (1988-98). Since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, Backstrom ranks third in the NHL in assists (527) and sixth in points (713). In addition, he ranks second among active NHL players (min. 200 GP) in career assists per game (0.73).

TOP FIVE CAPS FACTS
Barry Good – Since Barry Trotz became head coach in 2014-15, the Capitals lead the NHL in wins (146), points (318), goals against per game (2.31) and power-play percentage (22.9) and rank second in goals per game (3.03) and tied for fourth in penalty kill percentage (83.4). In addition, Washington is 106-1-7 since 2014-15 when leading with 10 minutes left in regulation.

Home Sweet Home – The Capitals have posted a 28-6-1 record at home this season and have earned a point in 21 of their last 23 home games (12/5-3/14: 20-2-1). Washington leads the NHL in home wins this season (28) and sits two wins shy of tying the franchise record for wins at home in a season (1985-86, 2009-10: 30). In addition, the Capitals lead the NHL in goals against per game (1.69) at home this season and rank second in goals per game (3.46). Nicklas Backstrom leads the team and ranks second in the NHL with 45 points (13g, 32a) in 35 home games this season. Braden Holtby leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.78), wins (23) and shutouts (7) at home this season and ranks tied for second in save percentage (.931).

Holt-beast – Braden Holtby leads the NHL in goals-against average (2.03) and shutouts (8) this season, ranks third in wins (35) and fifth in save percentage (.926). Holtby is one of three goaltenders to rank in the top five in the NHL in wins, shutouts, goals-against average and save percentage this season (Sergei Bobrovsky, Devan Dubnyk). In addition, Holtby is one of four goaltenders to record 30 wins in each of the last three seasons (Dubnyk, Henrik Lundqvist, Tuukka Rask) and is five wins shy of becoming 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 (170) and shutouts (28).

On the Prowl – The Capitals have won nine of their last 14 games against the Predators (9-4-1), including five of their last six at home against Nashville (5-1-0). Nicklas Backstrom has earned 15 points (4g, 11a) in 14 career games against Nashville and Alex Ovechkin has recorded 13 points (9g, 4a) in 14 games against the Predators. In addition, Marcus Johansson has recorded 10 points (2g, 8a) in 10 career games against Nashville and Evgeny Kuznetsov has tallied six points (1g, 5a) in six games against the Predators.

Saint Nick – Nicklas Backstrom earned three assists on Tuesday against Minnesota, marking his third three-assist game of the season and 34th of his career. Since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, Backstrom leads the NHL in three-assist games (34). Backstrom also earned his 70th point of the season on Tuesday, marking his fourth consecutive (2013-17) and sixth career 70-point season. Backstrom is one of only two players in the NHL to earn 70-points in each of the last four seasons (Sidney Crosby) and he is the fourth player in franchise history to post six career 70-point seasons, joining Alex Ovechkin (9), Mike Gartner (8) and Peter Bondra (6). Backstrom has earned 24 points in his last 20 games (1/31-3/14: 8g, 16a) and has recorded a point in 24 of his last 32 games (1/5-3/14: 12g, 29a). Backstrom ranks second in the NHL in assists this season (50) and sixth in points (71).

ADDITIONAL CAPITALS NOTES
The Great Eight – Alex Ovechkin earned two points (1g, 1a) on Tuesday against Minnesota, marking his 15th multi-point game of the season. Ovechkin recorded his 30th assist of the season on Tuesday, marking his seventh-career 30-assist season and his first since 2010-11 (53). The Moscow native has earned 28 points in his last 30 games (10g, 18a) and ranks second in the NHL in shots (255) this season, tied for fourth in power-play goals (12) and tied for fifth in game-winning goals (7). In addition, Ovechkin ranks eighth among forwards in the NHL this season in hits (191) and sits two power-play points shy of becoming the 28th player in NHL history to record 400 career power-play points.

Power Surge – The Capitals have scored 25 power-play goals in their last 30 games (1/9-3/14), posting a 27.8% power-play percentage during that span. Washington ranks eighth in the NHL in power-play percentage this season (21.2%) and has posted a 30-5-2 record in games when it scores a power-play goal. Since Jan. 1, the Capitals rank tied for first in the NHL in power-play goals (26). Nicklas Backstrom ranks tied for third in the NHL in power-play points (27), fourth in power-play assists (21) and Alex Ovechkin ranks tied for fourth in power-play goals (12). In addition, Kevin Shattenkirk ranks tied for second among defensemen in power-play goals (7), tied for third in power-play points (22) and seventh in power-play assists (15).

O From D – Capitals defensemen have earned a point in 60 of the team’s 69 games this season and have combined to register 150 points (22g, 128a). Washington has posted a 43-11-6 record this season in games when a defenseman records a point. The Capitals lead the NHL in assists by defensemen this season (128) and rank third in points (150) and even-strength points (115).

Even Steven – The Capitals lead the NHL in 5-on-5 goals against (94) and goal differential (+62) this season and rank tied for first in 5-on-5 goals (156). Washington’s 5-on-5 goal differential is 26 goals higher than the next closest team (Columbus/Pittsburgh: +36). In addition, Braden Holtby ranks second in the NHL in 5-on-5 save percentage (.937) this season (min. 40 GP).

Starting Strong – Washington has posted a 37-7-4 record this season when scoring first and has scored first in 25 of its last 33 games (1/3-3/14). The Capitals have scored first in a League-leading 48 games this season and lead the NHL in wins when scoring first (37). In addition, Washington has outscored opponents 70-31 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 29 wins when leading after the first period (29-4-3).

Here to Assist – Kevin Shattenkirk has earned an assist in four straight games, tying his season-long assist streak (2/6-2/11: 4a). Shattenkirk has recorded a career-high 46 points this 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 fifth among NHL defensemen in points this season (46), tied for seventh in assists (35) and tied for ninth 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.

Finding A Rhythm – The Capitals are 31-4-2 this season in games when they have one day of rest and will play 44 games this season with one day of rest.

Sharp Shooters – T.J. Oshie has scored 26 goals on 115 shots this season and ranks second in the NHL in shooting percentage (22.6%). In addition, Marcus Johansson ranks sixth in the NHL in shooting percentage (20.4%) and Brett Connolly ranks seventh (19.4%). The Capitals lead the NHL in shooting percentage (10.8%) this season.

How The West Was Won – Washington has posted a 15-7-0 record against Western Conference opponents this season, including wins in 10 of its last 15 games. The Capitals will play six of their next eight games against Western Conference teams. Nicklas Backstrom leads Washington with 23 points (4g, 19a) in 22 games against Western Conference opponents this season.

Great Goaltending – Capitals goaltenders lead the NHL in goals-against average (2.14) and shutouts (11) this season. Braden Holtby earned his eighth shutout of the season on March 2 against New Jersey and the Capitals’ 11th shutout of the season (Philipp Grubauer: 3 SO), marking the most shutouts in a season in franchise history. Holtby and Grubauer broke the previous franchise record of nine shutouts in a season, set in 1995-96 (Jim Carey: 9) and 2014-15 (Holtby: 9). In addition, this season marks the third time in franchise history two goaltenders have recorded three or more shutouts, joining 1983-84 (Al Jensen: 4, Pat Riggin: 4) and 2011-12 (Tomas Vokoun: 4, Michal Neuvirth: 3).

MEDIA RESOURCES
The 2016-17 Washington Capitals media guide is available for download here.

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