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Game Notes at Tampa Bay, 3/18/17

March 17, 2017
LAST GAME
Nashville 2, Washington 1 (OT)
March 16, 2017 * Verizon Center * Washington, D.C.
Washington Goals: Brett Connolly
Shots: WSH: 23; NSH: 24
Power Plays: WSH: 0-1; NSH: 0-1
Three Stars: 1. Arvidsson (NSH), 2. Rinne (NSH), 3. Holtby (WSH)

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
March 17: Re-assigned Jakub Vrana to Hershey (AHL)

CAPITALS MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Braden Holtby – Two games shy of 300 NHL/Capitals games
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
T.J. Oshie – Four points shy of 100 Capitals points
Nicklas Backstrom – Five games shy of passing Rod Langway (726) for ninth place on the franchise games played list
Lars Eller – Five assists shy of 100 NHL assists

CAPITALS MILESTONES RECENTLY ACHIEVED
Tom Wilson – Played in his 300th NHL/Capitals game, March 14 vs. MIN

INJURIES/ILLNESSES
Andre Burakovsky, missed 15 games (2/11-3/16)
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: 42

TONIGHT’S GAME
The Capitals face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday in the third and final meeting between the teams this season. Washington has posted a 1-0-1 record against Tampa Bay this season.

UPCOMING GAMES
DATE
OPPONENT
TIME
TV
AUDIO
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
March 28
at Minnesota
7 p.m.
CSN, NHLN
104.7 FM, Caps 24/7
* All times are Eastern

NOTE OF THE NIGHT
Feeling Conn-fident – Brett Connolly scored a goal on Thursday against Nashville, marking his career-high 15th goal of the season. The Campbell River, B.C., native has earned 21 points (15g, 6a) in 56 games this season and is four points shy of tying his career high in points (2015-16: 25). Connolly has scored 15 goals on 73 shots this season and ranks fifth in the NHL in shooting percentage (20.5). In addition, Washington is 15-1-2 this season in games when Connolly records a point. He is the seventh Capitals player to score 15 or more goals this season (Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, Justin Williams), tied for the most in the NHL.

TOP FIVE CAPS FACTS
Torching Tampa – Alex Ovechkin has earned 82 points (41g, 41a) in 62 career games against the Lightning, marking the second-most points he has earned against an NHL franchise (Atlanta/Winnipeg: 88). Ovechkin ranks tied for first in NHL history in goals (Peter Bondra: 41) and second in points (Jaromir Jagr: 83) earned against Tampa Bay and ranks third in assists (Jagr: 47, Daniel Alfredsson: 46). The Moscow native has recorded 25 multi-point games in his career against the Lightning, marking the second-most multi-point games he has earned against an NHL team (Atlanta/Winnipeg: 30) and has registered nine multi-goal games against Tampa Bay, marking the second-most he has earned against an NHL franchise (Atlanta/Winnipeg: 11). Ovechkin has earned 20 points in his last 13 games against Tampa Bay (13g, 7a).

Beating the Bolts – The Capitals have earned a point in seven consecutive games against the Lightning (6-0-1) and in 13 of their last 14 games (11-1-2). In addition, Washington has earned a point in five of its last six games on the road at Tampa Bay (4-1-1). Nicklas Backstrom has earned 48 points (10g, 38a) in 43 career games against the Lightning, marking the third-most points he has earned against an NHL team (Carolina: 53, Philadelphia: 49). Backstrom has recorded 20 points (5g, 15a) in his last 14 games against Tampa Bay and has earned a point in 12 of those 14 games. Braden Holtby has posted an 8-2-2 record against the Lightning in his career with two shutouts. 

Holt-beast – Braden Holtby leads the NHL in goals-against average (2.03) and shutouts (8) this season, ranks tied for 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).

Saint Nick – Nicklas Backstrom ranks tied for second in the NHL in assists this season (50) and sixth in points (71). He has earned 24 points in his last 21 games (1/31-3/16: 8g, 16a) and has recorded a point in 24 of his last 33 games (1/5-3/16: 12g, 29a). Backstrom earned his 70th point of the season on Tuesday against Minnesota, 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).

Attacking the Atlantic – The Capitals are 15-3-2 against the Atlantic Division this season and have earned a point in 53 of their last 61 games against Atlantic Division foes dating back to the 2014-15 season (12/9/14-2/18/17: 48-8-5). Nicklas Backstrom leads the Capitals and ranks tied for seventh in the NHL with 21 points (8g, 13a) in 20 games against the Atlantic Division this season. Braden Holtby has posted a 40-4-5 record in his last 52 games against Atlantic Division opponents (12/9/14-2/18/17) with seven shutouts, a 1.79 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.

ADDITIONAL CAPITALS NOTES
50 for Nicky – Nicklas Backstrom earned three assists on March 14 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).

Even Steven – The Capitals lead the NHL in 5-on-5 goals (157), goals against (95) and goal differential (+62) this season. Washington’s 5-on-5 goal differential is 25 goals higher than the next closest team (Columbus: +37). In addition, Braden Holtby ranks second in the NHL in 5-on-5 save percentage (.938) this season (min. 40 GP).

Finding A Rhythm – The Capitals are 31-4-3 this season in games when they have one day of rest and will play 44 games this season with one day of rest.

Getting Defensive – Washington leads the NHL in goals against (151) and goals against per game (2.16) this season and ranks fourth in shots against per game (27.7). The Capitals have allowed two goals or fewer in a League-leading 44 games this season and have posted a 35-2-7 record in those games.

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 31 games (10g, 18a) and ranks fourth in the NHL in shots (258) this season, tied for fourth in power-play goals (12) and tied for fifth in game-winning goals (7). In addition, Ovechkin ranks tied for ninth among forwards in the NHL this season in hits (192) and sits two power-play points shy of becoming the 28th player in NHL history to record 400 career power-play points.

Barry Good – Since Barry Trotz became head coach in 2014-15, the Capitals lead the NHL in wins (146), points (319), goals against per game (2.31) and power-play percentage (22.8) and rank second in goals per game (3.02) and 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.

Starting Strong – Washington has posted a 37-7-5 record this season when scoring first and has scored first in 26 of its last 34 games (1/3-3/16). The Capitals have scored first in a League-leading 49 games this season and lead the NHL in wins when scoring first (37). In addition, Washington has outscored opponents 71-31 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 (29-4-4).

Dominating the Dot – Jay Beagle has won 539 of 946 faceoffs (57.0%) this season and ranks seventh in the NHL in faceoff win percentage (min. 300 faceoffs). In addition, he ranks third in the League in shorthanded faceoff win percentage (56.6%).

Sharp Shooters – T.J. Oshie has scored 26 goals on 116 shots this season and ranks second in the NHL in shooting percentage (22.4%). In addition, Brett Connolly ranks fifth in the NHL in shooting percentage (20.5%) and Marcus Johansson ranks seventh (20.0%). The Capitals lead the NHL in shooting percentage (10.7%) this season.

O From D – Capitals defensemen have earned a point in 60 of the team’s 70 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).

Great Goaltending – Capitals goaltenders lead the NHL in goals-against average (2.13) 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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