The Capitals face the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Amalie Arena. 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).
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 scored against Tampa Bay (Peter Bondra: 41), second in points (Jaromir Jagr: 83) and third in assists (Jagr: 47, Daniel Alfredsson: 46). 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.
Top Game Notes
– 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.
– 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).
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).
– 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.
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