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Caps Today and Top Game Notes, 4/13/17

April 13, 2017
Braden Holtby has posted four shutouts, a 1.87 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage in 46 career playoff games. He ranks first in NHL playoff history (min. 30 games played) in career save percentage and fourth in career goals-against average, trailing Lorne Chabot (1.54), Dave Kerr (1.74) and Patrick Lalime (1.77). In addition, Holtby ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals-against average and save percentage. Holtby led the NHL in shutouts (9) this season, ranked tied for first in wins (42), second in goals-against average (2.07) and fourth in save percentage (.925). He is one of two goaltenders to rank in the top-five in the NHL in wins, shutouts, goals-against average and save percentage this season (Sergei Bobrovsky). The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native allowed two goals or fewer in 42 of his 63 games in 2016-17 and posted a 33-3-6 record in those games. Since 2012-13, Holtby leads the NHL in wins (177) and shutouts (29).

Media Note: The Capitals will provide a media bus at the conclusion of practice on Friday to transport media from Kettler Capitals Iceplex to Verizon Center for Toronto’s practice.

Top Game Notes
The Great Eight – Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is making his ninth career playoff appearance. He has registered 82 points (41g, 41a) in 84 career playoff games and ranks first in franchise history in playoff points and goals, ranks tied for first in power-play goals (13) and tied for fifth in assists. In addition, Ovechkin ranks tied for fourth among active NHL players (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals per game (0.49) and playoff points per game (0.98). In 18 career games when his team has faced elimination, Ovechkin has registered 19 points (9g, 10a).

Raking The Leafs – Alex Ovechkin has recorded 60 points (33g, 27a) in 42 career games against the Maple Leafs, marking the fifth-most points he has earned against an NHL team in his career. He has earned a point in eight consecutive games against Toronto (6g, 5a) and in 35 of his 42 career games against the Maple Leafs. Nicklas Backstrom has registered 32 points (6g, 26a) in 33 career games against the Maple Leafs and has tallied 13 points in his last 11 games against Toronto (3g, 10a). Braden Holtby has posted a 6-2-1 record in his career against the Maple Leafs with one shutout, a 2.17 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage.

Saint Nick – Nicklas Backstrom has earned 62 points (20g, 42a) in 83 career playoff games and ranks third in franchise postseason history in points, tied for third in assists and fifth in goals. Backstrom ranked second in the NHL in assists (63) and multi-assist games (15) during the 2016-17 season and ranked fourth in points (86). In addition, he led the NHL in points since Jan. 1 (56). Since 2007-08, Backstrom ranks third in the NHL in assists (540) and ranks second among active NHL players (min. 200 GP) in career assists per game (0.74).

Starting Strong – The Capitals have won four of their last five Games 1s and are 25-16 all-time in the opening game of a playoff series. In addition, Washington is 17-8 all-time in Game 1s at home.

Toppling Toronto – This postseason marks the first time Washington and Toronto will meet in the playoffs. The Capitals have won seven of their last eight games against the Maple Leafs and have won seven consecutive games against Toronto at Verizon Center. Washington and Toronto met three times during the regular season, with the Capitals posting a 2-1-0 record. Justin Williams (1g, 3a) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (1g, 3a) led the Capitals with four points in three games against the Maple Leafs and Nicklas Backstrom (1g, 2a), Marcus Johansson (1g, 2a), Alex Ovechkin (1g, 2a) and Kevin Shattenkirk (1g, 2a) each recorded three points in three games against Toronto in 2016-17.

Must Read/See/Hear Material
Dump n’ Chase: Caps and Leafs Tangle in Game 1 / Eastern Conference Playoff Thumbnails
Monumental Sports Network: Capitals Report 4/12/17 / Rinkside Update: Dan Winnik 4/12/17 / ALL CAPS 4/12/17 / Caps Locker Room 4/12/17 / Braden Holtby 4/12/17 / Barry Trotz 4/12/17
CSN Mid-Atlantic: 2017 Stanley Cup Predictions: Will the Capitals Hoist the Cup in June? / Barry Trotz Dismisses Mike Babcock’s Comments On the Pressure Being All on Washington / Maple Leafs Lose Key Player for Thursday’s Opener Against Capitals / John Carlson Expected to Return Thursday After Returning to Top Pair in Practice / Capitals vs. Maple Leafs Playoff Preview: Analyzing the First Round Matchup / The Capitals’ 2017 Chase for the Cup Starts Now / Junkies Believe Caps Have the Tools to Win Stanley Cup
Washington Post: DC Sports Bog: Look, the Capitals actually deserve to win the Stanley Cup this time / Evgeny Kuznetsov may be the key to the Capitals’ postseason / DC Sports Bog: ‘Why not?’: Kevin Shattenkirk urges Capitals fans to think happy thoughts / Fancy Stats: Sure, the Capitals haven’t had playoff success. But they aren’t chokers. / Capitals Insider: The Capitals’ third line believes it can again produce like it did midseason / Capitals Insider: John Carlson likely to play, Toronto’s Nikita Zaitsev ruled out for Game 1 / Capitals Insider: Reasons for Capitals fans to be optimistic, and sobering facts to bring you back to Earth / Capitals Insider: Toronto native Tom Wilson leaving no room for nostalgia as Capitals start playoffs
Washington Times: Capitals are big favorites, but carry heavy expectations into playoffs / Note to Boston, Chicago: D.C.’s the sports town this weekend
NHL.com: Stanley Cup Playoffs staff predictions / Alex Ovechkin: Capitals ready to 'get it done'
ARLNow.com: Capitals Offer Free Playoff Yoga Classes
Associated Press: Cup-hungry Capitals face Leafs at start of contending window / Capitals hope to begin long playoffs run vs. Maple Leafs
CBS Sports: NHL playoffs: First-round predictions; Capitals, Blackhawks get set up nicely
MLive: Capitals favored to win Stanley Cup, as playoffs begin without Red Wings
National Post: Auston Matthews’ would-be shadow: Washington Capitals ask Jay Beagle to hound star Toronto Maple Leafs rookie
NBC Sports: Who’s Going to Win the Stanley Cup? PHT Staffer Make Their Picks
New York Times: Capitals See Players Behind the Stars as Keys to Playoff Success
SportsNet: Leafs’ challenge vs. Caps goes way beyond Alex Ovechkin / Capitals managing mounting pressure as playoffs open against Leafs
Yahoo! Puck Daddy: Capitals vs. Maple Leafs: Puck Daddy’s 2017 Stanley Cup Playoff Preview / Puck Daddy’s 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Picks: Who wins it all?
CBS Sports Radio: Daniel Winnik: Braden Is Best Goalie I’ve Played With
WJLA-TV ABC 7: On the Rock the Red Hunt (8 a.m.) / Live from Caps Playoff Yoga (6 a.m.) / Live from Caps Playoff Yoga (6 a.m.) / On Caps Playoff Babies (12 a.m.)
WRC-TV NBC 4: On the Rock the Red Hunt and Caps Playoff Babies (4 a.m.) / On the Rock the Red Hunt and Caps Playoff Babies (5 a.m.) / On Caps Playoff Babies (5 p.m.) / On the Rock the Red Hunt and Caps Playoff Babies (6 a.m.)
WTTG-TV FOX 5: On the Rock The Red Hunt (8 a.m.) / On the Rock the Red Hunt (7 a.m.) / On the Rock the Red Hunt (6 a.m.) / On the Rock the Red Hunt (6 a.m.) / On Caps Playoff Babies (5 am.) / On Caps Playoff Babies (10 p.m.) / Live from Caps Playoff Babies (10 a.m.) / Live from Caps Playoff Babies (9 a.m.) / On the Caps Playoff Babies (5 a.m.)
WUSA-TV CBS 9: On Caps Playoff Babies (6 a.m.) / On the Rock the Red Hunt (5 a.m.) / Live from Kettler (5 a.m.) / On Caps Playoff Babies (6 p.m.)
Caps Radio: Caps Talk for Wednesday, April 12th
Japers’ Rink: Thursday Caps Clips / Braden Holtby: Vezina or Vezinope

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS CLIPS: 
Globe and Mail:  Loose Leafs hope to squeeze tight CapitalsBaby Maple Leafs learn playoff hockey also includes bigger scrums
NHL.com:  Leafs Defense Corps Ready to Step Up
National Post:  So you’re saying there’s a chance? Here’s how the Toronto Maple Leafs could beat the Washington Capitals
Sportsnet:  Zaitsev’s Game 1 absence throws Maple Leafs’ defence in uncertainty
Toronto Star:  These are the moments Leafs coach Mike Babcock has been waiting for: Arthur From Stanley Cups to Auston Matthews, these Toronto Maple Leafs ushers have years of NHL memoriesHow the Maple Leafs match up against the Capitals
Toronto Sun: The kids impress McElhinneyTaming Ovechkin on power play will be tough task for Maple LeafsMaple Leafs will start Capitals series without ZaitsevWithout Zaitsev, Maple Leafs' chances of upsetting Capitals even slimmerBrooks Laich's 'difficult' season ends with elbow surgeryLeafs down two Nikitas for playoff game against Caps /  Caps physical: Martin
TSN:  Babcock's challenge of adjusting without Zaitsev /  No Zaitsev means new defensive pairings / Leafs' Zaitsev to miss Game 1 with UBI

GAME NOTES

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