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Caps Today, 10/13/17

October 13, 2017
Today’s Storyline 

Nicklas Backstrom recorded his third-straight game with an assist, a stretch that includes two multi-assist games in his last three efforts. That effort marked Backstrom's 127th multi-assist game since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, the second-most in the NHL during that frame, behind Henrik Sedin (132). Backstrom tallied 86 points (23g, 63a) in 82 games last season, ranking second in the NHL in assists and first in assists per 60 minutes (2.52). Backstrom's 86-point season was his third-highest point total of his career. The Gavle, Sweden native finished the season +17, his second-straight season with the mark and set a new career high in game-winning goals (5). In addition, Backstrom ranked second in the NHL in power play assists (27) and led the NHL in power play points (35). Since 2007-08, Backstrom ranks third in the NHL in assists (545), trailing Joe Thornton (559) and Sedin (555).

The Capitals face the New Jersey Devils for the first of four meetings this season. Washington posted a 3-0-1 record against New Jersey last season and has a 22-9-9 record against the Devils since the 2007-08 season. The Capitals hold an all-time record of 105-74-13-9 against the Devils. Last season, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov led the team with 4 points (2g, 2a each) against the Devils. Washington has earned a point in each of their last eight games against Devils (7-0-1).

MEDIA

Friday, 8:40 a.m.: Jay Beagle on The Sports Junkies, 106.7 The Fan

Friday, 3:30 p.m.: John Carlson on Chad Dukes vs. The World, 106.7 The Fan

TOP GAME NOTES

Ovechtrick- Through the first four games of the season, Alex Ovechkin has a league-leading eight goals, his highest total in the first four games of the season in his career. Additionally, that's the most goals in the first four games of a season since Patrick Marleau scored eight for the San Jose Sharks in the 2012-13 season. In the Capitals home opener against the Montreal Canadiens, Alex Ovechkin recorded a hat trick for the second-straight game to lead the Capitals to a 6-1 win. Ovechkin became the first player to open the season with two straight hat tricks in 100 years (Cy Denneny, Ottawa Senators, 1917; Reg Noble, Toronto Arenas, 1917; Joe Malone, Montreal Canadiens, 1917). Ovechkin's hat trick came in the first period and marked his second-straight game scoring three goals in a single period. In the season opener against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 5, Ovechkin recorded a hat trick in the third period. That makes Ovechkin the third player in NHL history to record two consecutive three-goal periods in two games and the first since 1980 (Rick Martin, Buffalo Sabres, 1975; Darryl Sittler, Toronto Maple Leafs, 1980). The third goal marked Ovechkin's 19th-career hat trick. That ties him with Peter Bondra for the most in franchise history. Ovechkin's 19th hat trick ranks 16th on the all-time list, tied with Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Dino Ciccarelli and Bondra. Ovechkin also recorded a fourth goal in the second period, his fourth-career four-goal game and his first since Dec. 10, 2013 (vs. Tampa Bay).

Saint Nicky- Nicklas Backstrom recorded his third-straight game with an assist, a stretch that includes two multi-assist games in his last three efforts. That effort marked Backstrom's 127th multi-assist game since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, the second-most in the NHL during that frame, behind Henrik Sedin (132). Backstrom tallied 86 points (23g, 63a) in 82 games last season, ranking second in the NHL in assists and first in assists per 60 minutes (2.52). Backstrom's 86-point season was his third-highest point total of his career. The Gavle, Sweden native finished the season +17, his second-straight season with the mark and set a new career high in game-winning goals (5). In addition, Backstrom ranked second in the NHL in power play assists (27) and led the NHL in power play points (35). Since 2007-08, Backstrom ranks third in the NHL in assists (545), trailing Joe Thornton (559) and Sedin (555).

Holtbeast - In 150 career away games, Braden Holtby has posted a 90-38-18 record with a .917 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against average, ranking eighth in both respective categories among active goaltenders with 100 away games played. Additionally, Holtby has played in the second-most away games over the last three seasons (97) and ranks first in wins (60), eight more wins than Devan Dubnyk, who is second on the list with 52. Holtby has a record of 12-3-2 against the Devils with a .931 save percentage and a 1.81 goals-against average .


Osh Babe - T.J. Oshie has recorded three goals in his first four games, including a two-goal game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That marked Oshie's 10th multi-goal game as a Capital. Both of Oshie's tallies against Tampa Bay came on the power play. It marked the first time in 594 games Oshie has scored two power play goals in one game. Last season, Oshie recorded seven power play goals. Oshie co-led the team in goals last season (33), becoming the first player other than Alex Ovechkin to lead the Capitals in goals since 2003-04 (Robert Lang: 29). Oshie was fifth on the team in points (56), first on the team in goals per game (1.63) and second on the team in points per game (2.77). Oshie's 33 goals set a new career high and marked the first time in his career that he reached the 30-goal mark. Oshie also became the first Capitals player to score 30 goals in a season since the 2009-10 season (Alex Semin: 40, Nicklas Backstrom: 33). The Capitals were 27-3-2 when Oshie earned a point last season.

Dishing with Kuzy - Through four games, Evgeny Kuznetsov has eight assists, the highest mark in the NHL. Kuznetsov has recorded multi-assist efforts in two games this season, including a four assist effort against the Montreal Canadiens. Since the 2015-16 season, Kuznetsov has 22 multi-assist games, tied for fifth in the NHL. Since making his debut on March 3, 2010, Kuznetsov has 190 points (53g 137a in 265 games).

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Face Devils on Friday in Newark

Washington Capitals: So Kids Can - Making a Difference

Washington Post: After another suspension, Tom Wilson says he’ll think more before trucking players

NBC Sports Washington: Wilson is ready to prove he's more than just a goon as he returns to the lineup / Game 5: Capitals at Devils Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

NHL: Hot start has Ovechkin eyeing history with Capitals

Cynopsis: Capitals Launch Alexa Skill

Japer’s Rink: Friday Caps Clips: Capitals @ Devils Game Day / Rink Rank: Capitals vs. Penguins

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: Rinkside Update | Lars Eller / Caps Play New EA Sports NHL 18 / Barry Trotz | October 12 / Walker at the Australian Embassy / Caps 365 | October 12 / Caps Play Jenga / The Week Ahead | October 12

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The debut of Christian Djoos and the return of Tom Wilson

Devils Clips:

ABC 7: Surprising Devils brace for Ovechkin, Capitals

All About the Jersey: Game Preview #4: New Jersey Devils vs. Washington Capitals

CBS Sports: Wednesday night in the NHL: Red-hot Devils stay perfect, notes, highlights, oddities

NHL: Speed, youth fueling Devils' strong start

NJ.com: New Jersey Devils vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: RECAP, score, stats, chat (10/11/17)

SB Nation: Morning Skate: The only thing hotter than Alex Ovechkin right now is the sun




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