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Caps Today, 1/7/18

January 7, 2018
The Capitals host the St. Louis Blues at Capital One Arena today in the first of two meetings between the teams this season. The Capitals are 42-40-12-1 all-time against the Blues and 25-18-4-0 all-time at Capital One Arena.

The Capitals are riding a season-high eight-game home win streak. During that stretch, the Capitals have recorded 34 goals and have allowed 17. Alex Ovechkin has 14 points (5g, 9a) in those eight games while Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and John Carlson each have 10 points (Backstrom, Wilson: 4g, 6a; Carlson: 2g, 8a). Braden Holtby is 7-0-0 with a 2.25 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. Last season, the Capitals set the franchise record with 15-straight home wins (Jan. 1,2017-March 4, 2017).


Alex Ovechkin: The James Brown Show, WUSA9-CBS-TV, Sunday, 11:45 a.m.

Braden Holtby: WTOP with Bruce and Joan, Monday, 8:10 a.m.

Nicklas Backstrom: Elliot in the Morning, DC 101, Monday, 8:15 a.m.

Brett Connolly: TSN 1040, Donnie and The Moj, Monday, 4:45 p.m.

Jay Beagle: Sports Junkies, 106.7 The Fan, Tuesday, 8:45 a.m.

Chandler Stephenson: FOX Sports 910 with Wes McElroy, Wednesday, 8:45 a.m.

John Carlson: Chad Dukes Versus The World, 106.7 The Fan, Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.

Matt Niskanen: Steve Czaban Show, ESPN 980, Wednesday, 4:45 p.m.

This Day in Capitals History:

Jan. 7, 2017: Nicklas Backstrom became the first player in franchise history to record 500 career NHL assists as the Capitals beat the Senators 1-0 in Ottawa. Backstrom assisted on a T.J. Oshie goal at 1:38 of the first period. Braden Holtby made 29 saves to record back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his NHL career. Additional info on the Caps history and behind-the-scenes stories can be found in '100 Things Capitals Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die'


Great 8 - Alex Ovechkin was named as the Metropolitan Division captain for the All-Star Game, his ninth All-Star Game selection of his career. Ovechkin is the franchise leader in All-Star Game appearances (6), goals (6) and assists (6). Ovechkin scored the game-tying goal in the third period and again in overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 2. Ovechkin's two goals marked his 25th and 26th of the season, which is tied with Nikita Kucherov for first in the NHL through games played Jan. 5. Ovechkin  became the fourth player in NHL history to score 25 or more goals in each of his first 13 seasons, joining Jaromir Jagr (17 seasons), Mike Gartner (15 seasons) and Wayne Gretzky (13 seasons). Ovechkin's overtime winner marked his 584th-career goal, which passed Gretzky (Oilers) for sixth all-time in goals scored by players with a single franchise. Since entering the NHL in the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin's 584 goals are 187 more than Sidney Crosby's total of 397, which is the second-most total during that time frame. Additionally, Ovechkin became the first player in franchise history to record 100 game-winning goals, making him one of just nine players in NHL history to reach the mark. Currently, Ovechkin sits two game-winning goals away from Jarome Iginla for sole possession of eighth place in NHL history.

Big John - John Carlson's 31 points (4g, 27a) and 27 assists rank second among NHL defensemen this season through games played Jan. 5 (John Klingberg: 31). Carlson's 31 points in 41 games are six points shy of his 72 game total last season (9g, 28a). Seven of Carlson's assists this season have come on a game-winning goal, which leads all Capitals this season. Carlson has recorded a point in 23 of his 41 games this season. Carlson has started 47.81 percent of his face-offs in the defensive zone, the second-lowest percentage of his career. The Capitals are 18-5-1 when Carlson records a point. Over the course of an 82-game season, Carlson is on pace for 62 points, which would make Carlson the eighth defenseman in franchise history to record 60 points in a season and the first since Mike Green in 2009-10 (76 points, 19g, 57a).

Barry Good - Barry Trotz will coach the Metropolitan Division at the 2018 All Star Game, his second All Star appearance as a head coach (2015). On Dec. 30, Trotz earned his 737th career win, passing Lindy Ruff for fifth on the NHL's all-time coaching wins list. Trotz has posted a record of 181-76-30 since joining the Capitals in the 2014-15 season. During that span, Washington ranks first in cumulative wins (181), points (392), goals (871), goals against (683) and power play percentage (22.8). Trotz coached his 1,483rd NHL game on Jan. 2 and is one of just 10 coaches in NHL history to reach 1,400 games. Trotz's 1,483 games rank sixth on the all-time list and third among active coaches behind Joel Quenneville (Chicago) and Ken Hitchcock (Dallas). Trotz has posted a career NHL record of 738-555-60-130.

Blues Beaters – Alex Ovechkin has earned 25 points (13g, 12a) in 15 career games against the Blues and has recorded a hat trick in two of his last three games against St. Louis. In addition, Ovechkin has earned three points in four of his last seven games against the Blues (4/8/14-1/19/17: 9g, 5a) and has registered a multi-point game in nine of his 15 career games against St. Louis. Nicklas Backstrom has earned 19 points (6g, 13a) in 14 career games against the Blues and has tallied a point in 11 of his 14 games. In addition, he has tallied five multi-point games in his last 10 games against St. Louis. Braden Holtby has posted a 5-0-0 record in his career against St. Louis with a 1.80 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage.

Young Blueliners -

Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey both have eight points on the year, tied for seventh among rookie defensemen. Djoos and Bowey are on pace to become the first pair of rookie Capitals defensemen to appear in at least 50 regular season games since the 1980-81 season (Howard Walker: 64; Darren Veitch: 59; James McTaggart: 52). Additionally, Bowey and Djoos would each become the first Capitals rookie defensemen to record at least 10 points in a season since Dmitry Orlov recorded 19 points (3g, 16a) in 60 games in 2011.

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Host St. Louis on Sunday

Washington Post: Capitals’ Matt Niskanen and Andre Burakovsky expected to play Sunday vs. Blues

NBC Sports Washington: After early season rebound, Barry Trotz to coach Metropolitan Division at All-Star Game / Game 42: Capitals vs. Blues Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread / Caps look to be at full strength Sunday with Niskanen on track to return vs. the Blues / 6 storylines to watch in the second half of the Caps' season

Japer’s Rink: Sunday Caps Clips: Capitals vs. Blues Game Day

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: Rinkside Update | Madison Bowey / Matt Niskanen | January 6 / The Week Ahead | January 6

Barry Trotz | January 6

Blues Clips:

AP: Blues look to bounce back against Capitals

Bleedin Blue: St. Louis Blues: Pros And Cons From Game 44 Against Philadelphia

Hockey Buzz: Blues sleepin today in Philly, hope to not repeat it in Washington tomorrow

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Preview: Blues at Washington

St. Louis Game Time: Preview Blues at Capitals