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Caps Today, 1/9/18

January 9, 2018
The Capitals host the Vancouver Canucks at Capital One Arena tonight in the second and final meeting between the teams this season. Washington lost the first game to Vancouver 6-2 on Oct. 26. The Capitals are 44-40-9-1 all-time against the Canucks and 5-4-0 over the last nine meetings.

The Capitals are riding a season-high nine-game home win streak, the longest home win streak in the NHL this season, and are the only team in the NHL without a home loss since the beginning of December. During that stretch, the Capitals have recorded 38 goals and have allowed 20. Alex Ovechkin has led the team with 16 points (6g, 10a) while Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson have 12 (Backstrom: 5g, 7a; Carlson: 2g 10a) and Tom Wilson has 10 points (4g, 6a). During the winning streak, Braden Holtby has posted a record of 8-0-0 with a 2.33 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. Last season, the Capitals set the franchise record with 15-straight home wins from Jan. 1, 2017 - March 4, 2017. 


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

Wednesday, 8 a.m.: Barry Trotz on Sports Junkies, 106.7 The Fan

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

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

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

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

This Day in Capitals History

Jan. 9, 1998: Dale Hunter had three assists in the Capitals' 4-1 win over Philadelphia, as he recorded his 1000th career point. Hunter became the first player in NHL history with 300 goals, 1000 points and 3000 penalty minutes. Hunter became the third Capitals player to record his 1,000th career point during the 1997-98 season, joining Adam Oates and Phil Housley.

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 scored a power play goal in the third period against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 7 to record his 27th goal of the season, which is tied with Nikita Kucherov for first in the NHL through games played Jan. 7. Ovechkin is three goals away from becoming the third player in NHL history to reach the 30-goal mark in each of his first 13 NHL seasons (Mike Gartner: 15 seasons; Wayne Gretzky: 13 seasons). Ovechkin became the fourth player in NHL history to score 25 or more goals in each of his first 13 seasons on Jan. 2, joining Jaromir Jagr (17 seasons), Mike Gartner (15 seasons) and Wayne Gretzky (13 seasons). Since entering the NHL in the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin's 585 goals are 188 more than Sidney Crosby's total of 397, which is the second-most total during that time frame. Currently, Ovechkin sits two game-winning goals away from Jarome Iginla for sole possession of eighth place in NHL history. 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). 

Big John - John Carlson's 33 points (4g, 29a) rank second in the NHL and 29 assists rank second among NHL defensemen this season through games played Jan. 7 (John Klingberg: 39p, 33a). Carlson's 33 points in 41 games are four points shy of his 72-game total last season (9g, 28a), while his 29 assists have 14 shy of his single season high of 43. 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 24 of his 42 games this season and has started 48.25 percent of his face-offs in the defensive zone, the second-lowest percentage of his career. The Capitals are 19-5-1 when Carlson records a point. Over the course of an 82-game season, Carlson is on pace for 6 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). Additionally, Carlson is two points shy of 300 career points (66g, 232) to become the 24th player and the sixth defenseman to reach that milestone in franchise history. 

Sweet Nicky - Nicklas Backstrom recorded the game-winning goal, his ninth goal of the season, against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 7. That goal was the 197th of his career, passing Bengt-Ake Gustafsson and tying Alexander Semin for fifth on the Capitals' all-time goals list. Backstrom also recorded an assist on Ovechkin's goal, marking his third-straight game with an assist (5a). Since entering the NHL in the 2007-08 season, Backstrom's 763 points (197g, 566a) rank fifth in the NHL. Backstrom, who is three goals away from 200, would become the 50th player to record 200 goals since the 2007-08 season. 

Canuck Killers - T.J. Oshie has earned 21 points (7g, 14a) in 26 career games against the Canucks. Evgeny Kuznetsov has earned 10 points (3g, 7a) in eight career games against Vancouver and has earned a point in five straight games against the Canucks (Oct. 22, 2015 - Oct. 26, 2017: 3g, 4a). Tom Wilson has scored four goals in eight career games against Vancouver, the most goals Wilson has against a single franchise. Alex Ovechkin has 11 points (7g, 4a) in 15 career games versus Vancouver.

Maintaining Leads - This season, the Capitals are 17-0-1 when they lead after the first period, good for a .944 win percentage, ranked second in the NHL, and their 17 wins lead the NHL. Additionally, the Capitals hold a 17-0-2 record when leading after two periods, good for a .895 win percentage. Since Barry Trotz became head coach in the 2014-15 season, the Capitals are 98-6-8 when leading after one period, which leads the NHL in both wins and win percentage (.875) and 130-3-7 when leading after two periods, which is the most wins in the NHL and the second-highest win percentage (.928). The Capitals have recorded 45 goals in the third period this season, more than any other period.

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Washington Capitals: The Silent Assassin (Nicklas Backstrom mentioned) / Wilson Seizing Opportunity in Fifth Season / The Great 8's Great Resurgence

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Clash with Canucks / POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Caps 4, Blues 3 (OT)

Washington Post: The Washington Capitals are still standing, months after being rattled by cruel blow / When a line’s in a slump, the Capitals turn to Tom Wilson

NBC Sports Washington: Why a move to the third line could be just what Oshie needs to spark his offense / Game 43: Capitals vs. Canucks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread / Yes, T.J. Oshie intentionally 'passed' the puck off the goalie to Lars Eller / NHL Power Rankings: How will the Caps handle January's light

AP: Capitals right at home, face Canucks

Delta Optimist: Malenstyn now a member of powerhouse Broncos (Washington Capitals mentioned)

Sports Illustrated: Full List of 2018 NHL Bye Weeks / Power Rankings: Are We Headed Toward an Unconventional Stanley Cup Final?

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: NHL Tonight: Barry Trotz / Barry Trotz | January 8 / TJ Oshie | January 8 / Rinkside Update | Christian Djoos

Canucks Clips:

SportsNet: Canucks’ Gudbranson better equipped now to handle potential trade

The Canuck Way: Vancouver Canucks: 3 things we learned from 5-2 loss to Habs / The Vancouver Canucks should trade for Sam Bennett

The Province: Botchford: Canucks will be leaning on Sedins to shine down the stretch

USA Today: NHL awards at midseason: From Hart to top sleeper team (Brock Boeser mentioned)