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Caps Today, 2/9/18

February 9, 2018
The Capitals face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Capital One Arena tonight in the third of four meetings between the teams this season. The Capitals won the most recent matchup 3-2 at Nationwide Arena on Feb. 6. Washington holds a 11-2-1-2 record all-time at Capital One Arena and a 21-7-1-4 record all-time against Columbus.

Tom Wilson scored his seventh goal of the season on Feb. 6 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, tying his single-season high set in the 2015-16 season and the 2016-17 season in 33 fewer games. Wilson's 22 points this season (7g, 15a) are just one shy of his single-season high in 2015-16. Wilson is currently on a 37-point pace. Wilson also has a 52.02 shot attempt percentage (644 for, 594 against) at five-on-five, which ranks first among Capitals forwards this season. Additionally, Wilson has drawn seven penalties in his last eight games and 24 penalties this season, tied with Connor McDavid and Nico Hischier for the seventh-most in the NHL. Since the 2013-14 season, Wilson has drawn 165 minor penalties, the second-most in the NHL during that span (Nazem Kadri: 199), and his 2.32 drawn penalties per 60 minutes of play ranks first among all skaters with at least 150 games played since the 2013-14 season.

Media Advisory

In conjunction with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and Etihad Airways, the Washington Capitals will host Fatima Al Ali and the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team in Washington, D.C., from Wednesday, Feb. 7 to Monday, Feb. 12. The team will attend the Capitals’ Thursday, Feb. 8 and Friday, Feb. 9 practices. On Feb. 8 the team will join select Capitals players on ice at the conclusion of the Capitals’ practice. On Feb. 9, the UAE team will participate in a scrimmage with the Washington Pride at Capital One Arena. The game will be streamed on Monumental Sports Network. Prior to the Capitals Feb. 9 game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, the entire team will participate in a ceremonial puck drop as part of the Capitals’ Hockey Is for Everyone Month Women’s Theme Night. When the Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Caps will welcome the entire team to the ice for a ceremonial puck drop as part of the Capitals’ Hockey Is for Everyone Month women’s theme night. Media interested in covering the event may contact Megan Eichenberg ( meichenberg@washcaps.com).

This Day in Capitals History

Feb. 9, 1982: The Capitals hosted the 34th NHL All-Star Game, as the Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference 4-2 before a sellout crowd of 18,130 at the Capital Centre in Landover. New York Islanders forward Mike Bossy scored twice, including the game-winning goal, and was named All-Star Game MVP. Dennis Maruk was the Capitals lone representative, although he picked up an assist on a goal by Bruins defenseman Raymond Bourque. 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'


TOP GAME NOTES

Sweet Nicky - Nicklas Backstrom scored the game-winning goal with under a minute left to play against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 6. That marked Backstrom’s 12th goal of the season and his 200th-career NHL/Capitals goal. With that goal, Backstrom became the fifth player in franchise history to record 200 career goals (Alex Ovechkin: 590; Peter Bondra: 472; Mike Gartner: 397; Mike Ridley: 218). Backstrom is one of five players selected in the 2006 draft to record 200 career goals, and his 769 career points (200g, 569a) rank first among the 2006 draft class, leading Phil Kessel by 55 points, who ranks second in the 2006 draft class through games played Feb. 7. Since entering the NHL in the 2007 season, Backstrom’s 569 assists rank third (Henrik Sedin: 585; Joe Thornton: 581) in the NHL. With 569 career assists, Backstrom is now one assist shy of tying Shane Doan (570 assists in 1,540 games) and Frank Mahovlich (570 assists in 1,181 games played) for 100th on the NHL's all-time assist list. Tonight's game marks Backstrom's 787th-career game.

Dishing with Kuzy – Evgeny Kuznetsov has six assists in his last five games and is on a five-game assist streak, which is the longest assist streak by a Capital this season. Kuznetsov's 36 assists lead the team this season and are tied for 14th in the NHL through games played Feb. 7. This season, Kuznetsov has recorded an assist in 24 games, and the Capitals are 17-4-3 when he records an assist. Kuznetsov's 165 career assists are tied for seventh among players selected in the 2010 draft, while his 1.94 assists per 60 minutes of play ranks first.

Nice and Djoos - Christian Djoos has recorded an assist in four-straight games, tied with John Carlson for the longest assist streak by a Capitals defenseman this season. Djoos' 10 assists rank seventh among rookie defensemen this season. All 10 of Djoos' assists have come at even strength this season, which ranks fifth among rookie defensemen. Only Djoos and Bowey (12 even strength assists) rank in the top seven in assists with every assist coming at even strength. Additionally, Djoos' 13 points (3g, 10a) rank the sixth-most among rookie defensemen. This season, Djoos has recorded a 52.36 shot attempt percentage at five-on-five (589 for, 536 against), the sixth-highest percentage among rookie defensemen this season with at least 40 games played.

Blue Jacket Bullies – The Capitals have earned a point in 11 of their last 12 games against the Blue Jackets (9-1-2) and in 20 of their last 24 games against Columbus (16-4-4). In addition, Washington has earned a point in six straight games at Nationwide Arena (4-0-2). Nicklas Backstrom has 24 points (7g, 17a) in 27 career games against Columbus, while Alex Ovechkin has 15 goals in 28 career games.

Holtbeast - Braden Holtby stopped 37 of the 39 shots he faced (.949 save percentage) on Feb. 6 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, tied for the third-most saves he's made in a single game this season. In 19 career games against the Blue Jackets, Holtby is 13-3-2 with a 2.49 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. Additionally, in 114 career games against the Metropolitan Division, Holtby is 67-27-16 with a 2.36 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. This season, Holtby is tied for third with 27 wins through games played Feb. 7. Holtby is one of just three goaltenders to record three-straight 40-win seasons (Martin Brodeur, Evgeni Nabokov). This year, Holtby is on pace for 42 wins, and is striving to become the first goaltender in NHL history with four consecutive 40-win seasons.

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Face Jackets Again

Washington Post: When UAE women’s hockey team visits Capitals, ‘It’s just amazing’ / The Capitals are struggling to score first. How much of a problem is that? / Caps players catch a show at 9:30 Club / Capital One Arena will get a $40 million facelift with modernized concourses and new concessions

NBC Sports Washington: Now that Trotz has Burakovsky's attention, will the Caps winger respond? / Game 54: Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

NHL.com: Capitals help UAE women’s team experience trip of lifetime

Capital Gazette: Officials at Piney Orchard Ice Arena want to add another rink

Colgate Maroon News: NHL Approaching Trade Deadline and Final Two Months

DC Modern Luxury: Photo Gallery: Caps Casino Night

WJLA: Capitals host UAE Women's National Hockey team

Arena Digest: Capital One Arena to Receive $40M Renovation

Baltimore Sun: Digest (Feb. 8): Washington's Capital One Arena due for $40 million facelift

Washington Business Journal: D.C.-area venture capital firm looks to raise its largest fund to date (Ted Leonsis mentioned) / Capital One Arena to get $40M makeover

WTOP: Padded seats, new concourses part of $40M Capital One Arena renovation

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: Caps 365 | February 8 / Caps KidsClub Bowling Tournament / The Week Ahead | February 8 / Capital One Arena Upgrades / Barry Trotz | February 8 / Capitals Locker Room | February 8

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Jay Beagle, the faceoff master / Trotz: Caps would be different hockey team without Wilson

News Channel 8: On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (8 a.m.) / On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (8 a.m.)

WJLA-TV ABC 7: On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (5 a.m.) / On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (8 a.m.) / On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (5 p.m.) / On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (6 a.m.) / On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (11 p.m.)

WRC-TV NBC 4: On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (5 p.m.) / On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (6 p.m.) / On the Capitals Hosting the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team (11 p.m.)

Blue Jackets Clips:

AP: Slumping Blue Jackets looking for some of last year's breaks

Columbus Blue Jackets: Blue Jackets | Dads joining trip to Washington

ESPN: Dallas, Columbus and Nashville among most 'comfortable' trade destinations for Rick Nash

NBC Sports: What’s wrong with the Blue Jackets?


The Canon: Game Faceoff: Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals


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