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Caps Today, 5/15/18

May 15, 2018
The Capitals face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Capital One Arena tonight in Game 3 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final. The Capitals won Game 2, 6-2, at Amalie Arena on May 13 and lead the series 2-0.

With two assists in Game 2, John Carlson recorded his 14th point of the playoffs and set a new franchise mark for points by a defenseman in the postseason. Carlson’s 14 points are the second-most among defensemen in the playoffs, and Carlson has recorded a point in nine of the Capitals’ 14 games. In 90 career playoff games, which is the second most in franchise history among defensemen, Carlson has 49 points (16g, 33a) and one game-winning goal.  Carlson’s 16 career playoff goals are tied for the most in franchise history (Hatcher), while his 49 points are third in franchise history. Carlson led all defensemen with 68 points (15g, 53a) this season. Carlson’s 68 points was the seventh-highest single season total by a Capital in franchise history. In addition, Carlson became the third Capitals defenseman to lead the NHL in points since 2000 (Sergei Gonchar: 2001-02, 59 points; Mike Green: 2008-09, 2009-10: 73 and 76 points, respectively).


The Great Eight – Alex Ovechkin finished with a goal and an assist in Game 2, registering his 19th point of the playoffs (10g, 9a). Ovechkin's 19 points are two shy of his own mark in a single postseason (21 points in 2009). The only other Capitals player with more than 10 goals in one playoff year is John Druce, when he scored 14 goals in 15 games in 1990. Ovechkin now has 56 career postseason goals, which is tied with Steve Larmer and Dennis Potvin for the 42nd most in NHL history. Ovechkin is now four goals shy of the franchise record for most in postseason set by John Druce in 1990 (14). Ovechkin is tied for second in the NHL with 10 goals in the playoffs. Ovechkin has recorded eight multi-point games in the playoffs, tied with Mark Scheifele for the most in the NHL. Additionally, Ovechkin is tied for third among active NHL players (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals per game (0.50) and tied for fifth in playoff points per game (0.98). Among the top 10 active career playoff goal scorers, Ovechkin ranks sixth, and his 0.50 goals per game ranks first among player on that list. In 111 career playoff games, Ovechkin has 109 points (56g, 53a), ranking first in franchise history in playoff games played, goals, points, power play goals (19), power play points (48), game-winning goals (7), shots (504) and second in assists.

Special Teams – The Capitals are 16 for 49 on the power-play this postseason and own the highest power-play percentage (32.6%) of any team remaining in the playoffs. Washington is leading the playoffs in power-play goals (16). The record for the most power play goals in the playoffs is 35 (Minnesota North Stars: 1991). Additionally, Washington has scored a power play goal in 12 of their 14 playoff games. Washington is 9-3 this postseason when they have recorded at least one power play goal.

Holtbeast – Braden Holtby has posted a 10-3-0 record with a 2.04 goals-against average (second among goaltenders currently in the playoffs) and .926 save percentage (tied for third among goaltenders with at least five games played) in 13 games this postseason. His 10 wins are two shy of the Capitals' franchise record for most in a postseason (Olie Kolzig: 1998). In his career, Holtby has posted a record of 39-33 with four shutouts, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in a franchise-record 72 playoff games. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native ranks second in NHL playoff history (min. 50 games played) in career save percentage and second in career goals-against average. In addition, Holtby ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 games played) in career playoff save percentage and goals-against average. Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 47 of his 72 career playoff games and Washington has posted a 33-14 record in those games. Washington and Tampa Bay will play all potential seven games this series on one day of rest. During the regular season, Holtby has played in 160 career games following one day of rest, recording 2.16 goals against average and a .927 save percentage, his lowest goals against average and his highest save percentage of any other combination of days with rest.

Kuz Control - Evgeny Kuznetsov has recorded points in five-straight games (3g, 7a). Additionally, Kuznetsov's 19 points (8g, 11a) are tied with Alex Ovechkin for the most on the team and are two shy of the Capitals' franchise mark for a single postseason (Ovechkin: 21 points in 2009).

Spreading the Wealth - Six different Capitals scored in Game 2 (Alex Ovechkin, Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Devante Smith-Pelly, Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov). That marked the second time this postseason the Capitals have had six different players record a goal in a single game (Game 5 versus Pittsburgh Penguins, Eastern Conference semifinal). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the first time in franchise history the Capitals have had two games with six different goal scorers in a single postseason.

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Look to Keep Heat on Lightning / POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Caps 6, Bolts 2

Washington Post: In what could be his last run with Capitals, relentless Jay Beagle refuses to yield /

Washington Times: Looser Capitals have history on their side / Capitals outdoor viewing party ‘more likely’ for Game 4 / SNYDER: Even with a 2-0 advantage, Capitals can’t afford to be presumptuous

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals vs. Lightning Game 3 Eastern Conference Finals 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream / NHL Power Rankings: Inside the Conference Finals Ovechkin enjoying run through first conference final with Capitals / Capitals hope to 'take care of business' in Game 3 against Lightning

AP: Lightning desperate to fix problems down 0-2 to Capitals

ESPN: How the Caps disrupted a history of playoff disaster

National Post: Alex Ovechkin making the most of the deepest playoff run of his NHL career / Tampa Bay Lightning playing it cool despite digging early hole against Washington

NBC Sports: Series lead gives Capitals time for Nicklas Backstrom return / Plenty to figure out for Lightning ahead of massive Game 3 (Capitals mentioned)

Sports Capitol: Capitals come home with a lead and wariness

SportsNet: Ovechkin, Capitals playing free with Round 2 woes in the past / Our perfect storybook Stanley Cup hoisting order

STATS LLC: Lightning hope to get back in series vs. Caps

Toronto Star: Ovechkin’s capper within reach for the first time


TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: All-Access| Playing the Right Way / John Carlson | May 14 / Matt Niskanen | May 14 / Barry Trotz | May 14 / Jakub Vrana | May 14

CNN International: Alex Ovechkin Closes In on First-Ever NHL Finals (5 p.m.) / Ice Hockey Superstar A Step Closer to 1st Title (5 a.m.) / Alex Ovechkin Closes in on First-Ever NHL Finals (7 p.m.)

ESPN New York 98.7: Game Misconduct Podcast: WSH & WPG taking charge

NBC Sports: Capitals are committed to playing for each other / Capitals' Eller thriving in expanded role

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Now who's the underdog? / Game 3 Preview: Caps return home looking to take 3-0 lead

NHL Network: NHL Tonight: Caps Breakdown / Hat Trick Challenge for Tuesday (Lars Eller mentioned) / NHL Now: Caps in command of ECF / NHL Now: 2-on-1 breakdowns / NHL Now: Elliotte Friedman (Michal Kempny mentioned) / NHL Now: John Walton / NHL Tonight: ECF Game 2 Recap / NHL Tonight: Jaffe and Pang (Capitals mentioned)

Sports Capitol: Red Line: Capitals coming home up 2-0

SportsNet: Ovechkin Poised To Pass Criticism Mantle Onto Stamkos? / Tim & Sid: Is Ovechkin Criticism Warranted? / Tim & Sid: Lightning Can’t Keep Up With Capitals / Cooper: Ovechkin Using These Playoffs To Take Out His Frustration / Capitals' Teammates Can Sense Ovechkin's 'All In' Mentality

TSN: Ovechkin, Capitals hope to continue surge in Game 3

TSN Edmonton 1260: McKenzie: Capitals seem to be playing free and easy

TSN Hamilton 1150: Olczyk: Capitals playing with so much confidence

TSN Montreal 690: Fraser: Kucherov won't be punished / Habs Lunch: Eller finding himself

TSN Vancouver 1040: Button: Capitals look like they finally trust the players they have / Maguire: Tampa needs to eat a body or eat a puck

WJLA-TV ABC 7: Live Hit from KCI (8 a.m.) / Live Hit from Kettler (8 a.m.) / Live from KCI with Joe Beninati (9 a.m.)

WRC-TV NBC 4: Live from KCI with Adam Kelsey (5 a.m.) / Live Look-In at KCI (5 a.m.) / Live from Kettler Capitals Iceplex (6 a.m.)

WTTG-TV FOX 5: Live from KCI with John Walton (8 a.m.)  / Live from KCI with Don Fishman (9 a.m.)

Lightning Clips:

The Athletic: Bourne: How Tampa Bay can better get through Washington’s neutral zone forecheck Lightning could make lineup changes for Game 3 against Capitals / Lightning short on answers entering Game 3 against Capitals Lightning vs. Capitals: Projected lines, storylines, injuries / Burns: 3 Things we learned from a loss in Game 2 / Mishkin's Extra Shift: Capitals 6, Lightning 2 - Game 2

Tampa Bay Times: Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bolts-Caps Game 3 preview / Lightning-Capitals: What we learned from Games 1 and 2 / Lightning-Capitals: What could change in Game 3 beyond the venue / Lightning-Capitals: Anyone vacillating on Andrei Vasilevskiy?