The Caps came out with a win, a 4-2 decision that pushed the Caps to a six-point lead over the Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division standings and left them five points ahead of the third-place Philadelphia Flyers.
We do not have a lot to say about the game (real life having intruded this week to keep us from spending a lot of time here), but we do have a few comments…
-- Odd that Alex Ovechkin would score his 400th career goal into an empty net. Only 22 of his 400 goals are of that variety, and he has only three in his last 160 games.
-- With four assists, that makes nine times in his career Nicklas Backstrom hit that mark in a single game. It is the second time he did it this season (he had four ten days ago against Tampa Bay) and the third time he’s done it in his last 48 games.
-- Three power play goals in four chances makes it 9-for-19 in their last five games for the Caps (47.4 percent) and 11-for-30 in December (36.7 percent).
-- Lost in the Ovechkin/Backstrom news is that Troy Brouwer had his first multi-point game of the season, a goal and an assist. His goal was credited as the game-winner. His last multi-point game came against Montreal on April 20, 2013, a two-goal effort in a 5-1- win (one of his goals also was the game-winner). Last night broke a 37-game streak without a multi-point game.
-- The second line was more active offensively than we have been used to seeing lately. They accounted for nine of the 29 shots on goal for the Caps and 12 of the 42 shot attempts.
-- Give Philipp Grubauer credit. There was the 39 saves on 41 shots (.951 save percentage), but things could have gotten ugly for the Caps early, being outshot 13-10 in the first period (allowing one goal) and by 28-19 over the first 40 minutes (26 saves on 29 shots). He was a rock in the third, turning away all 13 of the shots he faced.
-- Your leader in hits for the Caps… Trou Brouwer?...no. Alex Ovechkin?... no. John Erskine?... no. It was Dmitry Orlov. He had five.
-- Jeff Skinner had 15 shot attempts for the Hurricanes and nothing to show for it. What do youthink of that, young man?...