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Capital Ups and Downs, Week 7: Movin' On Up

The latest edition of our weekly look at individual Washington Capitals ups and downs.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Your weekly look at individual Washington Capitals' ups and downs:

Goalies Trend Rink Rank* Notes
Braden Holtby
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For the first time all season, Holtby faced 30+ shots in back-to-back games, and in three of the four games overall this week. If it fazed him, however, it didn't show, as he turned aside 120 of 127 shots and posted his first shutout of the year. He continues to show that he can be one of the League's best... even when the team in front of him isn't playing all that great.
Philipp Grubauer N/A With Holtby on a roll, no work for Grubauer this week.
Karl Alzner
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Logged almost seven minutes of shorthanded ice time, but was on for both power-play goals given up by the Caps this week, and four of the seven total goals against. He also saw 14 more even-strength shot attempts go towards his own net than the opponents' while he was on the ice, the highest differential among Caps' defensemen this week.
John Carlson
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Picked up five assists this week, which was not only tied for the team lead over the last four games but also tops among all NHL defensemen - and second among all skaters - this week. In fact, he assisted on every goal for which he was on the ice, and was only on for one goal against. All in all, a nice week for Carlson.
Taylor Chorney
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Struggled a bit in his own end, with a couple of goals against on his scoresheet this week, but wasn't glaringly bad and is still serving as a nice fill-in for the injured Orpik.
Matt Niskanen
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Followed up his two-assist outing last week with another pair of helpers this time around. He did have some struggles on the defensive side, as he was on the ice for four goals against - including all three scored by Winnipeg Wednesday night (although his 47.4 CF% at even strength was third-highest among Caps' D this week).
Dmitry Orlov
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After picking up his first goal of the season last week, he continued his high-scoring ways with the lone tally against the Oilers - and then added another goal (and an assist) against the Jets to round out his three-game scoring streak. He was also one of seven Caps (and the only Caps' defenseman) to finish the week with an even-strength CF% above 50%.
Brooks Orpik
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N/A Still on the shelf and doesn't seem to have a timetable for his return... which isn't too much of an issue as long as the Caps are winning.
Nate Schmidt
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Picked up assists in back-to-back games and finished the week just a shade under 50% in Corsi-for percentage. He now has three points in his last five games, and continues to thrive in a top pairing role alongside John Carlson.
Nicklas Backstrom
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Continued his usual, steady, point-per-game mastery with another four points in four games (one goal and three assists). He's currently on pace for his best point total and goal-per-game rate since the 2009-10 season, and looks to be back to his old self now that he's back with his old linemate.
Jay Beagle
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Was one of just three forwards to not have a single point this week, and was on for two goals against - but he did win close to 56% of his faceoffs and led all forwards in shorthanded time. So basically another Beagle-esque week, in a good way.
Andre Burakovsky
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Sat out the first game of the week but returned to the lineup against the Jets and was solid in his three outings, hovering just below 50% in terms of even-strength CF%. No points on the week, but it does feel like he's getting closer to breaking out - especially if he continues to put shots on net like he did against Tampa, when he had a season-high four.
Jason Chimera
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Whatever Jason Chimera is eating for breakfast these days, let's hope he keeps it up, because he's got the hot hand at the moment. He picked up another two goals and two assists this week (including a beauty of a drop pass to Williams against TO), bringing his goal total up to seven - aka his entire total from last season - and his points up to 14, just three shy of last year's total. Chimera's also up to three power-play goals, a new career high, and three power-play assists, one short of his career high.
Stanislav Galiev
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Only got into one game this week, and was held off the scoresheet in that game, but he was one of just five Caps to have a positive Corsi rating at even strength against the Oilers. He's doing good things, at even strength and on the power play - but for now, at least, it's a tough lineup to crack, as evidenced by the fact that he spent the rest of the week in the pressbox.
Marcus Johansson
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Had a two-assist game against the Jets and then added goals against the Lightning and Leafs to give him points in four of his last five games. The best part about Johansson's week? Two goals scored, neither of which hit his stick. Good things happen when you go to the net, though, and that includes having pucks bounce in off of various body parts.
Evgeny Kuznetsov
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Tied Carlson for the team lead in points this week with five, picking up the goal that put the nail in the coffin against Winnipeg and adding four assists (including this ridiculousness). This season continues to mark his arrival as a bona fide star.
Brooks Laich
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Was one of three players - on either team - to have a point in the Caps' 1-0 blanking of Edmonton Monday night, his second point in the last eight games. That said, his line did have some struggles getting the puck out of the defensive end (despite some sustained shifts of offensive pressure) and the trio was on for three even-strength goals-against this week - with Laich getting dinged for another two while on the penalty kill.
Michael Latta
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Picked up his second assist of the year with a helper on Wilson's goal Saturday night, and is now up to three points, which is halfway to his entire point total (a career high) from last season.
T.J. Oshie
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Snapped a six-game goalless drought with a power-play strike against the Lightning on Friday, but has definitely seen his point production slip from his early-season output (albeit one that seemed unsustainably high). That said, he's still getting his chances with the new-look top line - he's got a 54.3% CF% at even strength with Alex Ovechkin, and a whopping 57.5% with Backstrom. The points will come.
Alex Ovechkin
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There was something rather strange about the fact that Ovechkin had just a single power-play goal (and just two power-play points) on the season. Less strange is his recent outburst, with all three of his points this week coming with the extra man as both he and the team's power play seemed to find their legs.
Justin Williams
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In a week in which his team struggled possession-wise, finishing with over 50% in even-strength CF% in just one of the four games, Williams posted an impressive (and team-leading) 58.8% on his own and was one of just three Caps to not be on the ice for a single goal against this week. The other two? His linemates. He also scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season, including his second power-play goal, and is just one point shy of #600 for his career.
Tom Wilson
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Finally scored his first goal of the season in front of friends and family in Toronto, the product of some hard work in front of the net (and a bit of luck). Like the rest of the fourth line, though, he had a bit of a rough run in the defensive end and took another couple of minor penalties (although one was coincidental).

*Rink Rank number is the percentage of total votes received by each player over the past week that were "thumbs up" - check all of them out here. Stats via and Hockey Analysis.