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Monday Caps Clips: Wildcard Whitewash; Capitals @ Sabres Game Day

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The Caps blank Boston and head to Buffalo, Backstrom owns the Caps' assist title, the prospects and their postseasons and more.

Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Recaps and other assorted musings on yesterday's very satisfying shutout win from us, Vogs (plus game notes), Monumental video (Trotz, Backstrom, Holtby, Schmidt, Wilson, Carlson, Julien, B's room, 40th Anniversary Tribute - Don Beaupre), NHL.com, AP, PHT, WaPo (gamer, blog), CSNW, Peerless, Frankovic, DSP (plus three stars), RMNB, Stars and Sticks, and from the Boston end of the ice, Stanley Cup of Chowder, Boston Herald, WEEI's Big Bad Blog, and the Lamentations of CSNNE.
    • Congratulations to Nicklas Backstrom, who is now the sole and most deserving owner of the Capitals' all-time assists title. He broke the three-way tie with helper number 419 on John Carlson's power play tally, then put number 420 in the bank on Nate Schmidt's goal... [PHT, Stars and Sticks, Expressen (in Swedish), Erik Davis on Instagram (pic)]
    • Holtbeast, Bruins killer. And don't come 'round here with that nonsense, Looch. [CSNNE, RMNB]
    • Like we said, Holtbeast, Bruins killer - from Elias: Braden Holtby recorded his eighth shutout of the season with a 2-0 win over the Bruins. Holtby's first shutout this season was a 4-0 victory in Boston on October 11. He's the first goaltender in Capitals history to shut out the Bruins two times in one season, and the first goaltender on any team to blank Boston more than once in a season since Henrik Lundqvist did so for the Rangers twice in 2007-08.
    • Hey everybody, Nick has the most apples in Caps history, Braden posted his 8th (!) shutout of the season, but Alex Ovechkin got hit in the bad palce!!!!eleven!11! [Puck Daddy, Eye on Hockey, RMNB]
    • ... and all comedy aside, B's goalie Tuukka Rask has utmost respect for Ovechkin's shot. [RMNB]
  • Previews of tonight's Sabres dance from Vogs (plus game notes) and NHL.com, and be sure to check out our SB Nation pals over at Waiting for McEichel for the other side of tonight's matchup.
    • Oh hai there former Caps' goalie coach Arturs Irbe. How are things in Western New York? [Buffalo News]
  • The Week That Was, Volume 23. [Peerless, RMNB, ILWT (with the Metro lowdown), and special appearance from Vogs]
  • Wanted: Swagger. [Puck Daddy]
  • Is it time to scrap Goals Against Average? [InGoal Magazine]
  • Lots of prospect playoff action this weekend:
    • Jakub Vrana got Linkopings' first-round series against HV71 off to a strong start with two goals, including the game-winner, in a 3-2 victory on Friday. Vrana had lots of shots but no points in the second game on Sunday, a 3-2 loss to even the series at one apiece in a best-of-seven contest. [RMNB]
    • Seniors Travis Boyd of Minnesota and Patrick Koudys of Penn State faced each other as the Nittany Lions traveled to Mariucci Arena for the final series of the regular season. At stake - sorting out a complex three-team claim to the B1G Ten regular season crown and seeding for the upcoming conference tournament.  The Gophers were the more prepared team and claimed their second consecutive B1G Ten title.  Due to some unfortunate plays on Friday (in a 5-0 loss) where he lost his composure and took at least one bad penalty, Captain Koudys was healthy scratched on Saturday and watched the end of the season from the press box. Here's a pic of Boyd skating with the B1G Ten trophy. [@drewclaussen]
    • Junior Riley Barber and the Miami RedHawks needed all three games of a best-of-three series vs. Western Michigan to advance to the NCHC's Frozen Faceoff, but advance they did.  His second-period goal in Sunday's game was his 120th point at Miami and puts him 29th in scoring all-time at the school. [@ChadTwaro, Sunday's game highlights (video)]
    • The Hockey East tournament is officially over for (junior) Thomas DiPauli and (senior) Austin Wuthrich at Notre Dame and (freshman) Zachary Sanford at Boston College, as both teams failed to advance out of the quarterfinals and their seasons are most likely done unless either program gets a (very unlikely) bid to the NCAA tournament.  Zach Sanford in particular had a great first game on Friday, but Vermont doubled down on covering him over the next two games and BC could generate very little offense. DiPauli and Wuthrich generated one point (an assist) between them over three games. [RMNB]
  • Finally, happy 44th birthday to David Harlock, happy 33rd to Louis Robitaille and happy 37th to Brian Willsie, and today would've been Roger Crozier's 73rd, so pour a little out for a guy who played three games and coached one for the Caps.