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The last time these two teams met, Washington closed the book on Nassau Coliseum's farewell season. This time, eight months later, they increased their stranglehold on the division to 14 points. Goals from Jason Chimera, Alex Ovechkin, Nate Schmidt, and Nicklas Backstrom got them there.
Here's Thursday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Road wins. The Caps 15th road win is 3 better than the next best in the League (Dallas). Take care of business away from home, and good things follow.
- Minus: Not too much to complain about tonight, but another night, another questionable penalty on reputation-villain Tom Wilson.
Ten more notes on the game:
- Coming into tonight’s game, the Islanders were the only team in the Eastern Conference the Caps hadn’t beaten, on account of the fact they hadn’t yet played. Well now they’ve played, and now the Caps have beaten every team in the conference…before their season is half over.
- Marcus Johansson has gotten off to a fast start since taking over for Jay Beagle at third line pivot, and his strong play continued as he picked up an apple when Jason Chimera opened to the first page in the book of "Capitals Scoring Goals in Brooklyn." That’s Mojo’s 4th point in 3 games since manning the pivot.
- Speaking of the Ice Cheetah, that was his 12th tally on the year, as he continues to outpace his career high goal scoring season of 2011-2012, when he notched 20. That’s five goals in his last nine games for Chimmer.
- Midway through the first, Alex Ovechkin passed up shot opportunity from the high slot in favor of a pass to Karl Alzner, which went errant. The two reversed roles a few minutes later, this time with Ovechkin as trigger man. As you might expect, the result was more favorable. That’s 497 for Ovi.
- Neither one of the first two goals allowed by Jaroslav Halak were particularly difficult stops, as it was pretty apparent Halak needed to knock some rust off, his last start coming on December 21. But hey, this jerk’s got a long way to go before his cosmic scales get rebalanced from Spring 2010.
- And about that Ovi goal – how about Brock Myles getting Ovi a new stick on the fly, on the very rush that resulted in the goal. Contributions to success all around! Take notes, Mike Richards.
- The Caps were 21-1-0 after scoring first coming into this one, but Brock Nelson’s tally to open the second gave the boys from Brooklyn some life. But the Caps, as they so often do, took care of business to notch another victory in this circumstance.
- The Capitals 6th ranked penalty killing unit continues to come up big for them, and tonight Nicklas Backstrom and Nate Schmidt hooked up to make it 3-1, seconds after a big kill, and on the possession immediately following the kill’s final clear of the zone. Good sequence there.
- Speaking of that penalty kill, if there’s been a shining example of that old adage "your best penalty killer is your goaltender" this year, that wasn’t a bad candidate, as Holtby continues to Holtby. The guy is just unreal right now.