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Capital Ups and Downs, Week 18: Touring The Central

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

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Braden Holtby
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Despite winning two of his three starts this week, Holtby allowed ten goals in just eight periods of play, and saw the hook in Dallas. Per usual, Holtby made some big stops in big moments, especially towards the beginning of games, but it was a down week in an amazing season from Holts.
Philipp Grubauer Came in to play the third period against Dallas, and made all ten saves he needed to while the Caps made a spirited comeback effort that ultimately fell short.
Karl Alzner Picked up an assist on the game winning goal in Nashville, and had an otherwise quietly solid week, as is his wont.
John Carlson After having not shown up on the scoresheet since December 21, 2015 in Carolina, Carlson notched in assist in each of this week's game, two of which came on the power play which was desperately needing a boost.
Taylor Chorney Pretty much steady-eddy for Chorney this week, who was on the ice for two goals against versus the high-flying Stars. With rumors abounding that the Caps might be looking to add a depth defenseman, and with Brooks Orpik close to returning, Chorney's role on the squad moving forward is anything but certain.
Matt Niskanen
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Niskanen was held off the scoresheet the entire week, and only had one scoring chance. After his high-flying end-to-end theatrics to bookend last week, he was decidedly unremarkable during the encore.
Dmitry Orlov
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Orlov was held off the scoresheet in Nashville and Minnesota, and only fired two shots on net all week. He did pick up an assist in Dallas, but was held to only 15 shifts on the game, his lowest such total since the third game of the season against Chicago, when he hopped over the boards only 14 times.
Brooks Orpik
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So close...
Nate Schmidt Had only one individual scoring chance all week, which he rang off the crossbar in Dallas. He gave plenty of great soundbites during his homecoming in Minnesota, though, and CSN was kind enough to replay several instances of his yelling of vulgarities in slow-mo, so all in all just another week in the life of Nate Schmidt.
Nicklas Backstrom In classic Backstrom fashion, Nicky showed up big time on the road trip, notching five points -- all assists, and three of which helped a certain linemate score his first hat trick in several years.
Jay Beagle
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Still gotta plow through the dog days of Winter before we can expect to see Beags back in a game sweater.
Paul Carey
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Thanks for the game-tying goal last week, Paul.
Andre Burakovsky Although he saw his eight-game point streak come to an end in Minnesota, he followed that goose egg up with the goal that brought the Caps within one in Dallas, and would have had the primary apple on the game-tying goal if Tom Wilson had shot a quarter-inch further to the right.. The second line continues to fire on all cylinders, and Burakovsky is a big reason.
Jason Chimera Chimdog found the back of the net in Nashville and Minnesota, and continues to be surprisingly productive on the third-line, as he blazes the trail towards his 2nd career 20-goal season
Stanislav Galiev
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Got into the lineup against Dallas, saw fewer than five minutes of ice time, took one shot, and managed to be on the ice for a goal against. He's played fifteen games now and has two points, generally failing to create any value for himself in a pretty stacked lineup.
Marcus Johansson Marcus returned to the lineup with a big three-point night in Nashville, and since his return the power play has broken the 0-fer and generally gotten back on track.
Evgeny Kuznetsov Kuzy continued to click along at a point-per-game pace, picking up three assists in three games last week. While spreading the wealth is Kuznetsov's game, he hasn't tucked one for himself in over a month now -- his last goal came on January 14th against Vancouver.
Brooks Laich
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After scoring his first point of 2016 last week, Brooks' boxcars looked more familiar this week: goose eggs across the board. He also took a dumb penalty in Dallas, and by and large failed to do much of note at even strength,.
Michael Latta
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Watched the Dallas game from the press-box, so hey, Latta at least went 2-0 on the week.
T.J. Oshie
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His assist in Minnesota was his first point since the February 4th tilt against the Islanders, as Oshie struggles to find the rhythm that his linemates have. Oshie does tons of small things well, and his consistency on the top line is valuable in and of itself. The points should come for Oshie.
Alex Ovechkin Goals in all three games this week, including his 14th career hat trick, helped Ovechkin take over the NHL goal-scoring lead. That's not a bad tour through the middle of the country for El Capitan
Mike Richards It's easy-as-she-goes for Richards, who seems to be fitting well on the fourth line, but has yet to earn his first point in a Capitals uniform.
Zach Sill
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Playing the big boys in DC is probably fun, but watching Jakub Vrana come into form in Hershey doesn't sound like a bad primary assignment either.
Justin Williams Justin Williams continues to be a big-time producer on the second line, and he added two goals and an assist this week. His ill-advised pass against Dallas went the other way to open the scoring, but Williams had his hand in a pretty much all of the Caps' non-Ovi generated offense this week.
Tom Wilson For only the second time this season, Tom Wilson notched three points in a two-game stretch. His ringing of the post in Dallas was the sound of a failed comeback, but there's no denying Willy's offensive game, since skating alongside Marcus Johansson, has become a bit more potent. Just ask Jason Chimera, there recipient of Wilson's beautiful cross-ice pass to open the scoring in Nashville.

Stats via and Hockey Analysis.