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Capitals Power Rankings Roundup: Week 23

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Our weekly temperature-taking of the mainstream media's opinions on the Washington Capitals

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Outlet This Week Last Week What They're Saying
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1 1 Big picture

With nothing much left to prove in this regular season, with the Presidents' Trophy and home-ice advantage through the playoffs virtually assured, the Caps will get a nice test of sorts this week when they venture out West to play Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose.

The Caps got a good, gritty overtime win Saturday in Boston, a win that improved them to 12-0-1 in games following a regulation defeat. The Caps remain the only team in the league not to have lost two games in regulation in succession in this marvelous season for them.

By the Numbers

Washington achieved 100 points in its first 65 games. The last team to do it that quickly was the 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings (46-11-8). The Caps still have to win 14 of their last 17 games to tie Detroit's all-time record for most wins in a season (62, in 1995-96). (March 6)
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1 1 The Caps became the first team to reach 100 points this season. Only six teams in the league's history have gotten there faster. They also just stopped the seemingly unstoppable Ducks on Monday.. (March 8)
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4 4 Despite a general feeling that the Caps are "slumping," they still have won four of their last five games. (March 8)
1 1 The Capitals are the first team this season to reach 100 points, with a 2-1 OT win over the Bruins on Saturday, and the first to hit the century mark in its first 65 games of the season since the Red Wings in 2001-02. (March 7)
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1 4 ust how dominant have the Washington Capitals been this season? Well, consider the fact that goalie Braden Holtby has 41 wins this season. That total is more than any other team with the exception of the Chicago Blackhawks, who are tied with Holtby’s total.

The Capitals are on pace to finish the season with 127 points and with the Blackhawks and Dallas Stars on pace to finish with 106 each, the Capitals point total and margin of victory for the Presidents’ Trophy would be the highest recorded in exactly 20 years. The last time a team was this dominant in the regular season was 1995-96, when the Detroit Red Wings finished with 131 points, 27 ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.

And by virtue of the fact that they knocked off the league’s hottest team, albeit by a razor-thin margin in a shootout, the Capitals find themselves perched atop thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings once again. (March 9)
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1 1 The Caps defeated the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night for their 49th win of the season, tying them for the second-most wins through 66 games in NHL history. The 1995-96 Red Wings had 50 wins at this stage. (March 9)
1 1 Hit: They have played in 12 straight one-goal games; they went 8-3-1 in those games.

Miss: The problem is they've been playing from behind. The Capitals have allowed the first goal in 12 of their past 14 games. (March 10)
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1 2 A win over the Ducks in Anaheim and a 14-point lead in the Presidents' Trophy race lifts the Capitals back into the top spot.

Since the inception of that award prior to the 1985-86 season, only eight of the 29 winners have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. Anything short of an appearance in the final will be a disappointment for Washington. (March 9)
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1 2 It's not how you start, it's how you finish, right? The Caps have proved that all year long, finding ways to win games after allowing the opposition to take an early lead. After coming from behind to win 2–1 on Monday night in Anaheim, Washington is now 20-11-4 in games in which it has allowed the first goal. Last week: 3-1-0 (March 8)
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1 1 [The Run-On Sentence Edition.] Only twice in 2016 have the Washington Capitals lost a game by more than a one-goal margin, and in Monday's statement game they snuffed an 11-game winning streak of the... [Ducks].(March 9)
1 1 Still skating away from the pack, the Capitals are little more vulnerable, in part because G Braden Holtby, who has a .899 save percentage in his past 18 games, hasn’t been nearly as dominant as he was in the first half of the season.

Key Injuries: D John Carlson (lower body).(March 7)
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1 1 Matt Niskanen, Mr. Steady on the blue line, has two game-winning goals in his past three games. (March 7)

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