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In a late season matchup between two playoff bound teams from opposite conferences it was Washington besting the Nashville Predators 4 to 1 on home ice. The Capitals gave Braden Holtby, 20 saves and one assist, more than enough goal support to earn their 51st win of the year.
First here's Friday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Washington supported Holtby all night and combined to block 24 shots, making life a little bit easier on their workhorse netminder.
- Minus: Washington gave up the game's first goal for the umpteenth time in 2016.
Eight more notes on the game.
- Both teams were held scoreless through the first period but Washington outshot their guests 11 to 4 in the opening twenty minutes. Three of those shots, including one dandy chance, came off the stick of an energized Jason Chimera.
- Filip Forsberg would break the ice early in the second period though with his 29th (ugh) goal of the year. With Taylor Chorney in the penalty box it was a Forsberg wrist shot and a Mike Ribeiro screen in front to put Nashville ahead.
- Fresh face Daniel Winnik then tied the game, with his first goal in Washington (5th of the year), less than five minutes after Forsberg's tally. Evgeny Kuznetsov faked a slap shot from the right wing and fed Winnik perfectly through the slot, allowing the newcomer plenty of time to put the puck home.
- T.J. Oshie followed up Winnik's goal with one of his own thanks to another fantastic blind feed from Kuznetsov (more on him later). With everyone's head looking left Oshie snapped home a quick shot that beat Carter Hutton shortside.
- Oshie's second period goal set a new career high with 22 on the season, besting his 2013-14 campaign in St. Louis.
- Before the second frame came to its close Winnik struck again, this one a fine shot from atop the faceoff circle. A swift Dmitry Orlov defensive zone breakout and neutral zone skating afforded Winnik more than enough space to make it count.
- Before the third period's opening shifts were over Andre Burakovsky put the puck past Hutton for the fourth and final time with a chip shot from the low slot. Despite tallying before the game's 41 minute mark it was the final nail in Nashville's coffin.
- Kuznetsov registered three primary assists tonight, the first two of which were absolute beauties, and won more than 70% of his draws. What a phenomenal night of work against a competitive Western Conference club.