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The Noon Number: Blueline Boost

A look at how the back end has been contributing to the team’s offense

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

24 - Number of points scored by Capitals defensemen so far this month (nine games played). That’s tied with LA and Tampa for the third-highest production from the blueline in the League, trailing only Winnipeg (26) and Vegas (28).

The team is on pace to top their production from last month (26 points in 13 games played), continuing a trend of improved offense from the defense after just 18 points from blueliners in 12 October games.

No doubt the health of the group has supported this upward trend; in both October and November, the Caps dressed eight different defensemen and saw Matt Niskanen and Christian Djoos miss significant chunks of time. So far in December, the same six defensemen have played in all nine games.

Not surprisingly, the offensive burst is being led by John Carlson, who has racked up eight points in the nine games (tied for third-best in the League among blueliners this month) - but all six defensemen have contributed at least one point, with Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen each adding a pair of goals to the mix.