18 - Number of points scored over the last eight games by Capitals’ forwards who average less than 14 minutes of ice time per night (i.e. the third- and fourth-liners), including eight goals. Leading the way are the hot hands of Brett Connolly (2-2-4 in the last eight) and Nic Dowd (2-1-3 in his last three games).
The Caps have gone 7-1-0 in their last eight games - and while much has been made of Tom Wilson’s return being a catalyst for the team’s hot streak, it’s worth noting that it’s not all based simply on his personal performance... although there’s plenty to like about that, as well.
Wilson’s return has moved the rest of the lineup into more fitting roles, even with the continued absence of T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov, and it’s shown in the fact that the third and fourth lines have been contributing on a regular basis. A balanced attack is what helped the Caps win their first Cup - and they’ll need all hands on deck if they want to make another successful run.