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The Noon Number: Blind Squirrels?

A look at a masterful special teams performance over the last two games

Carolina Hurricanes v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

147.6 - The Capitals’ net special teams index (net power play % + net penalty kill %) over the last two games against the Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

That includes a 33.3% power-play rate over the two games, with three power-play goals scored on nine opportunities (and no shorthanded goals against!), and a perfect seven-for-seven penalty kill plus a shorthanded goal, for a net PK % of 114.3.

That small stretch of special teams excellence becomes more impressive when taking the opponents into consideration. Last night the Caps scored twice against the NHL’s best penalty-killing unit, and added another power-play strike against the sixth-ranked PK in Toronto back on Monday.

They also held Toronto’s top-ranked power play off the board - and even kept them from registering a single shot on net on four opportunities - while scoring the first shorthanded goal the Leafs have ceded all season, and killed off three power plays against Carolina’s sixth-ranked power play.

The Caps’ special teams have been on the uptick of late overall. After a rough start to February for the penalty killers, the Caps have given up just one power-play goal in their last seven games and have scored a power-play goal of their own in eight of their last 11.