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5 stats why the Capitals advanced past the Flyers

5 stats why the Capitals advanced past the Flyers

BY RICH GOLDBERG, CSNmidatlantic.com

Saving the day: Braden Holtby set a Capitals single-series playoff record with a .968 save percentage. Holtby shutout the Flyers twice this series including 1-0 in the decisive Game 6. Only four times in playoff history have the Capitals won by a score of 1 to 0. Holtby started 3 of those games.

Saint Nick: Last season, Nicklas Backstrom managed 8 points in 14 playoff games. This postseason, Backstrom leads the team with 7 points in 6 games. The 7 points are the most Backstrom’s recorded in a single postseason series since 2010 against Montreal.

Johnny Rocket: John Carlson became the first NHL defenseman to score 3 power play goals in 3 consecutive playoff games in 1 year since Bill Houlder in 1999. Carlson also tied a Capitals playoff record for the longest PP goal streak in a single postseason, joining John Druce (1990), Dmitri Khristich (1992) and Al Iafrate (1993).

Powers that be: The Capitals outscored the Flyers 8 to 1 on the power play. Washington set a single-game playoff team record with 5 power play goals in Game 3. The Flyers scored their only man advantage goal in Game 4, as the Caps went 23 for 24 on the penalty kill.

Third’s a charm: The Capitals scored 7 third-period goals this series. The Flyers scored one and it was an empty net goal. Braden Holtby did not allow a 3rd period goal and saved 39 of 39 shots.

 

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!