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Holtby catches Brodeur, Ovi hits 50 in win


Holtby catches Brodeur, Ovi hits 50 in win

It may have taken him three tries, but Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby can now say that no goalie in the history of the NHL has won more games in a regular season than him and a guy named Martin Brodeur.

With Brodeur watching from high above Scottrade Center, Holtby made 19 saves and saw Alex Ovechkin net his 48th, 49th and 50th goals of the season en route to his record-tying 48th victory, a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues Saturday night. 

The win tied Brodeur’s single-season wins record, set in 2007 in the New Jersey Devils’ next-to-last game. Brodeur sat out the final game of that season and it appears Holtby will do the same when the Capitals close out the season on Sunday when they face the Anaheim Ducks.

While Holtby’s 48th win of the season was historical, Ovechkin’s pursuit of 50 goals was simply remarkable.  

After Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead just 75 seconds into the game Ovechkin tied it at the 4:04 mark off assists from John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom.

Less than 3 minutes later Ovechkin struck again off a feed from Backstrom and the Caps carried a 2-1 lead into the second period.  After Carlson and Jason Chimera scored to give the Caps a 4-1 lead through two periods, the suspense built.

RELATED: Ovechkin scores goal No. 50 with hat trick in St. Louis

Could Holtby hang on for the record? Could Ovechkin get to 50 goals for the seventh time in his career?

Both answered emphatically. Holtby stopped all 10 shots he faced in the final period and Ovechkin became just the third player in NHL history to score 50 goals in seven different seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy. 

Meanwhile, the Caps now know they’ll be facing the Flyers for the fifth time in the teams’ history.

 Evgeny Kuznetsov led the Capitals with five points (all assists) in four games against the Flyers this season and Justin Williams earned four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in four games against Philadelphia. 

Ovechkin scored two goals against the Flyers this season and has registered 48 points (31 goals, 17 assists) in 41 career games against Philadelphia. 

Nicklas Backstrom scored two goals against the Flyers this season and has earned 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) in 34 career games against Philadelphia.

Holtby posted a 2-0-2 record against Philadelphia this season with a 2.21 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.

Tickets for the first three home games of the Washington Capitals 2016 Playoffs presented by Boeing are available by calling 1-800-745-3000, on, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and at all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Verizon Center box office. Game dates, times and opponents will be announced by the NHL at a later date.

MORE CAPITALS: Are you ready for a Thrilla against South Phila.?

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.

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3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia


3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia

Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin. 

Here are your three stars from the game: 

1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out: 

Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it. 

2. Shayne Gostisbehere​ got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games. 

3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose. 

The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center.