News and notes as the Capitals reflect on Friday night’s 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning and head to Saturday’s 7 p.m. showdown with the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Kuznetsov is killing it: With two more points in Friday's win, Evgeny Kuznetsov now sits fourth in the NHL with 26 points. That's in just 22 games, putting him on pace to shatter his career-high of 37 points in 80 games set last season. Can he continue this pace? His teammates say he absolutely can…
Braden Holtby: "I don't think he's going to come back from that. It's not a fluke. He's played extremely well and very consistent for us all year. Even the last half of last year. He's going to be in that top 10 in scoring for a long time, not just the rest of this year."
Jason Chimera: "This is a scratch on the surface of what he can be. He's an unbelievable talent. He kind of took off at maybe the three-quarter pole last year. He started playing really good hockey and then he kept it going in the playoffs. He's kind of skyrocketed this year. I think he's going to keep getting better.
Mo-Jo pours it on: Marcus Johansson carried over a strong two-point performance against Winnipeg to Friday's win by scoring his fourth goal of the season in the second period. It came just a minute and 15 seconds after a goal by Chimera and put the Capitals up 3-0. The goal was a simple ricochet off Johansson's skate on a John Carlson pass, but he'll take it. MoJo now has four points in his last four games, though this was his first goal since Nov. 3, a stretch of 11 contests.
Oshie breaks through: After scoring four goals through his first nine games this season, T.J. Oshie had found the back of the net just once in his previous 12 outings before Friday's win. He was goal-less in his last six games. But Oshie bucked that trend in the third period against the Lightning with a power play goal.
"I don't think there has really been any pressure just because we have been winning games. If we would have been .500 in these last four, it might have been more difficult to swallow. The frustration might have built up a little more. But for the most part I've been staying positive through these games. A lot of guys have pitched in offensively. But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't nice to get that one," he said.
Chimera helping out on power play: Chimera was added to the Capitals power play eight games ago and has five power play points during that stretch. He has already surpassed his career-high for a season in power play goals with three and he's a 36-year-old veteran of 15 NHL seasons.
"Well, they didn't know I was a power play guy until I was 36. You usually find out stuff later in life and that's what they found out," he joked.
Trotz explained what Chimera brings to the power play:
"He has speed entering the zone. He's always dangerous, so you get pucks wide there. He's a little more of a presence in front of the net and he's very willing to do that. He's a veteran player. He's watched the power play, he's been on the power play, so he knows a lot of our nuances in terms of the changes and the terminology. All of those things. He's done a good job since he's gone on the power play. The power play has been very effective."
Nate Schmidt agrees:
"I think that he's got so much speed to his game that he commands so much respect from guys when he's down there on the bodies. When you're feeling it in this game, you're feeling it. And right now that's what he's doing. He's got the hot hand right now. He's making a lot of plays. He's a talented guy. There's a reason why he's played in this league for so long. He's carved a career out of being able to make plays and do the things that we saw him do tonight."