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Prediction recap: Braden Holtby stays hot with strong win over Montreal

Prediction recap: Braden Holtby stays hot with strong win over Montreal

Carey Price is considered the best goalie in the world.

On Monday, however, Capitals' Braden Holtby was the best goalie on the ice as he led Washington to a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Here’s a recap of the three bold predictions.

1. Justin Williams will get at least a point - Correct

Williams earned an assist on Evgeny Kuznetsov’s game-winning goal in the third period. Granted, Kuznetsov did all the work, but a point is a point. He now has 16 points in his last 17 games.

RELATED: OVECH1KIN WATCH: ONE MORE TO GO

2. The Caps will get at least 25 shots on goal - Correct

I’ll admit, I was debating whether to go with 25 or 30 when I first made the prediction. Eventually, I went with 25 because...well, I’ve been on a cold streak and sometimes you just need to take the chip-shot field goal to get points on the board. In my defense, I would have been right either way as Washington put up a whopping 39 shots on Carey Price.

3. Braden Holtby will earn a higher save percentage than Price - Correct

It was an off night for Price who saved 35 of 39 shots for a save percentage of .897. That’s not what we’ve come to expect from him given his level of talent. Holtby was not able to extend his shutout streak to three games, but he was still fantastic in net. The Caps netminder allowed only one goal on 23 shots for a save percentage of .957, easily outpacing Price.

RELATED: UPDATED NHL POWER RANKINGS

Prediction Results for 2017: The streak is over thanks to a clean sweep. Finally, the new year is off on the right foot.
Correct: 3
Wrong: 12
Push: 0

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4 reasons why the Caps beat the Senators

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USA TODAY Sports

4 reasons why the Caps beat the Senators

The Capitals head into Thanksgiving on a high note after a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Here's why they won.

Line changes

Barry Trotz surprised everyone by changing up the lines and reuniting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom despite coyly telling the media that he would use the same "group" just two hours before the game. The move worked, however, as an energized Caps team took the ice. The moves were not just felt on the top line, there was a boost all throughout the lineup to start the game and the energy the team played with was evident.

The Caps’ best offensive players looked like their best offensive players

Much has been written in recent days about the Caps’ top-six and its offensive struggles, but they seemed just fine against Ottawa. Ovechkin (1 goal), Backstrom (1 assist), T.J. Oshie (2 assists), Evgeny Kuznetsov (1 goal, 2 assists) and Jakub Vrana (2 goals) all had big nights.

Ovechkin's late first period goal

Multi-goal leads have been hard to come by for the Caps of late. Despite a strong first period, Washington held only a 1-0 lead as the first frame drew to a close. Instead of having a chance to regroup in the locker room, Ottawa found itself suddenly down by two as Ovechkin scored with just five seconds left. That goal set the tone for the start of the second period where Washington was able to tack on another two goals to take the 4-0 lead. Does that momentum carry over to the second without Ovechkin's late tally? I'm not so sure.

Killing a 5-on-3 power play in the second period

Despite the 4-0 deficit, the Senators hung around and scored in the second period to make it 4-1. Then Ovechkin was called for a high-stick and Backstrom got into a bit of a tussle with Ben Harpur after getting a high-stick from him. The ref sent Ovechkin, Backstrom and Harpur to the box. Just 44 seconds later, Tom Wilson joined them after getting called for a slash giving the Senators 1:16 of a two-man advantage power play. One goal would have pulled them within two with over a period left to play. This game was not over. This was a critical moment for Washington and the penalty kill delivered by killing off both penalties. After that, the game really was no longer in doubt.

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3 stars of the game: Caps' stars shine against Senators

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USA TODAY Sports

3 stars of the game: Caps' stars shine against Senators

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Caps gave the home crowd something to be thankful for with a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Barry Trotz elected to shake up the offensive lines before the game and it seemed to work. The Caps took control of the game from the drop of the puck and took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period and never looked back.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jakub Vrana

Vrana opened the scoring by crashing the net and was in perfect position for the rebound off of a shot from Evgeny Kuznetsov. His second goal came off a perfect shot, and I do mean perfect. This was the first multi-goal game of his NHL career and his third multi-point game. 

2. Evgeny Kuznetsov

This is why Kuznetsov should shoot more. Vrana's first goal came off a rebound from a shot by Kuznetsov. It was his first even-strength point since Nov. 6. On a power play in the second period, a loose puck came to Kuznetsov's stick. Rather than look for the pass as he has been his tendency, he did not hesitate. He shot it and the result was his third power play goal of the season. Kuznetsov finished with one goal and two assists.

3. Alex Ovechkin

Despite how dominant the first period looked for Washington, they still held only a 1-0 lead. What really set the tone for the game was Ovechkin's first period goal. A quick passing play from Nicklas Backstrom to Alex Chiasson to Ovechkin found the Great 8 behind Ottawa's defense. He finished off the play with the goal to put Washington up 2-0 with just five seconds left in the period. That turned a good period into a dominant one and really set the tone for the start of the second in which the Caps were able to put up another two goals.