In the Pittsburgh Penguins' last visit to Capital One Arena of the season, the Caps were sure to make it count. They dominated the rival Penguins 4-1 to pull within one point of Pittsburgh in the standings.
Despite the slow start and all the injuries, the Caps seem to be settling into a groove and have now won five of their last seven games.
Here are the top performers from Friday's rivalry game.
1. Braden Holtby
No, he did not get the shutout, but boy did Holtby look impressive. He turned aside 27
of the 28 shots he faced and a lot of those were high-quality opportunities. The Penguins are a fast team and that means they generate a lot of odd-man rushes and Holtby was up to the task. The only goal Pittsburgh did manage on the night was an unlucky deflection off of Dmitry Orlov. The win is the 200th of Holtby's career. He is the second fastest to reach 200 wins in history behind only Ken Dryden.
2. John Carlson
Carlson was all around the action all night long as he scored Washington's first goal and fired the shot that T.J. Oshie deflected for the second goal. He also did it while taking a heavy workload again as he played a game-high 28:43.
3. T.J. Oshie
Penguins defenseman Kris Letang took two penalties on the same shift in the second period, both against Oshie. First, he caught Oshie high with a cross-check to draw the first call, then he continued cross-checking Oshie until the referee felt compelled to give him a second penalty for cross-checking. It was only fitting for Oshie to score on the resulting power play after getting mugged by Letang to draw the penalty.
Honorable mention: Nicklas Backstrom
I know, I know. You have 3 stars, pick 3 players, but Backstrom needs a special shoutout for his pass to set up Chandler Stephenson. How the heck did he see that?