The Capitals got plenty of offense in the latest NHL 20 simulation, but they didn't need it as Braden Holtby turned aside 36 shots to become the team's all-time shutout leader in a 5-0 blowout of the Florida Panthers on Saturday.
Result: Caps 5, Panthers 0
1-0 Caps goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov from Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson
2-0 Caps goal: Nicklas Backstrom from Nick Jensen and T.J. Oshie
3-0 Caps goal (power play): Jakub Vrana from T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom
4-0 Caps goal: Brenden Dillon from Evgeny Kuznetsov
5-0 Caps goal: Tom Wilson from Alex Ovechkin and Brenden Dillon
How the Caps won
1. Fast start
What kind of a game was this going to be? We found in just 61 seconds as Kuznetsov wasted no time to get the Caps the lead. Washington would lead the rest of the way.
Carlson charged the blue line to keep a loose puck from getting out of the zone. He passed it up to Ovechkin who made a quick backhand pass to Kuznetsov in the slot to score the goal.
Florida somehow recorded 36 shots on goal, but did they ever really have possession of the puck in this game? It didn't feel like it. The Panthers had trouble defending against the Caps' offense as they struggled to keep the puck out of the defensive zone and struggled to get it out once it got there.
Florida also had no answer for Washington's physicality. The Caps threw their bodies around all game long to separate the Panthers from the puck and Florida just took it.
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3. A long-awaited shutout
It's been a long time coming. Holtby had not recorded a shutout all season long and finally got one in the final game of the regular season with 36 saves. The shutout is the 36th of Holtby's career, which gives Holtby the most in franchise history, moving him one ahead of Olie Kolzig. Or it would have of course if it was not a simulation.
In the few opportunities in which Florida did manage to keep the puck long enough to set up its offense, Holtby was there and gave the Panthers no daylight with which to shoot on.
This was the final game of the regular season. Check back with NBC Sports Washington for a simulated playoff.
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