This one wasn't close. The Caps scored early and often in a 7-3 rout of the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

How it happened: The Caps jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with goals from Andre Burakovsky and Jay Beagle in the first period. Jaden Schwartz pulled the Caps to within one early in the second and that would be as close as the Blues came. Washington scored four goals in the second period to take complete control and they didn't let up in the third period with Evgeny Kuznetsov adding the exclamation point.

What it means: With the win and Columbus' loss, the Caps now sit atop the NHL standings with the most points in the league (66). The win extends the Caps’ point streak to 12 games and improves their record to 17-2-3 in their last 22 games. Washington remains undefeated against the Central Division with a 7-0-0 record this season.

Switcheroo: Blues goalie Jake Allen was pulled in the first period after allowing his second goal of the game on just the third shot he faced. The move was only brief, however, as Allen was put back in after just 2:22. He was then pulled again in the second period after allowing just four goals on 10 shots. Allen is the fourth goalie to get chased by the Caps since Jan. 5.


Offensive outburst: Washngton has scored at least four goals in nine of their last 11 games. Over that 11 game stretch, the Caps have 54 total goals and only seven have come on the power play.

Spreading the wealth: Seven different Caps players scored on Thursday in the rout including Burakovsky and Brett Connolly as the third line remained red-hot. The third line has now combined for 10 goals in the past six games.

Look ahead: The Caps finish their dad’s trip on Saturday in Dallas. They return to Verizon Center on Monday to host the Carolina Hurricanes.