Friday's game was billed as a heavyweight bout, but it didn't play out that way. The Caps routed the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks 6-0 in a laugher.
How it happened: A three-goal first period gave the Caps control early. Jay Beagle snuck a wrist shot through the five-hole of Corey Crawford and Nicklas Backstrom scored just 13 seconds later on a tic-tac-toe play from between Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie. Connolly finished off the period with his sixth goal of the season. Chicago though they were on theThe Caps would add three more goals to complete the rout.
What it means: Pending the results of the Columbus-Tampa Bay game, Washington now owns the top record in the NHL. The Capitals extended their league-leading win streak to eight games and their overall point streak to nine. Washington has won six of their last seven against Chicago and is now an incredible 6-0-0 this season against the Central Division.
500: Karl Alzner played in his 500th consecutive game Friday becoming the first player in franchise history to do so. He passed Bob Carpenter’s franchise record of 422 consecutive games on Jan. 27, 2016. Alzner is now the third defensemen since 1943-44 to play in 500 consecutive games joining Jay Bouwmeester and Keith Yandle.
Hawks killer: Beagle scored twice in Chicago on Nov. 11 in the first meeting between these two teams. The veteran center has eight goals this season and four of them have come against the Blackhawks. He now has six goals in eight career games against Chicago.
You shall not pass: The shutout is Braden Holtby's fifth in the past 14 games. He now leads the league with six shutouts this season.
Full strength: The Caps have not allowed an even-strength goal since Jan. 3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Since then, the team has allowed only three goals, all three of which came on the power play.
Everything going their way: Leading 3-0 in the second period, it looked like the Blackhawks had pulled one back as a shot block by Justin Williams went right to the tape of Vinnie Hinostrouza who hit the net. Holtby immediately appealed to the referees for goalie interference as Marion Hossa appeared to hit the netminder's stick as he skated past. Barry Trotz challenged the goal and the goal was overturned after a review.
Look ahead: The Caps wrap up their three-game homestand on Sunday in an afternoon game against the Philadelphia Flyers. They then leave Washington behind for three games with trips to Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Dallas starting with Caps-Penguins on Monday.