Capitals

Caps extend remarkable home dominance to 10 straight wins

Capitals

Final score: Capitals 5, Hurricanes 0

How it happened: Alex Ovechkin and Brett Connolly both scored on Washington's first five shots of the game, giving the Caps the 2-0 first-period lead. After a scoreless second, the game went off the rails for the Hurricanes in the third period as Lars Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 27 seconds apart to make it 4-0. Marcus Johansson added the knockout punch about eight minutes later.

What it means: Washington has now won four straight games and 10 straight at home, five of them shutouts. The Caps are undefeated at Verizon Center in 2017 and have scored at leats five goals in nine straight at home. In that stretch, the Caps have outscored their opponents 50-12. Washington finished its season series with the Hurricanes with a 3-1-0 record.

Goals

Capitals goal: Alex Ovechkin (power play) from Matt Niskanen and Nicklas Backstrom at 10:23 in the 1st. EDDIE Lack stopped Ovechkin’s first shot, but Backstrom fed the rebound back to the point for Niskanen who sent it back to Ovechkin. The shot was going wide, but hit off of Lack’s glove and into the net. Caps 1, Hurricanes 0

Capitals goal: Brett Connolly from Andre Burakovsky and John Carlson at 13:47 in the first. Connolly faked his initial shot which drew the defense out of position and bought him more room to work with. He used that room to fire the wrister into the net. Caps 2, Hurricanes 0

 

Capitals goal: Lars Eller from Nate Schmidt and Brett Connolly at 6:10 in the 3rd. Nothing complicated about this one. Eller entered the offensive zone on a three-on-two, wound up and ripped a slap shot past Lack. Caps 3, Hurricanes 0

Capitals goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov from Justin Williams and Marcus Johanson at 6:37 in the third. Johansson went in on net drawing Lack and the defense, then flicked a backhand pass to Kuznetsov who shot it in. Caps 4, Hurricanes 0

Capitals goal: Marcus Johansson from Matt Niskanen and Alex Ovechkin at 14:12 in the third. Ovechkin fired a shot from the office and the rebound went right to Johansson for the layup rebound. Caps 5, Hurricanes 0

3 stars

1. Braden Holtby: With the shutout, Braden Holtby is now tied for the NHL lead with seven on the season. As a team, the Caps have 10 which breaks a franchise record.

2. Alex Ovechkin: Not only did Ovechkin score the first goal of the game, but he was also strong on the forecheck, nearly scoring off a steal from behind the net. There were a few opportunities for the Great 8 to get an assist as well, with some great passes. He scores so much, it's easy to forget just how good of a passer he is.

3. Brett Connolly: Was there a better offseason signing in the entire NHL than Connolly? Based on what he cost to get and what was expected of him, I'm not sure any free agent has exceeded expectations more than Connolly this season.

Look ahead: The Caps host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday and the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday before the team leaves for its bye week.

Tell us what you think: It's time for the question no one wants to answer. With the ridiculous dominance this team is showing at the moment with 10 straight home wins with five shutouts and eight straight with five or more goals, is this the most dominant this team has looked ever?