News and notes as the Capitals take part in a well-attended optional skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex foillowing Monday night’s 1-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers:
Perfect Braden: Braden Holtby’s 33 saves against the Oilers were his most this season and his shutout was his first of the season and 21st of his career. Holtby has won four straight and has posted a 12-4-0 record this season with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.
Those are numbers that should warrant strong consideration for Team Canada in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Holtby is now 4-1-1 in his career against the Oilers with two shutouts. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Holtby ranks tied for second in the NHL in shutouts (18).
“Shutouts to me have a lot to do with puck luck,” Holtby said Tuesday. “Sometimes you play a lot better in games when you get scored on three times. The main thing is just finding a way to win. That’s all that matters. Your goal every game is to try and be perfect but hockey happens and you try to take every shot as you can and try to help the team win.”
Charting Ovi: Nine of Alex Ovechkin’s team-high 10 goals have come at even strength. He has just one power-play goal on a league-high 36 power-play shots. He has had no power-play shots blocked, but has had 19 miss the net. So that’s one goal on 55 attempts at the net.
More numbers: Ovechkin led all skaters in hits (7) and led the Capitals in shots (5) Monday night. John Carlson recorded a season-high seven blocked shots and Nicklas Backstrom won 14 of 21 faceoffs (66.7 percent).
Margin of victory: The Caps have won by a 1-0 score 25 times in their history. Their last came on Jan. 14, 2015, against Philadelphia. Jason Chimera scored the game-winning goal in the first period and Braden Holtby stopped all 21 shots he faced.
Nice start: The Caps’ 14-5-1 (29 points) start is their best since going 14-5-1 to start the 2010-11 season. Their best sstart after 20 games came in 1992 when they went 15-5-0 (30 points).
Home dominance: The Caps are 8-3-1 at home this season, earning at least a point in six of their last seven home games (5-1-1).