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Prediction recap: Capitals defense steals the show against Canucks

Prediction recap: Capitals defense steals the show against Canucks

The Caps shutout the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on Sunday for their fourth straight win.

Here's a recap of the three bold predictions.

1. The Caps will score four or more goals - Wrong

Washington came within one, but it actually wasn't all that close considering goal No. 3 was an empty-netter. Jacob Markstrom played well for Vancouver keeping the Canucks in the game, but the Caps won this game because of a strong defensive performance.

RELATED: WILLIAMS DISCOVERS HIS SCORING TOUCH AS CAPS SURGE

2. Both Sedins will register a point - Wrong

Vancouver may not be a great team, but there's no denying the talent of the Henrik and Daniel Sedin. In two games against the Canucks, the Caps have held both Sedins without a point. That's no small feat. Tom Wilson, meanwhile, scored twice in those two games.

3. Alex Ovechkin will score a goal - Correct

Ovechkin snapped his seven-game goal drought thanks to his first-period power play tally. The pass came in behind Ovechkin so he could not wind up for the one-timer, but he still had plenty of time to corral the puck and fire off the wrister past Markstrom. That was some loose defending by the Canucks. Ovechkin should never have had that kind of time to work with on the power play and this goal shows why.

MORE CAPITALS: DEFENSE STEPS UP FOR CAPS IN 'ONE OF OUR BEST GAMES OF THE YEAR'

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John Carlson ties franchise record for points by a defenseman

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USA Today Sports Images

John Carlson ties franchise record for points by a defenseman

A milestone was reached Saturday in New Jersey. No, it's not the one you're thinking of. John Carlson assisted on a power play goal for Tom Wilson in the second period against the Devils Saturday, which was the 474th point of his career. That ties defenseman Calle Johansson for the most points by a defenseman in Capitals franchise history.

Nicklas Backstrom fed Carlson at the blue line and fired a one-timer on net. Wilson provided the screen and managed to tip the puck past goalie Mackenzie Blackwood for Washington's first goal of the game.

Carlson is having a brilliant year for Washington with 71 points, leading the league in points by a defensemen.  That also sets a new career-high for Carlson which beats the mark of 70 he set last season.

Johansson amassed 474 points with Washington over 15 seasons and 983 games. This is season No. 11 and game No. 749 for Carlson. At the age of 30, he has already carved a place for himself in franchise history.

While everyone was waiting for Alex Ovechkin to reach 700, history was still made on Saturday thanks to Carlson.

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Want to witness history? Why Saturday's game is a good bet for Alex Ovechkin to score 700

Want to witness history? Why Saturday's game is a good bet for Alex Ovechkin to score 700

Alex Ovechkin is capable of scoring any time against any team, but if you're trying to pinpoint when history could happen and see goal No. 700, there are plenty of reasons to be watching Saturday's marquee matchup against the New Jersey Devils (1 p.m., NBC Sports Washington).

In three games this season, Ovechkin has scored four times against New Jersey. On Jan. 16, he was bloodied by a high stick from Miles Wood and left for the locker room returning before the first period was up and scored twice. He did not just get mad, he got even and completed the hat trick in the third period.

Head coach Alain Nasreddine did not reveal who his starter would be in net on Friday, but it will be either MacKenzie Blackwood or Cory Schneider. Keep your fingers crossed for Schneider.

Schneider has not played an NHL game since Jan. 18 and was recalled from the AHL on Thursday most likely because Louis Domingue is headed out of town in a trade and the team wanted to protect the asset. Schneider has a 4.65 GAA and .852 save percentage in nine games. Ovechkin has also had plenty of success against him in the past, scoring eight times against the Devils netminder. He has only managed one goal on Blackwood, but it came this season on Dec. 12, 2019.

Ovechkin has a history of success against the Devils. In 56 games against New Jersey, Ovechkin scored in 22 of them. He has 29 total goals including two of his 28 career hat tricks against the Devils.

New Jersey ranks 30th in the NHL in goals against and, although they have improved in that area since Jan. 1, they still rank 21st in that time keeping the puck out of the net.

Add in the fact that the trade deadline firesale has already begun with the Devils shipping out Blake Coleman and captain Andy Greene in the past week, as well as Taylor Hall back in December, and this may be a team not ready to stop Ovechkin's march to history.

With Ovechkin on the verge of 700, there's no doubt that Saturday's marquee matchup (1 p.m., NBC Sports Washington) is one you won't want to miss.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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