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The Caps set a franchise record with an unsightly win Thursday

The Caps set a franchise record with an unsightly win Thursday

It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win is a win.

And Thursday night’s 1-0 triumph over the Devils was record-breaking.

The Caps have now won 14 straight games at Verizon Center, establishing a new franchise mark in that category. (Washington won 13 in a row on F Street from January-March of the 2009-10 season.)

Here are some statistical highlights from the Caps’ current run in Chinatown:

  • Their last defeat on home ice was to the Devils, 2-1 in the shootout, way back on Dec. 29—63 days ago.
  • Since that game, Alex Ovechkin and Co. have outscored opponents 65-20 at home.
  • All but one of the wins came in regulation. (They beat the Maple Leafs in overtime on Jan. 3.)
  • Six of the wins have come via shutout. (Columbus, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Carolina and New Jersey.)
  • The Caps now own more home wins—26—than anyone else. Pittsburgh is second with 25.
  • Braden Holtby has won 11 of the games, while Philipp Grubauer has chipped in with three wins.

RELATED: So far, so good for Kevin Shattenkirk's adjustment to Caps

Coach Barry Trotz pointed to a few factors for his team’s dominance at home.

“We haven’t let teams off the hook in this building,” Trotz said. “We haven’t let teams dictate who’s in charge of this building. We’ve done a really good job of that. We have last [line] change, and that’s always very helpful. And when we have all of our lines, we can make it hard for other teams to figure out which way we want to go on matchups—I can move it around a little bit. That really helps.”

“And,” Trotz added, “we have a great crowd.”

Just as he said that, a fan who was watching the press conference nearby yelled, “Yeah!”

To which Trotz responded, “Yes you are.”

“You get to sleep in your own beds,” Trotz continued. “You’re comfortable with the situation. All that being said, we want to win in front of our home fans.”

A win is indeed a win, but this was an unsightly one. The Devils registered a season-low 15 shots on goal. It was also the fewest shots for a Capitals’ opponent this season.

Through 40 minutes, in fact, the visitors had just put just nine pucks on Holtby, who posted his NHL-leading eighth shutout of the season.  

“It was more of a game that everyone thinks is out of the NHL,” Holtby cracked. “It was like going back in time and playing the old Devils. I don’t think we created too many hockey fans tonight.”

Trotz agreed that the game was not aesthetically pleasing but he was happy that his team adapted to the grinding style of play and managed to get both standings points.

“We talked about when you play the Devils, especially when they go on the road, they are probably stingier, a little more patient,” he said. “They work very, very hard. They’ve got a lot of structure. You have to sometimes play the game that is presented.”

MORE CAPITALS: Caps outlast Devils to set franchise record

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Previewing the prospects with Hershey Bears HC Troy Mann


Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Previewing the prospects with Hershey Bears HC Troy Mann

We're officially in the dog days of summer.

But that doesn't mean there aren't Capitals topics to touch on.

The summer is the perfect time to take a look at the latest crop of Capitals stars and that begins in Hershey.

On the latest episode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast, Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir are joined by Bears head coach Troy Mann, who has led the Bears to two division titles and trip to the Calder Cup Finals in his first three seasons at the helm.

With prospects like Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker and Madison Bowey getting some much needed experience in Hershey, nobody knows the Capitals top prospects better than Mann.

PROSPECT PREVIEWS: Jakub Vrana | Nathan Walker

LAter in the podcast, Jill & Tarik touch on the offseason, and how they balance vacations with work life. 

The podcast wraps up with a very special shoutout to our Capitals digital producer JJ Regan and his wife, who welcomed their first child into the world last week.

Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcastsAudioboom and Google Play and give us a good review!

For the latest Caps coverage be sure to follow @CSNCapitals@TarikCSN@JillCSN and @JJReganCSN on Twitter.

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Capitals 2017-18 Prospect Preview: Nathan Walker

Capitals 2017-18 Prospect Preview: Nathan Walker

As we skate toward the start of the 2017-18 NHL Regular Season, our CSN Capitals team of Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir detail and analyze the Capitals roster.

They will take a look at breakout candidates, prospects on the rise, players in need of improvement and a look at the rest of the Metropolitan Division, all leading up to the start of the NHL regular season.

It's time to take a look at which top prospects have the tools to become a full-time NHL player and what they have to do to get the call-up from Hershey.

Our first entry was Jakub Vrana.

Next up is Nathan Walker, who is on pace to become the first Australian to play in an NHL game.

PROSPECT PODCAST: Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann



Position: Left Wing
Age: 23
Height: 5-8
Weight:186 pounds
Contract: Two-Way. Two-year, $1.3 Million (2017)

AHL Seasons: 4 (202 games)
2016-17 AHL Stats: 58 games, 11 goals, 12 assists
NHL Seasons: 0
2016-17 NHL Stats: None

PREVIEWING 2017-18 BREAKOUT CANDIDATES: Tom Wilson | Brett Connolly | Andre Burakovsky

Tarik El-Bashir's Prospect Preview:
After spending a few seasons in the minors, it looks like Nathan Walker’s time has finally arrived. 

Although nothing is set in stone, the 2014 third-round pick appears to be in good position to skate on the Caps’ fourth line in 2017-18, potentially in the spot previously occupied by Daniel Winnik.  

Walker is listed at 5 foot 8, 186-pounds, but he makes up for that lack of size by playing with a noticeable edge.

In fact, the Australian winger has on more than one occasion referred to himself as a bit of a “pest” on the ice. Indeed, Walker finishes his hits, stands up for his teammates and doesn’t back down. Last preseason, if you recall, he squared up with Andrew Shaw after Shaw plastered fellow prospect Connor Hobbs with a dangerous hit. That fight typified Walker’s game.  

Walker can put up stats, too. Two years ago in Hershey he amassed 17 goals and 24 assists in 73 games.

And it’s that mix of feistiness and offensive upside that makes him an intriguing player—and a solid candidate to lock down a spot on the opening night roster.


Jill Sorenson's Prospect Analysis:
What He Has:
 "He plays with just a bit of an edge. I look at him and always think 'bulldog.' He's willing to make those sacrifices, go into the hard areas, and net-front pressence is something this team will absolutely need, especially with the loss of Marcus Johannson. He goes into the coach's office and asks about areas he can improve in. He gets it. It works well in that locker room."

What He Needs to Do: "He needs to pace himself. He's the type of guy who needs to be told when to turn the lights out at night."