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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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Prediction recap: Braden Holtby stifles Arizona

Prediction recap: Braden Holtby stifles Arizona

The Caps found themselves in a tight game in the third period, but a three-goal flurry led to the 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

Here’s a recap of the three bold predictions for the game.

1. Washington will not lead after the first period - Wrong

If you came late and saw the score was 1-1, you may have thought the Caps were looking ahead and got off to a bad start against a non-playoff team. That’s not what happened. The first period was arguably the Caps’ best of the night. It certainly was the most dominant. The game may have been won with a quick flurry in the third, but the Caps got off to a great start and lead Arizona 1-0 after the first 20 minutes.

RELATED: Capitals set a new franchise record Saturday night

2. Braden Holtby will allow one goal or fewer - Correct

Arizona had three shots on goal in the first period. Three. That’s not going to get it done against Holtby. The Coyotes made him work for it in the second and third period and finished with 29 shots on goal for the game, but if you spot Holtby a free first period, it’s going to be hard to beat him enough times to get the win.

3. Both teams will combine for fewer than five power plays – Wrong

This game wasn’t any more physical than I anticipated, but it was faster. That led to a lot of stick penalties. Both teams gave up a combined total of eight power plays on Saturday and all of them except Tom Wilson’s double-minor for roughing were stick penalties.

2017 Results: How does the saying go, one out of three ain’t bad? That’s definitely how that saying goes, right?

Correct: 37
Wrong: 66.6
Push: 3

MORE CAPITALS: Winnik comes up huge on a night when the Caps needed a hero

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Capitals set a new franchise record for home wins on Saturday night

Capitals set a new franchise record for home wins on Saturday night

With a 4-1 over the Coyotes on Saturday night, the Capitals established a new team record for home wins in a season by collecting their 31st victory on F Street.

They had won 30 games at home twice previously—in 1985-86 and 2009-10.

The 31 wins on home ice are also the most in the NHL this season. The Penguins are second with 29.

RELATED: Winnik comes up huge on a night when the Caps needed a hero

Braden Holtby says consistency in their approach has been the key.

“I think we’ve felt comfortable at home all year,” the goalie said. “We’ve been able to prepare and play consistently and not get too carried away trying to impress people. We’ve stuck to our game throughout the year. And it showed. And that’s good. That’s what we want do: make sure Verizon Center is a tough place to come into and play.”

Holtby also tipped his cap to the fans. Saturday’s game marked the 355th consecutive sellout.

“Obviously the fans help,” Holtby said. “Tonight they were awesome. [They had] a lot of energy for a Capitals against Arizona game that’s not exactly a big rivalry. They brought us a lot more energy than we would have had otherwise.”

Saturday’s win also helped the Caps maintain their three-point lead in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy, which guarantees home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.   

“Home ice is everything in the playoffs,” said winger Daniel Winnik, who scored two third period goals against the Coyotes. “You see teams that have won it, they do exceptional on home ice. We have a lot of confidence in this building and that’s gotta carry over into the playoffs.”

MORE CAPITALS: Trotz recognizes ‘greatness’ of Ovechkin's accomplishments