The NHL All-Star Game jerseys are out, and despite the simple design, they have a classic feel to them with nods to the league’s centennial, as well as the Los Angeles Kings’ 50th anniversary.
Representing the Metropolitan, Atlantic, Central and Pacific divisions, the four different jerseys for each All-Star team — also inspired by previous All-Star games and Hollywood setting of the Jan. 29 game at the STAPLES Center in L.A. — include colors worn by the Kings throughout their history.
The Pacific Division will don the black jersey, the Atlantic Division will wear the gold, the Central Division the purple and the Metropolitan Division — with Capitals reps Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby — the white.
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The 10-star band near the bottom of each jersey represents a decade in the NHL’s 100-year history and is similar to the stars on the uniforms from the 1989-91 All-Star Games. And the font used for the players’ names and numbers was influenced by the famous HOLLYWOOD sign in L.A.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.”
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