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#CapsBlues Notebook: Back On Track

Caps run points streak to a dozen, score seven or more in consecutive games for first time in more than two decades.

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps / Monumental Sports Network

Three nights after their nine-game winning streak was snapped in a wild 8-7 overtime loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Monday night, the Capitals got right back in the win column on Thursday in St. Louis. The Caps continued to light lamps at a torrid pace, as they downed the Blues by a 7-3 count.

Each of Washington's 12 forwards collected at least a point in Thursday's win, and one of the hallmarks of the Capitals' current hot spell has been the contributions that have come from everyone, up and down the lineup. 
Video: Coach Trotz on the 7-3 victory over the Blues tonight
"I think everybody knows that since [head coach] Barry [Trotz] got here it's more focused on our defense and playing the right way, and the offense comes from there," say Caps forward Marcus Johansson, who notched his 15th goal of the season against St. Louis. "And then you have these nights sometimes where it feels like everything goes in. It's fun, but it's not the way we're trying to play. Obviously we're trying to score, but not win by 7-3 and scores like that. It's fun and we're enjoying it, and it's good to see everybody score." 

Four Score - Before the game was half over, Washington had received scoring contributions from all four of its forward trios. The Caps' bottom six staked the team to a 2-0 lead in the first frame, with Andre Burakovsky and Jay Beagle supplying the goals. Daniel Winnik picked up the primary helper on both tallies as Burakovsky scored the game's first goal for the second time in as many games. 
Video: WSH@STL: Oshie whips backhand past Allen from slot
After the Blues halved that lead just 19 seconds into the second period, T.J. Oshie responded for Washington less than three minutes later. Once Johansson netted the team's fifth goal of the game at 7:44 of the middle period, all four Capitals lines had been heard from.

Five Spot - For the fifth straight game, the Capitals scored five or more goals. The last time they had a run of five straight games with five or more goals was from Feb. 4-11, 2010. The first of those games was a 6-5 win over the Rangers in New York in the second game of the 2010 Mentors' Trip

The first three games of that five-game run were the final three victories in Washington's franchise record 14-game winning streak, achieved in the winter of 2010. That streak came to a halt with a 6-5 overtime loss in Montreal on Feb. 10, and the Caps lost by an identical score - but in regulation - in Ottawa a night later. 
Video: WSH@STL: Connolly, Johansson score 11 seconds apart
Seven Up - The Caps scored seven or more goals in consecutive games for the first time since scoring 10 goals (!) in consecutive games on Feb. 11-13, 1993, as part of a perfect four-game road trip. 

Washington embarked upon a four-game road trip on Feb. 9, 1993, starting off on the good foot with a 3-2 win over the North Stars in Minnesota. From there, the Caps went to St. Louis, where they downed the Blues by a 10-6 score on Feb. 11. Two nights later in Los Angeles, Washington pummeled the Kings, 10-3.

The Caps concluded that journey with a 4-3 win over the Sharks in San Jose on Feb. 16.

Collect All 30 - Caps winger T.J. Oshie bit the hand that once fed him early in the second period of Thursday's game, scoring against his former employers for the first time in his NHL career. With that goal, Oshie has now scored against all 30 NHL teams. He added Winnipeg and Florida to his victims list earlier this season.
Video: WSH@STL: Holtby rejects Stastny's redirect in front
Bouncing Back - Caps goaltender Braden Holtby made 22 saves to earn his 22nd win of the season on Thursday against the Blues. The win came three nights after he was pulled in an 8-7 overtime loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh. 

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Holtby is now 10-1-0 in starts immediately following a start in which he did not finish. He has posted a 2.06 GAA and a .930 save pct. in those 11 starts. 

"I don't even have any doubt that he's going to not rebound," says Trotz. "He's been outstanding since I've been in Washington. Every time that he has a game that's maybe 'un-Holts-like,' he responds with maybe one of his better games. Early in the game, he was the star of the game for us and then we got a couple of goals."

Holtby is now a perfect 5-0-0 lifetime in five career starts against St. Louis.

Streaking - Caps center Nicklas Backstrom assisted on Oshie's goal to run his points streak to eight straight games (four goals, 10 assists). Alex Ovechkin also assisted on that goal, and he has now collected points in six straight contests (three goals, seven assists).
Video: Andre Burakovsky discusses his success on NHL Tonight
Economy -
 Five different Capitals - Burakovsky, Beagle, Oshie, Johansson and Justin Williams - took exactly one shot on net in Thursday's game, and scored on that shot. Washington owned a 38.9% shooting pct. on Thursday, and the Capitals are at 22.7% over the last five games.

Catbird's Seat - With Thursday's victory over the Blues, the Capitals now own the best record in the NHL in terms of points pct. (.733). The Caps vaulted over Columbus (.727) and are now two points ahead of the Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division standings. 

With the Blue Jackets' 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, Washington is also the last remaining team in the league with a single-digit total under the regulation loss column (nine). 

A season after rolling up 120 points, the Caps are now squarely on pace to reach 120 points again in 2016-17. 

By The Numbers - Matt Niskanen led the Capitals with 21:42 in ice time … Taylor Chorney led the Caps with four blocked shots. Washington is now 8-0-2 in the 10 games in which Chorney has suited up this season … Brett Connolly and Lars Eller each had three shots on net to lead the Capitals … Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik led the Capitals with four hits each.

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