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#CapsDevils Postgame Notebook: Fourteen Straight

Vrana's first goal in front of the home folks helps Caps set franchise record for consecutive home wins, Holtby moves up the ladder.

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps / Monumental Sports Network

Most of the victories during the life of Washington's impressive 14-game, franchise record home ice winning streak were lopsided affairs in which the Capitals scored a raft of goals while permitting very few - if any - of them. In 11 straight of the 14 victories, the Caps scored five or more goals. The margin of victory was three or more goals in eight of the wins, and there were six shutouts mixed in.

The streak hit 14 on Thursday, but that 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils - the least team to defeat the Caps at Verizon Center, ironically enough - qualifies a bit of an outlier in the context of the rest of the streak. Washington's lone goal didn't come until the third period, and the victory over the Devils is only the fourth of the 14 games won by the slimmest margin of a single goal. 
Video: Capitals set team record with 14th straight home win
Mostly, though, Thursday's game was notable for being the most boring of the 14-game winning streak, and one of the most boring games of the season to date. 

Everything Pablo Picasso ever painted didn't end up in a museum. 

Remember a month ago or so when you took a look at the out-of-town scoreboard and saw 7-5 and 6-4 games and wondered if it was 1985-86 again? Last night, the out-of-town scoreboard showed two 1-0 finals and four 2-1 finals among the 10 games played around the league. Maybe it's just that time of the season again. 
Video: NJD@WSH: Vrana sweeps in loose puck for PPG
Rookie winger Jakub Vrana scored the only goal of the game on a Washington power play at 7:21 of the third period, and Braden Holtby stopped all 15 shots he faced on the night - four in the first period, five in the second and six in the third - to record his eighth shutout of the season. 

Vrana's goal was the second of his young NHL career, and the first he has scored in front of the home folks at Verizon Center. Both of his tallies this season have come on the power play. 
Video: Coach Trotz on 1-0 victory over New Jersey
"He skated and he was onto pucks," says Caps coach Barry Trotz of Vrana. "On the power play, you see his speed. He jumped on that loose puck and stuck it in the net. That's good, it's good for his confidence. Good for the power play; I thought they generated a few good chances tonight."

The Capitals have not lost at Verizon Center in calendar 2017. Thursday's win over the Devils moved this year's model of the Caps one ahead of the 2009-10 edition, which won 13 straight games on home ice. 

"We haven't let teams off the hook in this building," says Trotz. "We haven't let teams dictate who is in charge of this building. We've done a really good job of that, and we have last [line] change; that's always very helpful. And when we have all our lines [intact], we can make it hard for other teams to try to figure out which way we want to try to go with match-ups. I can move around a little bit and that really helps. 

"And we have a great crowd. You get to sleep in your own beds, you're comfortable with the situation. All that being said, we always want to win in front of our home fans." 
Video: NJD@WSH: Holtby stands strong to deny Cammalleri
Good Decisions - Holtby earned his 33rd win of the season, and extended his streak without a regulation loss to 20 straight (18-0-2). According to Elias Sports Bureau, Holtby is one of only two goaltenders in NHL history to have a streak of at least 20 straight decisions in a single season without a regulation loss. Holtby also had a 20-0-2 stretch last season.

He joins ex-Caps goalie Pete Peeters on that extremely short list. Peeters had a 27-decision streak (22-0-5) with the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers and a 31-decision run (26-0-5) for the Boston Bruins in 1982-83. 

With eight shutouts, Holtby leads the league in that department. He is one whitewash away from matching the single season club mark of nine he shares with Jim Carey (1995-96). Holtby notched nine shutouts in 2014-15. 
Video: NJD@WSH: Holtby slides across crease to rob Wood
Going Low - Six of Holtby's 31 career shutouts have come by a 1-0 score, and three of them have occurred this season. He blanked Detroit by that score at Verizon Center on Nov. 18 and also earned a 1-0 win over the Senators in Ottawa on Jan. 7. 

Holtby now has two 1-0 shutouts over New Jersey in his career; he picked up the first in Newark last March 25, with John Carlson's overtime game-winner providing the sole source of offensive support that night. 

Olie Kolzig holds the Caps record for most career shutouts by a 1-0 score (nine). Kolzig also holds the overall career mark for shutouts by a Caps goaltender (35).
Video: Holtby earns Thursday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout
Happy Return - Led by six blocked shots from Brooks Orpik, the Caps laid out to get in the way of 24 New Jersey shot tries in Thursday's game. Orpik, returning to the lineup after a three-game absence because of a lower body injury, skated 17:15 on the night, and he also paced Washington with five hits in the game. 

By The Numbers - Carlson and Kevin Shattenkirk each logged 21:24 in ice time on the night to lead the Capitals … Vrana had four shots on net to lead the Caps, and he managed those four shots with just 10:13 in ice time on the night … Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with eight shot attempts … Jay Beagle won nine of 14 face-offs in the game (64%). 

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