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POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Caps 2, Flyers 1 (SO)

Caps prevail in tight contest to extend point streak, Holtby cracks top 50 in wins, Carlson reaches 30 points in just 20 games, more

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps /

Baker's Dozen - With a 2-1 shootout win over the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the Capitals extended their point streak to 13, two shy of the longest such streak in franchise history. The Caps are 11-0-2 in their last 13 games, and their most recent regulation loss came a month ago, on Oct. 14 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Throughout the streak and the season, the Caps have been resourceful and creative at finding ways to win games and earn points. Nine of their 32 points on the season have come in games in which they trailed by two or more goals at one point, and they've won nine of their first 11 road games (9-1-1). Some nights, special teams comes to the fore for Washington. Some nights, it's 5-on-5 play and timely scoring. Goaltending has also been responsible for some of those wins and points.

Wednesday's win can be chalked up to some stellar netminding from Braden Holtby, as well as the Caps' improved attention to detail in their own end. Washington has now permitted two or fewer goals in four of its six games this month; it did so in just four of 14 games in October.

The Caps scored early in the first, and they held that one-goal lead for more than 40 minutes, until Philly tied it on a Claude Giroux power-play goal early in the third.

"Every time your goalie only lets in one," says Caps center Lars Eller, "you should get at least a point out of that. It gives us a very good chance to win and that's all we can ask. He certainly did his part tonight."

Video: Caps Postgame Locker Room | November 13

Working Overtime In Overtime - In the overtime session, the Caps were able to survive a frantic shift of over three minutes in length in which Nicklas Backstrom, Dmitry Orlov and Alex Ovechkin were all hemmed into the Washington zone while the Flyers had the Caps chasing them and the puck in 3-on-3 overtime.

When that marathon shift started, the Flyers had Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov on the ice. Philly was able to make three wholesale line changes while the Caps still had the same three players on the ice. On the second of those changes, the Flyers went back to their aforementioned trio, and got two-thirds of that group changed again.

"My mindset was probably, 'Survive,'" says Backstrom. "I thought we got lucky there because they kept bringing it out [of the zone] over and over again, so we didn't have to do that much skating. But obviously that's not a great scenario, having us out there for 2:40 or 2:30 [it was actually 3:08]. But we managed to stay alive, and finish it in the shootout."

During that shift, Holtby made two saves, Backstrom and Ovechkin each blocked a shot, and the Flyers missed the net once. Finally, Philly lost control of the puck and Ovechkin scooped it up and chugged toward Hart and the Flyers net with whatever fumes remained in his tank at that point. His shot went wide, and the shift mercifully ended as he barreled into Hart, knocking the net off its moorings.

"Those guys are used to those shifts that are 3:08, but they are usually on the powerplay," says Caps coach Todd Reirden. "But at 3-on-3, they battled. A lot of credit.

"There were many opportunities where they could have quit, and could have just taken the easy way out, and no chance. They recovered to the inside, kept stuff to the outside and that was a battle. They were in one there. I thought Philly did a good job of keeping possession, but for the most part, we kept them to the outside. We held them off the best we could, but that's the way it goes."

Video: Todd Reirden Postgame | November 13

Top Fifty - Holtby earned his 266th career win on Wednesday night, tying him with Felix Potvin for 50th place on the NHL's all-time wins list. In prevailing over the Flyers in a low-scoring affair, Holtby outdueled 21-year-old Philadelphia sophomore Carter Hart, one of a number of up-and-coming young goaltenders in the Metropolitan Division.

Like Holtby, Hart hails from Western Canada, and he grew up watching and admiring the Washington netminder.

"I'm just focusing on what I'm doing," says Hart, asked about being in a netminding duel with one of his idols. "Obviously, he played really well tonight. He made some big stops for their team. It is always fun competing against him. I know him a little bit. It was a good game tonight, for both of us."

Both goalies were excellent, though Hart probably faced more high danger scoring chances. Holtby was sharp with his glove hand, and was adept at finding sight lines despite traffic, and then using that catching glove to secure first shots, denying rebound opportunities.

Holtby was also asked about going up against Hart, and whether these goaltending battles are fun for him.

"Yeah it is," says Holtby, "especially when it's a guy that's fun to play against, obviously. [We have] connections in different ways. Being Western Canadian, I root for those guys. It was fun. It was fun to see him play really well and it was fun to compete like that. I thought both teams played really well."

With Wednesday's win, Holtby is now 8-0-1 in his last nine starts.

30 In 20 - Caps defenseman John Carlson earned the primary assist on Brendan Leipsic's first-period goal, running his point total to 30 (eight goals, 22 assists) on the season. Carlson has earned at least a point in 16 of Washington's 20 games this season, and he becomes the sixth different defenseman in NHL history to reach the 30-point plateau in 20 or fewer team games. Carlson is the first blueliner in the league to achieve that feat since Calgary's Al MacInnis in 1990-91.

Road Killers - Washington is now 9-1-1 on the road this season, and it has won four straight games on the road. Each of those four wins has come in overtime or a shootout, and each of the Caps' last five road games has gone beyond 60 minutes.

The Caps have scored the game's first goal in eight of 11 road games this season, and they are 7-1-0 when they do so. Including Leipsic's goal on Wednesday, six of those eight "first goals" on the road have been scored in the game's first 10 minutes.

When they won the Stanley Cup following the 2017-18 season, the Caps didn't earn their ninth road win until Jan. 2, 2018, when they defeated the Hurricanes in Carolina to improve to 9-8-2 in 19 road games.

By The Numbers - Carlson led the Caps with 25:52 in ice time … Richard Panik led the Caps with six shots on goal, while Carlson and Tom Wilson led the way with seven shot attempts each … Ovechkin and Radko Gudas led Washington with five hits each … Michal Kempny led the Caps with five blocked shots … T.J. Oshie won four of six face-offs (67 percent) … Oshie also scored in the shootout, and he is 44 for 83 (53 percent) in the shootout in his career. It's the highest shooting percentage for any player in NHL history with at least 60 attempts.

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