Home Team in Caps
PITTSBURGH 5, Carolina 0
Vancouver 2, NY ISLANDERS 1 (SO)
TAMPA BAY 3, Florida 1
WASHINGTON 5, NY Rangers 2
CHICAGO 5, Montreal 2
Philadelphia 2, DETROIT 1 (SO)
Los Angeles 3, ANAHEIM 2
WILLIAMS (HAT TRICK) LEADS CAPITALS TO 12TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN
Justin Williams (3-0—3) recorded the second hat trick of his NHL career (also Oct. 16, 2006 at the Tampa Bay Lightning: 3-1—4 w/ the Carolina Hurricanes) to power the Washington Capitals to their 12th consecutive victory at Verizon Center. It's their longest such run since a franchise-record 13-game home winning streak from Jan. 5 – March 6, 2010.
* Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Capitals' 12-game home winning streak is the longest such streak in the NHL this season:
Longest Home Winning Streaks, 2015-16
12 – Washington Capitals (Nov. 21, 2015 – Jan. 17, 2016)
11 – Calgary Flames (Nov. 5 – Dec. 27, 2015)
9 – New York Rangers (Oct. 19 – Nov. 23, 2015)
7 – Edmonton Oilers (Nov. 20 – Dec. 21, 2015)
7 – Florida Panthers (Dec. 10, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016)
* At 34-8-3 (71 points), the NHL-leading Capitals continued their best start to a season (in terms of wins and points) in the franchise's 41-year history. They also improved to 18-3-1 in 22 games at Verizon Center and lead the Eastern Conference in home wins (18) and points (37).
* Despite leaving the game in the second period due to dehydration, Braden Holtby (20 saves) earned the victory and improved to 29-5-2 this season (1.99 GAA, .931 SV%, 2 SO). Holtby leads all goaltenders with 29 wins, three more than runner-up Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks (26).
BLACKHAWKS EQUAL FRANCHISE RECORD WITH 11TH STRAIGHT WIN
Jonathan Toews (2-1—3) and Marian Hossa (1-2—3) each registered three points to guide the Blackhawks to their 11th consecutive victory. The Blackhawks equaled a franchise-record winning streak set from Feb. 15 – March 6, 2013 (11-0-0).
* At 31-13-4 (66 points), the Blackhawks increased their lead to three points over the idle Dallas Stars (29-12-5, 63 points) for first place in the Central Division. They also picked up their sixth consecutive win at United Center, improving to 20-5-1 in 26 home games this season. The Blackhawks lead the NHL in home wins (20) and points (41).
* Toews registered his third three-point and second multiple-goal game of the season (48 GP). Toews' second goal was also his seventh game-winner of 2015-16, tying Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks for the NHL lead.
* With 50 career game-winning goals, Toews passed Steve Larmer (49 GWG) for sole possession of third on the franchise's all-time list.
* Hossa had his second three-point game of the season (also Dec. 17, 2015 vs. the Edmonton Oilers: 0-3—3).
* Patrick Kane (1-1—2) registered consecutive multiple-point games (4-2—6) and continues to lead the NHL in goals (29), assists (40) and points (69).
* Corey Crawford (27 saves) extended his personal winning streak to eight games, matching his career high, set from Feb. 20 – March 5, 2011. He improved to 26-10-2 (2.17 GAA, .929 SV%, 6 SO) and ranks second among all goaltenders in wins, trailing only Washington's Braden Holtby (29).
* Crawford, a Montreal-area native, also improved to 5-0-2 in seven career games against his hometown club.
TAKING THE METRO
The Pittsburgh Penguins (21-16-7, 49 points) and Philadelphia Flyers (20-15-8, 48 points) each earned victories Sunday to make up ground in the tightly packed Metropolitan Division, where teams Nos. 2-7 are separated by six points:
* Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves and Sidney Crosby scored twice to lead the Penguins to a 5-0 victory against Carolina. It was Fleury's third shutout of the season and the 41st of his career. He ranks third among active goaltenders in shutouts, trailing only Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers (71) and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers (57). Crosby had his third multiple-goal game of the season (43 GP) and has scored eight times in his past 11 games (8-6—14). Crosby has 10-32—42 in 33 career regular-season games vs. Carolina.
* Michal Neuvirth made 29 saves through 65 minutes and stopped two of three shooters in the shootout as the Flyers stretched their point streak to six games (5-0-1). Neuvirth improved to 10-5-2 (2.05 GAA, .936 SV%, 3 SO).
AROUND THE RINKS
* Nikita Kucherov scored twice and Ben Bishop turned aside 26 of 27 shots to lift the Lightning to their fifth straight win. Bishop picked up his third consecutive victory and improved to 18-13-2 (1.97 GAA, .927 SV%, 2 SO). He is 7-1-1 in nine career appearances vs. Florida. Kucherov had his third multiple-goal game of the season and stretched his point streak to a career high-tying five games (4-3—7). Kucherov leads the Lightning with 18-19—37 this season (45 GP). At 24-17-4 (52 points), the Lightning leapfrogged the idle Boston Bruins (23-16-5, 51 points) to reclaim sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division.
* Anze Kopitar (1-1—2) had his sixth multiple-point game of 2015-16 and scored the game-winning goal at 17:40 of the second period to help the Los Angeles Kings improve to 8-2-1 in their past 11 games. Kopitar, who agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Kings on Saturday, paces leads club in assists (25) and points (38) this season. Jonathan Quick (30 saves) improved to 8-1-1 in his last 10 appearances and 25-10-2 overall (2.10 GAA, .923 SV%, 3 SO). At 28-13-3 (59 points), the Kings increased their lead to 10 points over the idle Arizona Coyotes (22-17-5, 49 points) for first place in the Pacific Division. The Kings have won five of their past six road games and are 14-6-2 away from homer. They are second in the Western Conference in road wins (14) and points (30), trailing only the San Jose Sharks (15-6-2, 32 points).
* Ryan Miller made a season-high 47 saves through 65 minutes and denied all three shooters in the shootout to backstop the Vancouver Canucks to an 8-3-2 record in their last 13 games. Per Elias, Miller improved to 23-5-3 in 31 career regular-season games when he has made 40 or more saves. Miller's 55 career shootout wins are first in NHL history.
MILESTONES & BENCHMARKS
* Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo (29 saves) became the seventh netminder in NHL history to appear in 900 career regular-season games.
* Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley (800) and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Eddie Lack (100) also appeared in milestones games.
* Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had the 300th assist of his NHL career (613 GP). Toews, the third player taken in the 2006 NHL Draft, became the third member of his draft class to reach the 300-assist milestone. The others: Washington's Nicklas Backstrom (456) and Philadelphia's Claude Giroux (328).
* Forward Richard Panik scored his first goal with the Blackhawks (4 GP).
* Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton scored the first goal of his NHL career (39 GP).
Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (0-2—2) leads the club in assists (24) and points (43) this season (44 GP). ... Forward Carl Hagelin (13:15 TOI) made his debut with the Penguins. ... The Canucks have earned points in seven consecutive road games vs. the New York Islanders (5-0-2) dating to Feb. 3, 2004 (NYI: 2-2-3) ... The Lightning improved to 8-2-1 in their past 11 games vs. Florida dating to Oct. 10, 2013 (FLA: 3-6-2), a run that includes a record of 5-0-1 at home. ... Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov (0-3—3) had his sixth three-point game of the season (45 GP), two of which have been in his past three outings (2-4—6). ... Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (1-0—1) has scored six times in his past six games (6-0—6). Ovechkin ranks second in the NHL with 27 goals, trailing only Chicago's Patrick Kane (29). ... Rangers forward Chris Kreider (2-0—2) had his first multiple-goal game of the season (43 GP) ... Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin (0-1—1) leads all rookies in assists (27) and points (43) this season (48 GP). ... The Blackhawks have won six consecutive home games vs. the Montreal Canadiens dating to Oct. 18, 2006 (MTL: 0-5-1). ... Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban (0-1—1) stretched his point streak to five games (2-3—5). ... The Flyers have won five of their last six games vs. the Detroit Red Wings dating to Dec. 4, 2013 (DET: 1-4-1). ... Kings forward Tyler Toffoli (1-0—1) has scored in three straight games (3-1—4) and leads the club with 22 goals (44 GP). ... Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (0-1—1) stretched his career-high point streak to seven games (1-6—7). Per Elias, that is the longest point streak by a Kings defenseman since Dec. 10-28, 2005 (Lubomir Visnovsky: 1-11—12 in 9 GP). ... Forward David Perron scored in his debut with the Anaheim Ducks (16:26 TOI). ... Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (0-1—1) extended his point streak to five games (0-5—5). ... Goaltender Cam Talbot signed a three-year contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers.