CAPITALS CRUISE TO NINTH CONSECUTIVE VICTORY, FIRST PLACE IN NHL
Justin Williams (2-0-2) and Matt Niskanen (2-0-2) combined for four goals in a span of five minutes to help the Washington Capitals earn their second straight shutout and ninth consecutive win to move into first place in the NHL standings.
* At 29-9-5 (63 points), the reigning Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals moved one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets (29-9-4, 62 points) for first place. Washington ended Columbus' 16-game winning streak, one shy of the NHL single-season record, with a 5-0 victory on Jan. 5.
* Aside from the Capitals and Blue Jackets, two other teams have had winning streaks of at least nine games this season: the Minnesota Wild (Dec. 4-29: 12-0-0) and Philadelphia Flyers (Nov. 27-Dec. 14: 10-0-0).
* Elias notes that three teams (CBJ, PHI and WSH) from the same division have had at least nine consecutive wins in the same season for the second time in League history. The other instance occurred last season when the Montreal Canadiens (9-0-0), Tampa Bay Lightning (9-0-0) and Florida Panthers (12-0-0) combined for the feat/p>
* Phillip Grubauer (24 saves) earned his second NHL shutout, Washington's second in the past 10 days (6 GP). Elias notes that this is the first time in Capitals history that they have at least four shutouts in a six-game span.
* The Capitals also earned their sixth straight victory at Verizon Center to move into a share of the League lead with 18 home wins (tied w/ PIT).
Video: Williams, Niskanen lead Caps to 5-0 win over Flyers
Home Team in Caps
WASHINGTON 5, Philadelphia 0
New Jersey 2, VANCOUVER 1 (OT)
Minnesota 3, CHICAGO 2
St. Louis 2, ANAHEIM 1 (OT)
WILD RALLY TO PASS BLACKHAWKS FOR FIRST IN WESTERN CONFERENCE
The Wild scored three unanswered goals to overcome a 2-0 deficit and improve to 28-9-5 (61 points), passing the opposing Chicago Blackhawks (27-14-5, 59 points) for first place in the Western Conference standings.
* Minnesota extended its road point streak to 12 games (10-0-2), matching the longest such run in its history from Feb. 18 - April 9, 2015 (12-0-0).
* Devan Dubnyk (33 saves) has earned wins in his past eight road appearances and is 23-7-3 (1.78 GAA, .940 SV%, 5 SO). His goals-against average and save percentage lead all goaltenders.
* Jason Pominville ended a 19-game goalless drought by scoring the game-winner at 5:08 of the third period.
Video: Pominville nets game-winner as Wild top Blackhawks
BLUES, DEVILS EARN OVERTIME WINS
The St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils each won in overtime:
* Patrik Berglund scored his second goal of the game 51 seconds into overtime to help the Blues to their first road win against the Anaheim Ducks since Oct. 17, 2009 (5-0 W) to end a 10-game slide (0-9-1).
* Taylor Hall scored at 1:28 of overtime when New Jersey ended the Vancouver Canucks home winning streak at five games. Cory Schneider (21 saves) is 4-1-2 in seven appearances against his former team.
The Wild have won eight consecutive regular-season games against the Blackhawks since Feb. 3, 2015 (CHI: 0-7-1) . . . Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane scored twice and ranks second in the NHL with 47 points (14 goals, 33 assists, 46 GP) . . . Canucks captain Henrik Sedin had an assist to move within two points of becoming the first player in their history to reach the 1,000-point milestone (231-767-998) . . . Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (0-1-1) extended his point streak to five games (1-4-5) . . . Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom had two assists to reach 30 on the season and extend his point streak to six games (3-9-12). The performance came after he was presented with a gold stick in recognition of becoming the first player in Capitals history to earn 500 NHL assists.
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Islanders @ Boston, 1 p.m., SN, NESN, MSG+
Dallas @ Buffalo, 1 p.m., MSG-B, FS-SW
Montreal @ Detroit, 3 p.m., FS-D, SNE, RDS
Tampa Bay @ Los Angeles, 4 p.m., SN, FS-W, SUN
Winnipeg @ San Jose, 4 p.m., CSN-CA, TSN3
Washington @ Pittsburgh, 7 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, NBCSN, ROOT
Arizona @ Edmonton, 9 p.m., SNW, FS-A PLUS
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FIVE MATINEES HIGHLIGHT MONDAY'S SLATE
A seven-game slate features five afternoon games while Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed in the United States. New York Islanders captain John Tavares, who has five goals in his past two games, looks to continue his hot streak when the Islanders visit the Boston Bruins at TD Garden, where Brad Marchand had five points in a 6-3 victory Saturday.
The Dallas Stars visit the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center in Buffalo and the Atlantic Division-leading Canadiens visit the Detroit Red Wings for their penultimate regular-season game at Joe Louis Arena.
Willie O'Ree, the first black player in NHL history, will drop the ceremonial puck before the Lightning face the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center and the Winnipeg Jets close a three-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks.
CAPITALS VISIT PENGUINS, AIM FOR 10TH CONSECUTIVE WIN
The NHL-leading Capitals (29-9-5, 63 points) end their four-game season series with the Penguins (26-11-5, 57 points) when they visit PPG Paints Arena for their second game in five days. Washington enters the game on a nine-game winning streak, while Pittsburgh has points in each of its past 12 home games (11-0-1), including five straight victories. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby leads the League with 26 goals (36 GP) and Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom has scored three goals and 11 pointsin the previous three games of the season series (1-3-4 on Jan. 11, 2-3-5 on Nov. 16 and 0-2-2 on Oct. 13).