LEAGUE-LEADING CAPITALS EXTEND HOME WINNING STREAK TO 10 GAMES
Five different skaters scored and Braden Holtby turned aside all 23 shots he faced when the NHL-leading Washington Capitals (37-11-6, 80 points) earned their 10th consecutive win at Verizon Center.
* The Capitals have scored at least five goals in nine consecutive home games. Elias notes that Washington became the first team to do so since the Calgary Flames from March 3-April 1, 1990.
* Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring on the power-play and ranks tied for third in the League with 26 goals this season. Elias notes that Ovechkin scored his 95th game-winning goal to pass Steve Yzerman (94) for sole possession of 12th on the NHL's all-time list. He also scored his 206th NHL power-play goal to pass Joe Sakic (205) for sole possession of 15th place in League history.
* Holtby has earned wins in his past 12 decisions (1.78 GAA, .935 SV%, 4 SO) and is 27-8-4 (1.94 goals-against average, .930 SV%, 7 SO). His seven shutouts are tied with Peter Budaj for the most in the League.
Video: Holtby, Capitals blank Hurricanes, 5-0
Home Team in Caps
BUFFALO 5, San Jose 4 (OT)
NY RANGERS 4, Anaheim 1
Calgary 3, PITTSBURGH 2 (SO)
WASHINGTON 5, Carolina 0
TORONTO 3, Dallas 1
St. Louis 6, OTTAWA 0
Columbus 3, DETROIT 2 (OT)
TAMPA BAY 5, Los Angeles 0
NASHVILLE 4, Vancouver 2
Minnesota 4, WINNIPEG 2
COLORADO 4, Montreal 0
WILD INCREASE LEAD ATOP WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS
Jason Pominville (2-2-4), Charlie Coyle (0-3-3) and Nino Niederreiter (2-0-2) combined for four goals and nine points to help the Minnesota Wild improve to 5-1-0 in their past six games.
* At 35-12-5 (75 points), the Wild increased their lead to five points over the San Jose Sharks (33-17-4, 70 points) for the top record in the Western Conference.
* Pominville matched an NHL career high with four points. Coyle equaled an NHL high with three assists.
Video: Pominville's four-point game helps Wild top Jets, 4-2
MATTHEWS NOTCHES ANOTHER GAME-WINNING GOAL
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (GWG) leads all rookies in goals (25) and game-winning goals (6). Elias notes that Matthews became the first Maple Leafs rookie to score 25 goals in a season since Sergei Berezin in 1996-97. He also became the second rookie in Maple Leafs history to score at least six game-winning goals in a season, joining Howie Meeker (8) in 1946-47.
CLUBS KEEP PACE IN WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE
The Nashville Predators (26-19-8, 60 points), St. Louis Blues (27-22-5, 59 points) and Flames (28-25-3, 59 points) each won to keep pace in the Stanley Cup Playoff race from the Western Conference:
* Four different skaters scored to help the Predators improve to 5-1-1 in their past seven home games. Nashville remained a point ahead of the Blues for third place in the Central Division.
* Vladimir Tarasenko scored two of the Blues' six unanswered goals to help them to their third win in their past four games. St. Louis leapfrogged the Los Angeles Kings (27-23-4, 58 points) and moved into the first wild card spot into the playoffs from the West.
* The Flames surrendered a 2-0 lead in the third period, but Kris Versteeg scored the decisive goal in the shootout to lead them to their fourth win in their past five games. Calgary also leapfrogged the Kings and moved into the second wild card in the West.
Seth Jones scored his third overtime goal of the season to move into a tie with Jaroslav Spacek for the most by a defenseman in Columbus Blue Jackets history . . . New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made a season-high 43 saves to help Alain Vigneault become the 15th coach in NHL history to reach the 600-win milestone . . . Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (0-1-1) moved within two points of the 1,000-point milestone (368-630-998) . . . Patrick Marleau (7-4-11 in 7 GP), Mitch Marner (3-4-7 in 5 GP), Nicklas Backstrom (2-5-7 in 5 GP) and Tyler Bozak (1-4-5 in 5 GP) each extended point streaks . . . Blues forward Ivan Barbashev scored the first goal of his NHL career (6 GP) . . . Sharks forward Marcus Sorensen collected an assist in his NHL debut . . . Bruce Cassidy was named coach of the Boston Bruins . . . The Penguins, Rangers and Sabres each held You Can Play Awareness Nights while the Blue Jackets and Bruins hosted community events, all as part of Hockey is for Everyone month. Hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree also attended the Ducks-Rangers game at Madison Square Garden.