Saturday afternoon the Capitals beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on the first half of a rare back-to-back of early afternoon marquee matchups. The Caps played a strong game, but even more noteworthy was that it occurred during the RMNBX party at the Iron Horse, which included a Pierre McGuire sighting.
The Caps outshot the Habs 30 to 22, and won the five-on-five possession battle as well with 43 shot attempts to 32 against. Forwards from all three lines scored, with snipes by Jay Beagle, Andre Burakovsky, and Nick Backstrom.
Nate Schmidt had an eventful game. He posted a stellar plus-10 in five-on-five shot attempts (78 percent possession) and was on for two goals for and one against. Breaking down those shots by quality he was also dominant. At even strength he was on the ice for seven scoring chances-for and just two against, and four high danger shot attempts-for to none against. That’ll do Nate, that’ll do.
We mentioned Braden Holtby above, and he has truly been on a tear lately. Over the last 15 games he has posted a .951 save percentage at five-on-five. His main competition for the Vezina is the Minnesota Wild’s Dubnyk, who has been cooling off. Over that same stretch Dubnyk posted a .924. If this trend continues then Holtby has an excellent shot at winning the trophy back to back, for the first time since Martin Brodeur did it in 2007 and 2008.
Chart and stats courtesy of Corsica.Hockey, as well as NaturalStatTrick.
Headline photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI.
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