The Washington Capitals are integrating a new coach, a new system, and a bunch of new players. Last week, they lost four of their best players, including their future Hockey Hall of Fame winger, Alex Ovechkin, to COVID protocol. The injury bug has also claimed two centers (Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller) their other best winger (Tom Wilson). They are already without Michal Kempny and Henrik Lundqvist to season-ending injuries. And, oh yeah, some guy named Michael Sgarbossa was their fourth-line center tonight.
Regardless of all these issues, the Cardiac Caps keep not losing in regulation and also sometimes winning. The Capitals have collected standings points in every game this season – a seven-game streak – and are 4-0-3. With their thrilling, last-minute win against the Islanders, the Capitals were sprung into first place in the NHL.
Tons of adversity. Most points in the National. pic.twitter.com/klVZQ0FhhQ
— John Walton (@JohnWaltonPxP) January 27, 2021
The Capitals’ reign all alone at the top began at 9:33 Eastern Time and ended one hour and 58 minutes later. That’s when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Calgary Flames 4-3 at 9:31 Mountain Time and improved to 6-2-0 (they have played on more game than the Capitals).
Eighteen minutes after that, at 8:49 Pacific Time, the Vegas Golden Knights, powered by a Max Pacioretty hat trick, forced overtime and eventually got a loser point against the St. Louis Blues, tying them with Washington at 11 standings points apiece (5-1-1).
So the Capitals ended the night tied for second overall in the league. They are also in first place in the MassMutual East.
The Capitals are one of only four teams to not lose in regulation this season.
Screenshot courtesy of NHL Standings page
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