With Playoffs Clinched, Caps Look to Fine Tune Vs. Nashville

The third time was the charm Wednesday as the Washington Capitals got win number 50 and clinched the first playoff spot in the NHL this season. Now that those goals have been accomplished, the Caps look to fine tune their skills against Barry Trotz former team the Nashville Predators.

Home Sweet Home

The Washington Capitals showed why they have the best home record in the NHL. They’re 27-6-2 (56 points) at Verizon Center and currently sit in the top four of goals per game (3.1), goals against (2.3), power play (23.7%) and penalty kill (84.3%).

  • Alex Ovechkin needed overtime but finally scored his 42nd goal after going scoreless in his last five games.
  • Braden Holtby tallied his 42nd win to break his own record from last season (41) as the most wins by a Caps goaltender in a season. He is now five wins shy of tying Martin Brodeur for most wins in a season by a goalie. He is 42-8-4 with a 2.22 GAA and a .922 save percentage.
  • The Capitals continue to struggle in the 1st period. The last six games, the Caps have been outscored 8-0 in the first period and have let the opponent score first in 13 of 16 games.
  • Trotz may experiment with the lines in the first to spark so scoring. Keep an eye on the lines when they come out Friday morning.

Solidifying Playoff Spot 

 The Nashville Predators sit 4th in the crowded Central division behind Dallas (93), St. Louis (91) and Chicago (88) who all have a playoff spot ready for them. The Predators are entrenched as the top wild card in the West with 85 points, nine points ahead of Colorado with 14 games remaining.

  • Former Capital Filip Forsberg leads Nashville with 28 goals and 52 points overall.
  • Another former Capital Mike Ribeiro leads the Predators with 40 assists.

Starting goaltenders will be Braden Holtby for the Caps and Pekka Rinne for the Predators. Rinne is 28-19-10 with a 2.44 GAA and a .910 save percentage. He has won three of his last five starts.

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