The Washington Capitals showed no signs of their offence slowing down, and Philipp Grubauer put on a show as Washington dominated with a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Super Bowl Sunday.
Prior to puck drop, they also honored Alex Ovechkin for reaching 1,000 points in his career.
With the victory, Washington has won three straight games and nine consecutive home games, and rocketed to the top of the NHL standings with 78 points. They also have a seven-point lead over the Metropolitan Division.
Washington continued the trend of getting off to an early start. Lars Eller scored about three minutes into the first on a feed from Brett Connolly. Eller now has nine goals on the season and now has a point in three of his last five games.
Near the end of the first period, the Capitals struck again, extending their lead to two. Evgeny Kuznetsov started the rush as he came through the neutral zone with a head full of steam. After that, he fed a nice pass to Marcus Johansson, who ripped the puck past Peter Budaj.
Despite leading 2-0 going into the first intermission, the Capitals trailed the Kings in shots, 12-9, after 20 minutes of play.
With about 17 minutes remaining in the second period, Karl Alzner took away the puck from Matt Greene and passed it to Tom Wilson, who got the puck to Brett Connolly for his 10th goal of the season.
About 13 minutes later, T.J. Oshie scored his 20th of the season, thanks to Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Backstrom found Oshie in the circle, and he fired a bullet past Budaj, which ended up opening Budaj’s water bottle. Jeff Zatkoff would come in after, relieving Budaj of his duties.
Jeff Zatkoff would relieve Budaj of his goaltending duties for the day, and that marks one too many times this year that the Capitals have forced a goaltender from the crease. Los Angeles managed 15 shots on Grubauer in the second, but he stopped all of them, continuing his excellent performance Sunday.
Washington only managed five shots in the final frame, but Justin Williams scored one more late in the third, picking up his 18th goal of the year on a nice backhand shot.
Grubauer stood on his head, standing tall in the final 20 minutes. He made 11 saves in the third and 38 saves through 60 minutes for his third shutout of the season.
WSH- Lars Eller (9) assisted by Brett Connolly
WSH- Marcus Johansson (16) assisted by Evgeny Kuznetosv and Brooks Orpik
WSH- Brett Connolly (10) assisted by Tom Wilson and Karl Alzner
WSH- T.J. Oshie (20) assisted by Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin
WSH- Justin Williams (18) assisted by Marcus Johansson
THW Three Stars
Philipp Grubauer (38 saves)
Brett Connolly (one goal, one assist)
Marcus Johansson (one goal)
Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center, 7 p.m. EST on Feb. 7
Broadcast Channels: CSNMA, FSCR
Los Angeles Kings at Tampa Bay Lightning
Amalie Arena, 7:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 7
Broadcast Channels: NBCSN
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.