Caps Today and Game Notes for vs San Jose

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Caps Today and Game Notes for vs San Jose

Postby Bob 0119 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:09 am

Today’s Storyline

Solving Nabokov – The Capitals have not beaten the San Jose Sharks since Feb. 20, 1999, and they have never beaten the Sharks while Evgeni Nabokov is the opposing goaltender. Nabokov is a perfect 8-0-0 against Washington in eight career starts and has a 1.98 goals-against average against the Caps. This season Nabokov is 3-1-1 with a 2.68 GAA and a .901 save percentage.


Summit meeting –Thursday night's game, San Jose 's first visit to Washington since Feb. 21, 2007, features two of the top four teams from last year's regular season. It also features four of the top five scorers in the league (Alex Ovechkin has 12 points, Nicklas Backstrom, Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton have 10 each) and four of the top eight goal scorers (Heatley, Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Patrick Marleau have five goals each).


Streaking Sharks – San Jose has won 11 in a row against Washington , dating to a 3-1 Caps win at Verizon Center Feb. 20, 1999. Sergei Gonchar had a pair of power-play goals in that game. It's Washington 's longest current losing streak against any team in the league and its second-longest losing streak against a team all-time (the Caps lost their first 23 games against Montreal , 10/31/74-3/25/78).

Starting strong– Goaltender Jose Theodore has a .930 save percentage in his four starts this season (107 saves, 8 GA). His .908 save percentage on the season ranks seventh in the league among goalies who have made at least four starts (through Tuesday's games).

Doubled over– Alex Ovechkin has averaged two points per game through the first six games of the season, moving from 11th to eighth place among Capitals' all-time scorers (passing Dennis Maruk last game). He has three times as many points as he did through six games last season and five more points than he has ever had through six games.

Tough road –Tonight is Washington 's seventh game of the season, and six of those opponents were playoff teams a year ago. The Capitals' first seven opponents averaged 104 points in the standings last season.

Top of the heap –Alex Ovechkin (432 points) and Joe Thornton (431 points) have the most points in the NHL since the 2004-05 work stoppage by a large margin (Sidney Crosby, 402, is next). Ovechkin leads in goals in that time (224, 30 more than Ilya Kovalchuk), while Thornton leads in assists (325, 53 more than Marc Savard).
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