Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals reflect on their 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens, their five-game win streak and their two-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets in the race to win the Southeast Division:
Name that line: The top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson has combined for 22 goals since being united on March 17 against Buffalo. The Caps are 10-2-1 in those games. Here’s the breakdown for each member of the line: Ovechkin: 16 goals, 6 assists; Backstrom: 3 goals, 17 assists; and Johansson: 3 goals, 12 assists. Every great hockey line deserves a nickname, so get creative and leave yours in the comment section.
Struggling Semin: Before signing a five-year, $35 million contract extension with the Hurricanes, Alex Semin had eight goals and 22 assists and was a plus-9 in 30 games. Since signing the extension Semin has two goals, four assists and is a minus-9. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are dropping faster than the blooms off a cherry blossom. They’ve lost 13 of their last 14 games and have gone from leading the Southeast Division by eight points to trailing by 10 in the span of one month.
Breaking down Ovechkin: Of Alex Ovechkin’s 26 goals this season, 21 have come against non-playoff teams. He’s had the most success against the Panthers with six goals. Only three teams have held Ovechkin without a goal this season: the Islanders [3 games], Bruins [2 games] and Senators [1 game].
South-least: The Capitals are 12-3-0 against teams in the Southeast and 9-14-2 against the rest of the East. Theoretically, the Capitals could win the Southeast with fewer points than the eighth-place team in the East. The last time that happened was in 1999 when Carolina won the Southeast with 86 points, four behind eighth-place Pittsburgh.
Still the one: The Capitals went 0-for-1 on the power play Tuesday night in Montreal but are still ranked No. 1 in the NHL at 25 percent, well above second-place Philadelphia [22.9 percent].