The Washington Capitals came into the Verizon Center with a two point deficit to the Buffalo Sabres. They needed a big performance between the pipes onto even up Buffalo, who they play in a crucial show down on Tuesday at Verizon. They got it from Braden Holtby. Holtby stopped all 28 shots for his third career shutout and improve to 2-0-1 over the past week and lead the Caps to a huge 3-0 win.
After a scoreless and less than impressive first period, the Caps got on the board in the second period on a nifty pass from Alexander Semin to Jason Chimera on a charge to the net and a 1-0 Capitals lead. It was Chimmer's 19th goal of the season. The Caps would go up 2-0 on a similar rush to the net and a goal from Mathieu Perreault fed by a pass from Troy Brouwer on the Caps power play. Alexander Ovechkin remained on a goal scoring tear silencing the Wild in the third period to finish out the scoring. It was Ovechkin's 36th tally of the season and his 9th in his last 7 games.
This game was about Holtby who made some terrific saves in net. Holtby's shutout performance also gives Caps bench boss Dale Hunter something to think about comes Tuesday. No doubt Holtby has the hot hand, after being called up because of a nicked up Tomas Vokoun.
Washington is now tied with Buffalo for the 8th and final playoff spot with 84 points. The Caps Also got a game in hand to Buffalo and face the Sabres Tuesday night in DC.