Caps down the Preds 4-1

The Washington Capitals defeated the Nashville Predators tonight 4-1 behind a 3 assist night from Evgeny Kuznetsov.  The red hot Capitals won their 4th game out of the last 6 games and improved to a whopping 51-14-5, accruing their 107th standing point and improving their Metro Division lead to 19 points over the New York Rangers.

Defensively, the Capitals defense only permitted 21 total shot on net, as Braden Holtby turned away 20 shots to improve his impressive record to 43-8-4 on the season.  Hotly continued stellar net play and increased his franchise leading win total to 43, which ranks 13th in NHL history in a  single season.

The Caps and Preds skated to a scoreless first period.  Former Washington Capitals top draft choice Filip Forsberg gave the Preds the 1-0 lead at the 3:30 mark of the second period.  That would be their only lead and only goal on the evening.  Daniel Winnik scored the equalizer at the 7:52 mark.  Winnik’s first tally as a Capitals was created by Evgeny Kuznetsov.  Suzy absolutely faked out the Preds’s defense, as he raised his stick for a devastating slap shot, but instead pulled back and passed it over to Winnik for an easy goal past an out of place Carter Hutton.  Less than five minute later, Suzy set up another Caps goal with an absolutely nasty behind the back pass to a waiting TJ Oshie.  It was almost unfair for the Preds in facing a magical Kuznetsov.  Despite two quick tally, the Capitals weren’t done in the second period.  Winnie would score his second of the game on a  wrister that Hutton just wasn’t prepared for.  It gave the Capitals a 3-1 commanding lead they took into the second intermission.

The final Caps tally came from Andree Burakovsky just 36 seconds in the final period.  Again, Burakovsky and the Caps could thank Suzy for another fine feed to a waiting Burakovsky in front of Hutton.  That capped off a 4-1 impressive Caps win at home.  Kuznetsov completed his fourth three assist game of the season.  For Winnik, it was his fourth career multi-goal game.

The Caps will next face Pittsburgh on Sunday in Pittsburgh.