The Washington Capitals aim to record a season-high fourth straight victory on Saturday night when they host the reeling Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Capitals won three in a row Oct. 25-29 before falling flat in a shutout loss to the New York Islanders Nov. 2. They’ve answered that setback with a 4-0-1 run, highlighted by a 3-0 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Charlie Lindgren turned aside all 35 shots versus Vegas and 93 of 96 to improve to 3-0-0 with a 1.01 goals-against average and .969 save percentage in November.
“There’s positive momentum,” Lindgren told Monumental Sports Network on Wednesday. “I’ve strung together a couple of good games in a row. Honestly, I’ve liked all four of my games this year. So that obviously helps when you’re feeling confident and good about yourself.”
Lindgren showed he was quite confident last season when he stepped in for an injured Darcy Kuemper and posted a 9-2-0 record with a 2.02 GAA and .969 save percentage in December.
With Kuemper nursing a nagging undisclosed injury, Lindgren has made himself look attractive as the No. 1 option in net for Washington.
“We’ll evaluate the starts with our goaltender coach (Scott Murray) but he’s earning an opportunity to get into the net — and he’s playing at a real high level,” Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said. “I don’t really look at it like, ‘Darcy needs to start here, here and here.’
“This is an 82-game schedule, and we’re going to need a bunch of different goaltenders. So, if that means Chuckie goes a bunch in a row, I don’t put too much stock in it. But I do know Chuckie is earning an opportunity with his play — and he’s playing at an elite level right now.”
Dylan Strome scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season on Tuesday. Defenseman John Carlson set up a tally for the second straight game to boost his assist total to a club-best eight on the campaign.
While Washington is ascending in the Metropolitan, Columbus has made itself comfortable in the cellar with losses in seven straight games (0-5-2) and 11 of its past 12 (0-7-4).
“I feel for our players right now, they’re working hard,” Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said after the team’s 3-2 setback to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. “They do so many good things that we forget after because of those little mistakes, and the first thing you know, the puck is in the back of our net.”
Defenseman Damon Severson scored twice against Arizona.
“We’re not quite getting it done right now. It needs to get done and the sooner the better,” Severson said.
Captain Boone Jenner, who leads the Blue Jackets in goals, is in line to play in his 675th game on Thursday. Should he take the ice, he would top Rick Nash for the franchise record.
Washington won the first three games of the season series in 2022-23 before Columbus countered with a 7-6 overtime victory on March 21.
–Field Level Media
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