Not to be overlooked from the Capitals' 2-1 win over the Islanders Wednesday night was the importance, once again, of Washington's new-and-improved penalty kill.
With a 3-for-3 showing against the Isles, the Capitals improved to 15-for-15 on the season. They're currently tied with Edmonton (9-for-9) and Florida (2-for-2) atop the league standings with a perfect penalty-killing effort. While four games may not seem like much, Washington never held opponents without a power-play goal for that stretch of time in 2009-10.
The key statistic within that unblemished record while playing a man down, though, is that Washington has allowed its opponents just 15 shots during those 15 power-play opportunities. For their three chances, the Islanders only came away with one shot on goal with the man advantage.
In a game where the Capitals were less than perfect overall, the penalty kill provided a source of stability. The new attitude on the PK, with shorter shifts and a more aggressive style, has paid dividends so far now the question is: How long can the Capitals maintain the success?
"It was great for us again," Matt Hendricks said after Wednesday's game. "We took that penalty toward the end of the third and it's a tough time when the game's tied at 1 but we were able to kill it off and the reverse happened to [the Islanders]. It showed how just one penalty can be detrimental in the course of the game."
Colleague Gene Wang talks to D.J. King after his first game and fight as a Capitals and discusses the chippy nature of Wednesday's game.
Dan Steinberg talked to Eric Fehr about his 6,000-calorie diet.
Box Seats fan blogger Kareem El-Alaily asks: Are the Caps getting a free pass from the media?
IN THE MINORS
A well-traveled Brian Fahey returns for his second stint with the Hershey Bears. (Tim Leone)
AROUND THE WEB
NHL Hot Stove takes a look at the top lines around the league and gives their points projections for 2010-11.