Capitals blow out Flyers 5-0 to win 9th consecutive game

- Justin Williams and Matt Niskanen each scored two goals and Philipp Grubauer stopped all 24 shots he faced and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to nine in authoritative fashion by crushing the Philadelphia Flyers 5-0 on Sunday.

   The Capitals lead the NHL with 63 points.
 
   Despite a sluggish start, the Capitals came alive with four goals on seven shots in the first seven minutes of the third period to turn the game into a laugher. 
 
   Washington has outscored its opponents 40-11 during the streak and passed the Columbus Blue Jackets for first place in the Metropolitan Division, Eastern Conference and the league.
 
   Andre Burakovsky also scored a power-play goal for the Capitals, who haven't allowed an even-strength goal in six games. 
 
   Making his first start of 2017 in place of Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby, Grubauer was sharp especially early and on five successful penalty kills. 
 
   The Flyers outshot the Capitals 13-5 in the first period, but couldn't crack Grubauer, who picked up the second shutout of the season and his career.
 
   Burakovsky took advantage of a brutal turnover by Philadelphia defenseman Michael Del Zotto to score the first goal midway through the second period. 
 
   Williams and Niskanen each beat Flyers starter Steve Mason twice in the first 6:36 of the third period to make it a blowout.
 
   Mason was pulled after allowing five goals on 17 shots and replaced by former Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth, who made five saves in relief.
 
   NOTES: Capitals D John Carlson left after the first period because of a lower-body injury. ... D Shayne Gostisbehere returned to the Flyers' lineup after being a healthy scratch Saturday in Boston. ... Philadelphia RW Matt Read was out after getting cut in the loss to the Bruins. ... The Capitals recalled F Chandler Stephenson to be their 13th forward with road games coming up. ... Washington C Nicklas Backstrom was honored before the game for picking up his 500th assist on Jan. 7 in Ottawa. Owner Ted Leonsis presented him with a golden stick to commemorate the achievement. ... The Capitals improved to 24-3-3 when scoring first.
 
   UP NEXT
 
   Flyers: Go on their bye week, which ends when they host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
 
   Capitals: Try to make it 10 consecutive wins when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday. Holtby is expected to start in the finale of the teams' season series.
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