When you put together a streak of nine consecutive wins – remarkably, all in regulation – it usually involves taking games in multiple ways.
The Washington Capitals have enjoyed some absolutely stellar work from Braden Holtby during this stretch, but their 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres had a different feel to it.
For one thing, it was a brutally physical affair at times.
Beyond that, the Capitals found themselves heading into the third period fighting a deficit thanks to Buffalo’s 2-1 lead.
( … Hey, whatever works, right?)
With this latest victory, the Capitals stand atop not just the East standings – where they hold healthy margins – but also the NHL.
They’ve managed to outpace the Stars in more ways than one, as Washington has played two fewer games so far this season.
Will the Capitals remain the cream of the crop when it matters the most? That remains to be seen, but just about every sign points to this team being the NHL’s best heading into 2016.