Verizon Center in midst of record winning streak

WASHINGTON — Come out to a game at Verizon Center, where the home team always wins in 2017!

Much has been made of the Washington Wizards’ recent home win streak, which has reached 13 games, dating back all the way to their Dec. 8 victory over the Denver Nuggets. But the Caps have a home streak of their own going, having won all seven home ice games so far in 2017, beginning on Jan. 1. That means no home team has dropped a game at the Verizon Center since the Caps’ Dec. 29 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils. The teams have combined to win 13 straight over a span of 25 days (back to the Wizards’ 118-95 Dec. 30 victory over Brooklyn) going into Tuesday night’s Wizards tilt with the Boston Celtics.

Long story short: Neither of the two teams that call Verizon Center home and are currently in season have lost so far in 2017.

Being only a few weeks into the year, this may not seem that big of a deal to you. But Verizon Center is the only arena in America with both an NBA and NHL franchise that can make such a claim. And this is the first time in the history of the building that both the Caps and Wizards have each won as many as six straight home games over the same span of time.

The Wizards won 10 straight at Verizon Center in the fever dream stretch of Gilbert Arenas’ transcendence in 2006-07, but the Caps couldn’t string together anything at home during that spell.

The Caps won 13 straight home games over two months during their 121-point 2009-10 season. But the Wizards went just 7-10 in D.C. over the same stretch, winning no more than three straight.

The Wizards had loss-free home streaks of several weeks in January, February and March of 2005. But the latter two were skewed by road-heavy stretches of the schedule, lasting just five and three games respectively. And, of course, the Caps weren’t playing, with the NHL on strike.

The Caps strung together 10 straight over nearly two months’ time, from Jan. 4-Feb. 23, 2000, but the best the Wizards could manage was three home victories in a row during the middle of that stretch.

But there’s still a ways to go to match the all-time combined home winning stretch set in 1989. The Wizards won 12 straight at US Airways Arena from March 1-April 7, with the Caps finishing their season on a concurrent eight-game home streak.

Matching that 20-game streak won’t be easy. Even if the Caps beat the Bruins (Feb. 1) and Kings (Feb. 5), the Wizards will have to take down the Celtics (Tuesday), Knicks (Jan. 31), Lakers (Feb. 2) and Pelicans (Feb. 4) to set up the 20th game showdown with … the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. If the streak makes it that far, though, surely the team wouldn’t complain.

So come down to Verizon Center, where the home team doesn’t lose. Offer valid only until it’s not.

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