Photo credit: Scott Audette

Photo credit: Scott Audette

The Florida Panthers spent their Monday night trouncing the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-4. The Cats used five powerplay goals to fend off a third period rally from their rivals in America’s groin. By now the Panthers are probably already on their way up to Washington.

Here we go. This is the game you’ve been looking forward to. Not the rematch with Tampa, the date with Pittsburgh, or Thursday’s face-off with Jagr. You have been amped for this game: Matt Bradley, Jose Theodore, Tomas Fleischmann– all your exes are coming over for a dinner party and it’s going to be AWKWARD.

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Four and Oh! Caps beat Sens 2-1 in Regulation

Marcus Johansson

Mojo scores on the wraparound! (Photo credit: Ann Heisenfelt)

The Washington Capitals hosted the Ottawa Senators in Chinatown for a game that– INEXPLICABLY — ended after sixty minutes. After three games that went to overtime and beyond, this slow Saturday night snoozefest was welcome.

On the power play, Alex Semin sucked in a few defenders before feeding Nick Backstrom, who scored from the weak side. Marcus Johansson’s wraparound goal was a thing of beauty. Peter Regin exploited the top line’s laziness to make it 2-1. Then about forty minutes passed without anything important happening. Caps beat Sens 2-1 (NOT OT).

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Photo credit: Adrian Wyld

Doug Johnson of PuckBuddys writes for Russian Machine. Tweet tweet.

Anyone who’s had the misfortune to spend time in Ottawa has had the quintessential Canadian city experience: clean, cultured, and quietly disappointing. All the maple doughnuts and Labatt’s in the world can’t hide the fact that Ottawa is as appealing as lap dance from Marcus Bachmann. Puzzlingly, everyone seems mostly OK with this… albeit in a polite, deferential way. Ottawantarians seem to take civic pride in their shared, outstanding blahness. Just look the Senators.

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Reactions to Jay Beagle and Arron Asham’s Fight

Jay Beagle fights Aaron Asham

Photo credit: Gene J. Puskar

Thursday’s game between the Penguins and Capitals was an exciting affair, but it was the third period fight between Jay Beagle and Arron Asham that got people talking.

Jay Beagle and John Carlson practice fighting last year.

After roughing Kris Letang, Jay Beagle was approached by Arron Asham, a known fighter with more than 70 bouts on his rap sheet according to The fight left Jay Beagle apparently knocked out, bleeding on the ice, and requiring help to get up. Asham skated away from the fight and made pro-wrestling-style gestures that could translate as “it’s over, he’s asleep.”

Beagle spit out blood, pulled out a tooth, and retreated to the locker room. As Beagle got up, Asham banged his stick from the penalty box out of respect. Arron and Jay served matching major penalties, Beagle doing so from off ice.  Also served by Beagle was the original two-minute penalty for roughing Letang. Asham was not assessed an instigator penalty.

We do not yet know the severity of Jay Beagle’s injury.

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Caps beat Pens 3-2 (OT), Jay Beagle Knocked Out

Dennis Wideman goal

Dennis Wideman celebrates his OTGWG. (Photo credit: Gregory Shamus)

For the third time in three games, the Washington Capitals required extra time to make a decision, and for the third time the Capitals proved themselves the better team. The Pittsburgh Penguins did their best to play a classy game of hockey, but then they realized they’re the Penguins and punked out. Read on and you’ll find out how.

James Neal was wide open to take a wide pass and make it 1-0 on the game’s first shot. Mike Knuble worked hard to kanoob the puck to tie it back up. Alex Ovechkin deflected a Mike Green shot that required a review to be called a goal. On a late power play, Malkin found Neal with a cross-ice pass to tie it up. Into OT and on the power play, Dennis Wideman put enough stank on the puck to evade Johnson. Caps beat Pens 3-2 (OT).

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Alex Reut's painting for Winter Classic and Lokomotiv tragedy

He’s baaaaaaaack!

Alex Reut, the man behind the not-at-all-cursed Capitals/Stanley Cup painting, is here to do some good. Reut is auctioning off the work above, and he will donate the proceeds to Love for Lokomotiv.

This is a gigantic link to the auction page.

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A time machine.

Doug Johnson of Puck Buddys writes for Russian Machine. Tweet at them anon.

We had too much to dream last night. Blame the cough syrup. Either that or this stuff really did happen. We’ve got dazed and confused recollections of hotwiring a hockey time machine, tripping back to the past and then ahead to the future.  We saw Gordie Howe play (when men were men), Steve Yzerman (when he was hot), and the Great One (when mullets were cool).  We took in a few Penguins games of yore (when a young Sidney Crosby taught us all how to laugh) and even dialed it back further to when Bruce Boudreau was slim …mer. Go Fort Wayne Komets!

Before dropping the contraption back off back at RMNBHQ (with a full tank), we bounced ahead to Friday morning to see how tomorrow’s game against the Pens turned out.  So this is in effect a pre-review, we promise only a few spoilers. If Thursday’s game doesn’t go as we witnessed it, that’s because Chris has been screwing with the space-time continuum-thingie again. Ugh, kids.

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Alex Semin: “I Don’t Understand These Rules”

Alex Semin shootout

Sasha scores on Dwayne Roloson to end the shootout. (Photo credit: @jlrpuck)

Two nights after scoring the Capitals’ first goal of the season on a breakaway, Alex Semin hit the back of the net again. This time, he scored emphatically during the shootout, clinching a wild 6-5 victory for the good guys. Sasha Minor, who also managed to rifle five shots on net (only Jason Chimera had more), also nullified a Capitals’ four-on-three power play during overtime with one of those pesky, offensive-zone stick infractions. Sigh.

After the game, Slava Malamud of Sport-Express once against caught up with Semin and the talented Caps winger gave his thoughts on Tomas Vokoun’s performance, the NHL rulebook, and the Lokomotiv tragedy. RMNB’s Fedor Fedin has your translation.

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Jason Chimera in Beast Mode; Will it Last?

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

#Chimdog. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

Something just doesn’t seem right when you see Jason Chimera among the league leaders in goals scored.

Ryan Kesler's leg

Ryan Kesler's mystery leg muscle

You expect it from Ryan Kesler Phil Kessel, who has scored over 30 goals each of the last three years. He has three in the season’s first two games and a muscle on his thigh I don’t really think exists, but I digress.

(I obviously had Kesler’s dreamy, muscular thighs on the brain and meant Phil Kessel, but I’ll leave Mr. Thigh Muscle up for your enjoyment. — Neil)

You expect it from Anze Kopitar, who I felt was an instant MVP candidate the moment they acquired Mike Richards.

But when Chimera is ahead of Alex Ovechkin in goals scored, you know things are a little wacky.

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NBA Lockout Turns Wizards Fan into Caps Fan

Craig Brownstein of Puck Buddys writes for Russian Machine. You will follow @PuckBuddys, and you will like it.

The NBA lockout continues. Getting a jump on last night’s breaking news about the first two weeks of the NBA season being spiked is Chris, one of the newer faces in Capsblogistan. Chris loves the Wizards and was a fan of all the DC teams except the Caps, but when he saw David Stern’s writing on the wall, he decided to dedicate his online efforts to the the Men in Red. From the mission statement on his site, CapsBasketball:

This blog is designed for people who never really watched the Caps but are looking to start now that there may not be an NBA. We can all figure it out together!  I have decided to “force” myself to watch hockey and to become a “hardcore” Caps fan. Has anyone written a blog about something they don’t know anything about before? Thousands of times I guess. While I’m writing this I could name maybe 3-4 players on the roster. This should be interesting…

He is a proud noob and doesn’t even try to hide it. His headline for a post ahead of Saturday’s season opener: “A Kid Named Michael [sic] Neuvirth Will Start In Goal Game 1.” His recap of the Canes game was entitled: “Caps Win!  Other Team Still Rewarded,” clearly mystified on why one point is awarded for teams that lose in OT. Chris has given nicknames to some of the players; Vokoun is “Tommy V,” and that just freakin’ cute. With even weaker photoshop skills than ours, he depicts our veteran Czech netminder as a raccoon. Also cute.

We’re sure Chris will pick up the nuances of the Caps’ playing style as well as the lingo and quaint customs that have become part of our lives: Carlzner, Grab your sacks, Baby Swede, Will be sick!!! hahahah))), Fancystats, Haagen Daaz, Sasha Minor, The Front Page, and some guy named Sir Ryan.

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