Caps beat Rangers 4-1, Looking Good for the Cameras

Brouwer hour. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

Just a few days before the Winter Classic, the New York Rangers visited the Washington Capitals ready for their close-up. The Caps showed up to play though, and we got to see one of the better overall games of the season.

Marcus Johansson scored the first of the game by cleaning up a rebound off a Jeff Halpern shot that he set up. Brandon Dubinsky converted on a breakaway to tie it after one period. Troy Brouwer snapped a streak of bad luck by tipping in a Jeff Halpern/John Carlson collaboration. Alex Ovechkin leveled a hit to open up a turnover, which Nick Backstrom turned into a breakaway by passing it to Alex Semin, who made the game’s fourth tally look easy. Late in the game, Alex Semin scored again, sailing one past Biron. Caps beat Rangers 4-1.

Via @KnublesKnights

  • The Capitals Penalty Kill was mostly splendid, limiting the Rangers to 8 shots, 0 goals, and 1 kick on 5 opportunities. It was dominating, and credit is owed to Dennis Wideman, Roman Hamrlik, Nick Backstrom, and Troy Brouwer– your shorthanded ice-time leaders.
  • Welcome back to active play, Jay Beagle. Given the disappointment around the league over concussions, every guy who gets healthy and back on the ice is a little victory. 5:55 TOI.
  • Alex Ovechkin was a bulldozer. A bulldozer that generates a lot of turnovers and odd-man rushes-against.
  • Troy Brouwer spazzed out on a wide-open net, missing a crucial power play chance. A few minutes later, he had a shot but chose to defer, passing to Ovechkin instead. Considering that and his 1 point in the previous 8 games, Brouwer’s confidence might have been in question. But then he camped out in front of Martin Biron to tip in Jeff Halpern’s shot.
  • Goodness gracious. When he shows up, Alex Semin can play some freaking hockey. That’ is all. Two goals for him and two assists for his brovechkin.
  • It’s not all good news. The Capitals still took well over 10 minutes to get into this game.
  • And that was the final Caps game ever to be broadcast on Versus. It was packed with fact-free analysis, weird camera angles, and a 3:4 ratio (on Comcast) that made everyone look like Tyrion Lannister. The channel will transmogrify into NBC Sports on January 2nd.
  • Mike Knuble Watch:  1 shot, 1 hit, 1 set-up of what would’ve been a goal on another line, 1 start in the offensive zone, 1 super long close-up of him on the bench looking up without any relevant commentary by the Versus team. TOI: 9:25.

And because this game was on Versus, there will be no Joe B suit of the night. Instead, please settle for the Alan May Tweet of the Night:

#Caps are playing a "stiff hockey team" let's see how "stiff" you are #Caps, are you "stiff" enough to win that inch?

 

After a slow start, the Capitals were brilliant tonight. Hopefully this is more than a win. Hopefully this is a precedent for the rest of the season and beyond. They’re now 1 point out of the playoffs.

Have a great night, everybody. Buffaslugs again on Friday!

  • Missy

    Sasha must have been watching the part of the Versus pre-game where Milbury stated “the problem with Alex Semin is that Alex Semin doesn’t care.” 

  • J.P.

    Nice game, boys! Thanks for not being marshmallows tonight.

  • http://twitter.com/chukwukamso Jack Barry

    If the caps choose not to renew D-Hizzle’s contract at the end of the season, they should hire the tweets of Alan May to replace him.  They don’t even need him, just a scrolling feed of his twitter on a plasma in the locker room.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DavidCRothman David C. Rothman

    Yeah I don’t know…didn’t we say the Caps turned the corner after beating Toronto…and then again after beating Nashville? A solid win for sure, but they need to string together a few wins before I’m convinced. 

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  • T Namb

    If only it were a victory against Lundqvist…

  • Daniel

    This team is the definition of inconsistent.  Until I actually see them play this way for 5+ games(at least), im not reading much into this win.  

  • T. Namb

    Agreed.  It’s good to see that they have the capability to pull off a good win, but let’s see if they have the motivation to work every game.

  • 28ISGREAT

    I could hear my Rangers jerseyed family crying in front of their televisions all the way from the 400 section!  Way to go Caps!   Looking forward to the HBO reCAP just to rub salt in their wounded pride!

    Though on a side note – can anyone else believe the Rangers sit atop the Eastern Conference standings!? 

  • Seminlover

    The Rags have always been a couple pieces away.  Richards, the emergence of Stepan, and Gaborik back at the top of his game have taken the Rangers to the next level, one they’ve been a stones throw away from for the past couple of seaons.