Caps Smack Leafs 5-1; Don’t Hit Nicky!

Chimeragoal

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Looking to extend their season-high seven game win streak, the Washington Capitals hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. In a match-up of possible first-round opponents, the Caps came off a shaky ending to their last win and played a game that was anything but against a tired Leafs team.

Jack Hillen scored (when doesn’t he?), Nicky got boarded, the Caps got mad, Erat got his first in red, the Brouwitzer a nice backhand shot was unleashed, Ovi had a scoar, and MoJo hacked one in. Caps smack Leafs 5-1.

  • In a nice gesture, the Caps held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of yesterday’s bombing in Boston. There were long lines outside the arena as increased security slowed entrance into Verizon Center.
  • Jack Hillen, man! The Minnesotan scored his third goal since his second son Knox was born just 10 days ago. The dude tallied just two goals during the entire year last season with Nashville. It’s been a remarkable stretch for Hillen, one which is certain to continue indefinitely.
  • Jay McClement did a bad thing. Late in the first, the Toronto center boarded (though it went uncalled) blonde beauty Nicklas Backstrom. Nicky’s face slammed into the top of the Leafs bench while Ovi hugged McClement super hard to show how mad he was. In the final minute of the frame, not always mild-mannered Jason Chimera dropped the gloves with Nicky’s aggressor. Given what happened with Rene Bourque, you can understand why Washington didn’t approve of McClement actions on Backstrom.
  • Congrats to Martin Erat on his first goal with the Capitals. The Czech winger crashed the net and made a sublime deflection on an Ovi shot from the circles. Craig Laughlin even named him the player of the game. “Why not give him a steak from the Palm?” Laughlin asked viewers.
  • Nice game for Troy Brouwer, who continues his superb season. In addition to his forehand, backhand, five-hole undressing of Ben Scrivens, Brouwer also ringed a cannon of a shot off the post. He now has 17 goals in 42 games. He had 18 tallies in 82 games last year.
  • It wouldn’t be a Caps game without an Alex Ovechkin goal. The Great Eight rocketed a one-timer from the circles for his league-leading 15th power play goal and — wait for it — league-leading 28th overall. Two points and five shots on the night for the Russian Machine. #OviforHart
  • Braden Holtby‘s shoutout was ruined by a third period goal by Mikhail Grabovski. Luckily, the Caps didn’t do their whole let’s be completely awful at the end of games shtick.
  • In fact, they actually scored a goal in the third (!) when Marcus Johansson knocked in a Mike Green shot that bounced off the end boards and into the crease. Ian was thrilled!
  • Karl Alzner had five shots on goal and Steve Oleksy had four. They do not normally have that many shots on goal.
Joe B. Suit of the Night

Joe B. Suit of the Night

Eight in a row! Granted, the streak will end sometime, but this team is bound for the playoffs and peaking at the right time. How’s that for a change?

The Caps will take on another plausible first-round opponent when they head to Ottawa on Thursday. Peter will be back with you and I’ll be on United Flight 897 to Beijing.

Stay safe, everybody.

Boston

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Hipwell/1147490604 Will Hipwell

    Ovi4Hart !!!!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.hennebury.33 Ryan Hennebury

    What a satisfying win to watch!! Nicky what a champ!!!

  • Akay15

    I’m having so much fun watching this team! And I miss Ovi chest pound celebrations :(

  • http://twitter.com/kat326 Rachel Cohen
  • http://www.facebook.com/shehryar.shaukat Shehryar Shaukat

    another great win! could the caps maybe, just maybe, pull an LA and destroy everyone en-route to a Cup?

    Chris, I’ll be tracking your flight to know that you’re safe :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1374634677 Anna Roscigno

    never lost faith with these guys, knew they’d pull the season around. Absolutely loving being a Caps fan right now…enjoying each and every game. having tons of fun…

    side note: why you guys sending Chris to China?!!! Does Peter want to see Chimera score THAT bad?! (;

  • JenniferH

    This is a playoff team. Period. :) GO CAPS!

  • sean

    I will be eating lot’s of crow if/when we get into the playoffs, 17 out of of possible 18 points has put them in a great position for a playoff run. I was also a Ovie downer, haters hate, I deserve it. But I can’t be happier. 8! 8! Rachel is such a nerd.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    LOLeafs. Nuff said. Almost as good as beating the Habs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005713165 Pat Magee

    It feels great to see our team play like this again. It feels even better knowing that (some of us) stuck with them through the tough times…. We can say WE WERE THERE WHEN THE CAPS TURNED IT AROUND!!!!!

    Also, how awesome was the Hendricks-organized PP at the very end?

  • Mike Dietz

    Awesome seeing Ovie stick up for NIcky. Thats what being captains all about

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Chris Gordon

    Ha, it’s only a short 16 hour hop!

  • http://twitter.com/kat326 Rachel Cohen

    And I’m darn proud of that fact! hahaha!

  • Mahesh Prasad

    No Chris you can’t leave the country during a winning streak!!!! It’ll mess up all our luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/djsalo Christoffer Salo Salomonsson

    Credit to Hendricks.. it´s not easy against one of the best PK i the nhl..