Bailamos! Caps beat Isles 5-1!

kuzy

Tonight we dance.

Also tonight, we witnessed the emergence of Evgeny Kuznetsov as a Caps playoff legend. Scoring two in a thrilling home-ice win over the Islanders, Kuznetsov is all you’ll talk about on Friday. If someone tries to talk about something else, then you’re done talking to that person.

The Caps surrendered the game’s first goal to Josh Bailey, but don’t worry– the rest of this recap is gonna be a blast.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, the goddamn hero, batted a puck out of mid-air to tie the game, and then Karl Alzner (no seriously) stormed the net to give the Caps the lead after forty. The Caps blew a power play early in the third, but Brooks Laich grabbed a loose puck soon after to make it 3-1.

The flood gates.

In the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second of the night on a breakaway, and then Jason Chimera got a dribbler into the Isles net. And with that, at long last, the Capitals had chased Jaroslav Halak from the net in a playoff game.

Caps beat Islanders 5-1. Caps lead the series 3-2.

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Caps vs Islanders Pregame: Paging Enrique

We’re entering the silly portion of the first round, when accrued animosity and perceived mutually added tire pressure become Major Storylines. It’s so dumb, and I love it.

This tweet put it best:

Tonight the Washington Capitals return to the quiet, docile confines of Chinatown to play a hit-free and drama-less hour of hockey against the New York Islanders. No way we Bailamos tonight. No way.

The series is tied 2-2. Tonight’s game is on CSN at 7 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Red, Proud, and Loud!

loud

It’s possible that tonight will be the final Capitals game at Verizon Center this season. If the Caps lose tonight and on Saturday, that’s it for the year. That’s a bit of a downer note to start on, but I want the stakes to be clear: the family name is on the line.

So, Caps fans, do your thing. Judging by history, it’s going to be a big night.

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Caps Universe Celebrates the Overtime Winner (Video)

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

Where were you when the Washington Capitals defeated the New York Islanders 11 minutes into overtime?

Some of us were at home. Some were at Verizon Center. Some of us were being pelted in the side of the head by beer at Nasseau Coliseum. Some were preparing for postgame coverage.

The Caps and their fans were scattered but united in celebration. Follow me around the world.

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Brooks Orpik Hit with Beer Cup After Caps Win (Video)

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You’re supposed to wait until you’re in the dressing room to start crushing beers, but I like Brooks Orpik’s enthusiasm here.

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You.

You and I were not prepared for this game. We weren’t girded for the emotional tumult and unrelenting attack. We just weren’t ready. The Caps, though– they were ready. The Isles kept pressing– a ceaseless assault just like we saw in games one and three, but the Capitals had battened down the hatches and set the mainsail and whatever else.

Capitals captain and current Greatest Human Alex struck first, oviflecting a shot by Carlson after Backstrom’s o-zone faceoff win. Casey Cizikas knotted the score after a bad change a big rebound. The second period was packed with penalties, but the Capitals killed them all. The third period was a little more even, but neither team could hit the back of the net. And so, once again, we went to overtime on Long Island.

And then, Nicky Backstrom’s muffin gave the Capitals instant victory.

Caps beat Isles 2-1 in overtime. The series is new at two to two!

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towels

Photo: The Gormster

We knew the first round was going to be tough as soon as the Caps drew the New York Islanders. They’re a good possession team who kept the Caps hemmed in during the regular season, even if the Caps managed to win most of those games. But I don’t know if we expected the utter 5v5 domination we’ve seen in games one and three. The Isles have just owned the darn puck during evens. There are only three paths to victory tonight:

  1. PDO is magic: Holbest and Halak leaves the gate ooooopen
  2. The spirit of game two: the Caps must have drank their kale smoothies before that one
  3. Special teams are special: It’s time for the best power-play team in the league to show it.

I wanna see all three and bring a certain Enrique video into the postseason.

Islanders lead the series 2-1. The game is on CSN at 7:30 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Sudden-Defeat Sunday: Isles beat Caps 2-1 (OT)

hugs

Hockey hugs.

The New York Islanders were apparently unhappy with their performance on Friday, so they opted to pound the hell out of the Capitals on Sunday. Without Braden Holtby standing on his head, this would have been a blow out. It was a constant onslaught with immense tension. It was the Ardennes forest of hockey games.

Despite a ton of Isles chances, we were scoreless until halfway through the game, when Kyle Okposo deflected a shot by Lubomir Visnovsky to finally crack Holtby. With six minutes left in the third, the Capitals finally beat Halak with Nick Backstrom’s heavily trafficked shot– off the crossbar and in. That was where we stood at the end of rego.

John Tavares won it immediately in overtime.

Isles beat Caps 2-1. I’m crestfallen.

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Caps at Islanders Pregame: Noon at Nassau

Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

“He acts like it’s his.” That’s how my mom characterized Alex Ovechkin‘s celebrations for other players’ goals on Friday night. And while I used that to make a cheap joke about selfish Russians, my mom was right. Ovi got to celebrate four times on Friday night’s excellent win over the Islanders (one for him, three for others). It was one of the best games these Caps have played all season, and they’re gonna need more of it today on Long Island.

The series is tied 1-1.

Game starts a little after noon on NBC proper, so if you’re watching from brunch and Pierre mentions the Brandon Wheat Kings, take a deep swig of your mimosa.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Believe: Caps beat Isles 4-3!

File photo: You, while watching this game (Photo courtesy of You)

Without Holtby but not without hope, the Washington Capitals played desperate hockey on a thrilling Friday night duel with the New York Islanders. Down one game to none, the Caps started out without distinction. Into the two-goal hole they went …and then out again they came, furious and scoring.

If you believe in the Caps, this game is why.

Like last game, the Isles struck early– this time with Cal Clutterbuck scoring on a 2-on-1 rush just five minutes in. Ryan Strome’s second-period marker put the Caps in a two-goal hole, but Karl Alzner’s huge goal got the home team into the game. Kyle Okposo scored a seeming dagger shortly after, but a stellar rally by Washington led to Alex Ovechkin’s kanooblian goal just before the second intermission.

The Capitals drew their first penalty in the third period, so Nick Backstrom carved through the Isles defense to tie the game at three goals apiece. Jason Chimera, yes, Jason Chimera, gave the Caps the lead by conducting laser surgery on his own rebound after Nick Leddy choked up the puck.

Caps beat Isles 4-3! Series is tied 1-1!

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