Deal from Strength: Caps beat Blue Jackets 6-3

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If the Caps didn’t deal from strength, they would get crushed every time, that’s what I always say. Facing the Columbus Blue Jackets in enemy territory, Washington clinged to their guns, you betcha, refusing to lead from behind and definitely not pussy-footing around. Although they allowed the first goal, the Caps fought back their sovereignty. Evgeny Kuznetsov mastered the art of the deal, and Nick Backstrom made hockey great again.

To be sporting, Washington let Columbus score first, giving Kerby Rychel his first career NHL goal. Then it was the Caps’ turn. Nick Backstrom finished an impressive passing sequence by the first line, then Jason Chimera got served a tasty meal by Marcus Johansson.

Up a goal in the second period, the Caps kept pressing. On a four-minute power play, they struck twice– first by Alex Ovechkin from the Ovi spot and then from Nick Backstrom tipping in Kuznetsov’s pass. Boone Jenner scored, but we didn’t care because Andre Burakovsky struck back right after.

Ryan Murray scored in the third and I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care. Marcus Johansson got an empty-netter with 30 seconds left.

Caps beat Blue Jackets 6-3!

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Caps vs Rangers Pregame: Laid Low by Buffalo

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Photo: Bill Wippert

Last night didn’t work out great for the Washington Capitals. Outplayed and outscored by a scrappy upstart Buffalo Sabres team, the Caps had one of those rare losses. Today at 5 PM they’ll be in peril of doing it again at the hands of New York Rangers, a team headed in the opposite direction of the Sabres but just as dangerous.

Tune in at 5 PM on CSN. Chris Gordon will have your deep-tissue Swedish massage with aromatherapy and recap.

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Caps at Sabres Pregame: Mike Richards Is In

Photo: Amanda Bowen

I used to like the Sabres. I thought, hey, they’re on the upswing, they’re young and resurgent, they’ve got a good coach and a good fanbase, which includes our own Amanda Bowen.

But then those last two games happened. The Caps beat the Sabres twice in back-to-back games at the end of 2015, but those were testy games with bad hits and facepunches. I did not like those games, even though the Caps won both with a combined score of 7-2.

Let’s see if Buffalo still remembers those twin embarrassments. Caps at Sabres tonight at 7 PM on CSN-Plus. Mike Richards is in the lineup. Chris Gordon has your recap.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 33-7-3 52.0% 102.3 26.1% 85.0%
Buffalo Sabres 17-23-4 46.5% 98.7 19.4% 77.5%

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Youth Gone Wild: Caps beat Canucks 4-1

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This kid is all of us.

After a long layoff, the Caps returned to action for a win over the Vancouver Canucks that was never really in doubt. The new young guns of Washington made sure of that.

The first period was quiet, but Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov combined to score after a power play expired in the second. Known goal-scorer Karl Alzner dug the two-goal hole with a knuckler that beat a distracted but still lusciously haired Ryan Miller.

Tom Wilson scored in the third, thanks to terrific work along the boards by Burakovsky and Kuznetsov. Holtby lost the shutout to a Vrbata goal halfway through the third, but Evgeny Kuznetsov got the last laugh with a last second goal.

Caps beat Canucks 4-1!

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Tom Green To Do “Unleash the Fury” Live This Weekend

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Comedian Tom Green will be in town this weekend for a pair of shows at the Arlington Drafthouse. By way of Elliot in the Morning, we hear Green will also attend a Caps game, either Thursday’s game against the Canucks or maybe Sunday’s date with the Rangers, to perform his “unleash the fury” cheer live.

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Gratitude for Alex Ovechkin

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I thought it might be important to write down how we were feeling in this moment. So often, what we say is wrapped up in irony, bile, or fatuousness, but Sunday night was different. Sunday night was better.

All at the same time, we all seemed to realize that we were witness to something special, and — in addition to awe — we all seemed to feel the same feeling: gratitude.

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The Washington Capitals weren’t quite ready for Saturday afternoon’s date with the New York Rangers. They got an early lead but were unable to protect it. The Rangers took the lead in the third, and it fell to Nick Backstrom to push us past #rego. Then the Captain did The Thing.

Alex Ovechkin struck first with a gift-wrapped goal in the first period. Justin Williams doubled that lead with a solo-effort, tuck-in goal in the second period.

Oscar Lindberg cut that lead to one in the third period after defusing Washington’s breakout, then Kevin Hayes erased the lead altogether with ten minutes left. With 7 minutes left, Viktor Stalberg did the unprecedented: taking the lead back from the Caps in the third period. The Caps looked at the peak of their powers in a comeback effort, finished off by a desperate goal by Nick Backstrom with 6 seconds left.

Then, in overtime, Alex Ovechkin won it, scoring his 499th career goal.

Caps beat Rangers 4-3 in overtime.

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Caps at Rangers Pregame: No Mojo

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Happy Saturday, hockey people. In just a few hours, the Capitals will take the ice at Madison Square Garden to play the New York Rangers, who aren’t very good anymore. But that’s no reason to get cocky; the Caps will be without their sterling third line center, Marcus Johansson, who is serving a two-game suspension.

Puck drops at 1 PM, and coverage is on CSN. I’ll be doing a light recap with heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 30-7-3 51.7% 102.2 25.4% 84.6%
New York Rangers 22-14-0 48.2% 102.7 19.3% 80.5%

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Braden Holtby is O.K.

Bruce Bennett

Photo: Bruce Bennett

On Thursday night the Capitals bested the Islanders, which was nice, bringing their season record to 30-7-3 and their point pace to an unseemly (and probably unreachable) 129, but that’s not why I asked you here today.

I want to talk to you about Braden Holtby.

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The Guys Behind the Guys: Caps beat Isles 4-1

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The Washington Capitals had never played in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, home of the New York Islanders. That unfamiliarity led to an unorthodox game from the Caps, replete with a dirty hit by Marcus Johansson, Karl Alzner’s confident offense, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for Tom Wilson. Okay, well it was mostly unorthodox. Let’s do the goals.

Like I said, Jason Chimera scored again, a low-angle tap-in made possible by the hard work of third-line center Marcus Johansson, then Alex Ovechkin put the Isles in a two-goal hole after Karl Alzner stoutly delivered the puck into the offensive zone.

Brock Nelson scored in the second period, but who cares, because then Nate Schmidt restored the two-goal hole thanks to a glorious takeaway and assist by Nick Backstrom, who also got the empty-netter.

Caps beat Isles 4-1!

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