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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Caps vs Islanders Pregame: Down, Not Out

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None of these people is Braden Holtby (Photo: Capstagram)

“We got our asses kicked in the first quarter, but it’s time we get up off the mat.”

The Caps lost game one. That’s the past. This is game two.

One of the dozen shots Ovi fires will hit the back of the net. Nick Backstrom will be used to maximum effect. Karl and Niskanen will remind us all how great they were during the regular season. Holtby will be healthy enough to play.

Islanders lead the series 1-0.

7 PM. Verizon Center, CSN, NBCSCN. Do the thing.

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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Braden Holtby Sick, Philipp Grubauer Recalled

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Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Good morning, Caps fans. Everything is fine on this lovely spring gameday morning except your franchise goalie is sick. Alex Prewitt reports that Braden Holtby isn’t feeling well today. We don’t know exactly what that means yet, but the Capitals have recalled Philipp Grubauer from the Hershey Bears.

At least Caps fans are having fun with it.

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Not a Good Start: Islanders beat Caps 4-1

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That feel. We know that feel.

In a disappointing effort, the Washington Capitals have dropped game one to the New York Islanders. The Isles played a nearly perfect game, and the Caps were on their heels from the game’s second shift.

Brock Nelson was all alone after a neutral-zone turnover, so he scored a quick one on Braden Holtby. Brooks Laich’s tenacious forecheck created a scoring opportunity for Marcus Johansson that he did not waste. But in the second period Ryan Strome scored a quick goal after John Tavares’ faceoff win, and Josh Bailey slapped a loose puck to put the Caps in a two-goal hole.

The third period had nothin’. Brock Nelson got an empty netter with 79 seconds left.

Isles beat Caps 4-1. Islanders lead the series 1-0.

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Caps vs Islanders Pregame: Crash the Net

CAPS ISLES

Graphic by Ondrej T.

I don’t have much to say. The time has arrived.

Capitals versus Islanders. 7 PM. Verizon Center, CSN, and USA Network. First team to four wins advances.

Do it.

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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p-v-i

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight, so that means Ian and I have to do our usual, horrifyingly inaccurate predictions for the first round.

Below you’ll see the hottest of our hot takes and the most upsetting upset picks you’ll ever see, but we’re also bringing in an x-factor, who might defeat us both in predicting the outcome of this season’s race of the Stanley Cup.

Introducing: Keith, a Coin.

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“That’s it! He shattered his phalanges!”

The big day is here! Tonight at Verizon Center, the Washington Capitals take on the New York Islanders for the first game of the playoffs. There’s a ton going on in our world today, so we addressed a small portion of it and a whole lot of nonsense for an hour of RMNB podcast inanity.

We discuss Ian’s punk rock education, the Swedish national temperament, losing Grabo, Flipcup Forsberg, Barry Trotz’s retractable head, which ASOIAF house the Caps would be in, which songs the Beatles wrote on LSD, and taking scoarpik to the bank. We also talk our picks for the playoffs, how the Caps stack up against the Isles, what the future of this team is. It’s an hour of hockey power. Enjoy!

The RMNB Podcast is on iTunes. If you enjoy it, please subscribe and rate us.

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Caps Need Efficient Usage to Beat Islanders

As Pat wrote earlier, how the Washington Capitals line up against the New York Islanders will factor largely in which team escapes the first round. Generating a little more offense and shutting down John Tavares during 5v5 are key.

With that in mind, I thought we’d revisit a fun visualization of how the Caps are most and least effective. I promise it’s pretty.

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Week 25 Snapshot: This Was a Triumph

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I’m making a note here: huge success.

The Washington Capitals had a great 2014-15 season. That’s true for dozens of reasons, some of which I outlined in a thoroughly non-statty article on Friday. But here in the snapshot, we can look at this objectively.

Only two teams improved their shot-attempt differential from last season more than the Capitals: The Nashville Predators (boo) and the New York Islanders (hiss). With a 4.5 swing in score-adjusted possession, the trend has finally ended, and the Capitals are good again. Exactly how good– by the reckoning of the playoffs– remains to be seen, but looking back, I’m over the moon about this season.

But, in this week’s snapshot, the last of its kind, we ask, is the cake a lie?

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