Kathy Kmonicek

Photo: Kathy Kmonicek

At first, the Caps weren’t prepared to compete against the New York Islanders. Head coach Barry Trotz left two good players without sweaters. Instead, he put weak link Jason Chimera on the top line. The Isles outcompeted the Caps in the first period with their superior compete level, which was levels above the compete level of the Caps, but then the Caps leveled up their compete level in the third to tie the game in dramatic fashion and force overtime.

Anders Lee scored for the Islanders in the first period off a ridiculous deflection. New York made it 2-0 in the second period when Lubomir Visnovsky banked a shot off Brooks Orpik and behind Holtby. In the third, Calvin DeHaan scored shorthanded after Evgeny Kuznetsov choked the puck up in front of the Caps net.

Very marginal player Eric Fehr crashed the net to beat Jaroslav Halak and set himself decidedly on fire. On the rush, Ovechkin set up Backstrom for a gorgeous goal. Ovi got one of his own with a lightning bolt of a goal off a late-game face-off. The Caps withstood a late-game double-minor penalty by Kuznetsov long enough to earn a point and force overtime, but Johnny Boychuk won it during 4v3.

Isles beat Caps 4-3 (Overtime).

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Caps at Islanders Pregame: Last Stop at Nassau

nassau

Photo: Islesblogger

Barring a postseason meeting, tonight will be the last time the Washington Capitals will ever play at Nassau Coliseum.

Nassau is a weird beast, smallish by NHL standards, hard to reach using mass transit, but beloved for its legacy and dumpy-ness nonetheless.

It was here that Bossy scored at will. It was here that Potvin won three Norrises. It was here that Dale Hunter made the cheapest of cheap shots (and earned what was at the time the longest suspension in league history).

The Isles brought the Cup home to Nassau four times– in a freaking row– in the early eighties. Now, at the edge of 2015, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they do it again. The Isles are a good team, and they’d certainly like to make Nassau proud before they move to Brooklyn, the edge of the island, at the start of next season.

7 on PM on CSN. Let’s say goodbye to the old dump together. Go Caps.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 18-11-6 51.3% 100.1 23.8% 78.2%
New York Islanders 23-11-1 53.0% 99.5 17.9% 74.0%

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Week 11 Snapshot: It’s Been a Weird December

Gregory Shamus

Here’s Jay Beagle and Brooks Orpik celebrating a goal. (Photo: Gregory Shamus)

This is the final snapshot of 2014. What a weird year– capped off by an even weirder month. With one game left to play, the Caps took 18 out of 24 possible standings points in December, and there’s one thing above all others that is responsible for that success.

(If you’re wondering what that thing is, here’s a hint: People on Facebook spent October debating if he’s an average goalie “at best” or if he’s just terrible.)

This week’s snapshot takes a look back at the streak, the Holtbeast who made it happen, and what the Caps should do to extend it.

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Caps at Penguins Pregame: No Holiday Hangover

penguins

How was your holiday break? Did you get any good gifts? I got a neat shirt. Please, please, please tell me you washed your RMNB shirt before you put it on. This is serious, man. Promise me.

Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Capitals at Consol. It’s the first match-up of the season between the two– at 7:30 PM on NBC Sportsnet. It’s gonna be a show.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 17-11-6 51.2% 99.8 25.0% 77.4%
Pittsburgh Penguins 22-7-5 50.6% 102.3 23.9% 86.8%

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The Caps lost, but here’s episode two of Epix Presents the Road to the Winter Classic. Watch along with us and let’s chat in the comments. We hear this one is supposed to be pretty good.

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Rangers beat Caps 4-2, RIP Points Streak

Alex Trautwig

Photo: Alex Trautwig

On Tuesday night, some of the Washington Capitals must have put on their kerchiefs and others their caps to settle in for a long winter’s nap. That would have been fine, but there was an NHL game scheduled against Metropolitan rivals, the New York Rangers. The Caps were not good for forty minutes and desperate for the remainder.

Rick Nash got a goal on the rush in the first period, and Martin St. Louis made it 2-0 with a wide-open, wide-angle shot on a second-period power play. Rick Nash scored a back-breaker in the third period, but Kuznetsov tied a rope around the Caps and hung them from a prison ceiling and then they were fine in time for the final act. Alex Ovechkin put an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot in the net to make it a one-goal game with less than ten minutes remaining.

Dumb penalties from Backstrom and Chimera neutered the Caps’ comeback attempt. Martin St. Louis converted a late-game power-play for the Rags. Sad trombone.

Rangers beat Caps 4-2. RIP Points Streak.

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Caps at Rangers Pregame: We Won’t Go Until We Get Some

hank

Chag Sameach, homies. We’ve got one more game before everyone shuts down for holiday silliness. Problem is– this game’s against the big bad New York Rangers. The Caps and the Rangers are pretty much in the same spot in the standings, so this game will factor big when it comes to sorting the Metro teams.

Join us, won’t you, on CSN for a 7 PM bout at Madison Square Garden. Bring the figgy pudding and adult egg nog. We won’t go until we get some. We won’t go until we get some. We won’t go until we get some. So score us some goals.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 17-10-6 50.9% 99.9 25.3% 77.8%
New York Rangers 17-10-4 49.8% 101.7 15.8% 82.3%

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Caps beat Sens 2-1, Undefeated in Rego in Last 20 Days

Alex Brandon

Anteater convention (Photo: Alex Brandon)

The furious, points-laden month of December continues for the Washington Capitals, who stubbornly refuse to lose. Soundly outplaying the Ottawa Senators on a dreary Monday night, the Caps got a weirdly rare home win in rego.

The first period had a bunch of penalties but no pucks in the net. Jay Beagle summoned the weird superstar part of his skill set to get the Caps on the board first. Before two minutes had passed, Erik Condra nullified the Caps’ lead by ripping off Mike Green and beating Holtby. Papa Nick Backstrom made a great read on the power play to beat Craig Anderson and give the Caps the lead going into the second intermission. Holtby kept the Caps in it in the third.

Caps beat Sens 2-1!

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Goal of the Year? Alex Ovechkin Scores The Goal, Part II

Julio Cortez

Photo: Julio Cortez

The greatest scorer in the NHL has done it again.

Alex Ovechkin had gone four games without a goal going into a Saturday, which he must have found unacceptable. Ovi hit the post twice early, but that was just a preamble to what came in the third– one of the most sensational goals in an already superlative career.

Get used to this highlight: you’re gonna see it for years to come.

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Al Bello

Photo: Al Bello

The Washington Capitals tolerated one period of boring New Jersey Devils-style hockey before they unleashed the fury. Lifted by goals from the Young Guns– Green, Backstrom, and Ovi– the less-boring team won this won soundly.

The Capitals struck twice in the second period, first with a furious slapper from Mike Green and then by Nick Backstrom’s patient wrister set up by Jay Beagle.

Alex Ovechkin scored a career-highlight goal seven minutes into the third period, executing the Ovi Move on two Devils defenders before backhanding the puck over Cory Schneider. Nick Backstrom added an empty netter in garbage time.

Caps beat Devils 4-0! Bailamos!

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