Days of Future Past: Flyers beat Caps 2-1 (SO)

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I had a vision of the Caps vs Flyers in round one, and it was ugly. The Caps and the Flyers are 60-something percent likely to match up in the first round of the playoffs, so Wednesday night’s rivalry night game was supposedly a preview of what we’ll see in a few weeks. If that’s the case, I feel mostly good about the Caps’ chances despite the gimmick loss, but I feel absolutely terrible about the stomach ulcer I’m already developing.

The game was agonizingly scoreless until early in the third period, when Evgeny Kuznetsov’s seam pass reached the Ovi spot. With five minutes left, the Flyers’ Brayden Schenn converted a power play, pushing us into overtime. The Flyers survived a Caps OTPP and pushed us all the way to the shootout, and you know what that means….

Shootout bullets!

  • Oshie did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Cousins put the biscuit in the basket. Five hole.
  • Kuznetsov did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Ganer put the biscuit in the basket.

Flyers beat Caps 2-1 in the shootout. Blech.

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Caps at Flyers Pregame: First Round Preview?

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The other night the Caps got that little p next to their name on the NHL.com standings page, indicating that they’ve locked the Presidents’ Trophy. The remainder of the regular season means very little now except for setting the tone for the playoffs, and on that point the Caps are in Philadelphia today. Their match against the Flyers tonight is likely a prelude to the first round of the postseason.

So that’ll be interesting. Tune in at 8 PM on NBC Sports. I’ve got recap duty.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 54-16-5 51.4% 101.4 22.7% (2nd) 84.8% (4th)
Philadelphia Flyers 37-25-13 49.9% 100.9 18.0% (18th) 80.8% (19th)

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Photo: Saam

The Caps have won the Presidents’ Trophy and they’ve got the merch to prove it. None of this should be a surprise, yet why do I feel so uneasy?

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Gr8est: The Caps Have Won the Presidents’ Trophy

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Photo: Drew Hallowell

The Washington Capitals have won the Presidents’ Trophy. That’s the one you get when you get more regular-season standings points than any other team. The regular season still has two weeks left, but nobody can catch the Capitals at this point. The Caps will have have home ice during the entirety of the playoffs.

It’s totally bonkers.

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Best in the League: Caps beat Blue Jackets 4-1

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Hey, the Caps have the best record in the league. How bout that? They shook off their 5v5 funk against Lumbus, recording even-strength goals from the best and second best heads of hair on the Washington roster (you decide which is which) and locking it down late.

Sixteen minutes into the first period, Justin Williams cracked a long 5v5 goal slump with a second effort after John Carlson’s rebound. That was nifty, but Cam Atkinson leveled the score two minutes later.

The second period was silent, but Tom Wilson recorded his seventh goal in the third period, a backhander from the bottom six. The Caps added insurance with a power-play goal ostensibly by Matt Niskanen but tapped in by TJ Oshie. Nick Backstrom secured an empty netter to hit the 20-goal mark and make Swedish heritage night just a bit sweeter.

Caps beat Blue Jackets 4-1! The Caps have won the Presidents’ Trophy!

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Caps vs Blue Jackets Pregame: One Point from the Prez

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

The Caps got stomped by the Blues on Saturday night. Defensive breakdowns (and bad shooting/saving percentages) sunk a decent effort, so the Caps will try again tonight against the Blue Jackets, who, I’m told, are a totally different team than the Blues. I’m not so sure, but I guess we’ll find out tonight at 7 PM on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 53-16-5 51.3% 101.4 22.8% (2nd) 84.6% (5th)
Columbus Blue Jackets 30-37-8 47.4% 99.4 17.1% (22nd) 81.0% (15th)

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RMNB’s Easter Wishes for the Washington Capitals

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Happy Easter, Caps fans. It’s that time again.

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Braden Holtby Is Sick of The Way The Caps Are Playing

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Photo: Andre Ringuette

With their 4-2 win over the Senators, the Caps clinched the number-one seed in the East, set a franchise record for wins on the road, and put Braden Holtby within striking distance of Marty Brodeur’s single-season win record. But Holtby wasn’t happy.

“We’re all kind of sick of the way we’ve played at times the last couple of months,” Holtby said after the game.

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Hot Start, Cool Finish: Caps beat Senators 4-2

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All of a sudden, I’ve got an idea for the plot of Taken 4.

The Capitals came into Canadian Tire Centre like a wrecking ball, recording a trio of goals in the opening frame and then holding on for the remaining forty. The Ottawa Senators, it turns out, aren’t very good.

First it was Mike Richards, seizing on a takeaway by Tom Wilson to record his second goal as a Capital. Alex Ovechkin came next, sweeping in a shot on the power play, followed by Nick Backstrom who backhanded a bobbler past Craig Anderson to give the Caps a 3-goal lead.

The sole goal of the second period came from Matt Wideman, an outside fluke obscured by Karl Alzner’s glove. The Senators snuck back into it with 90 seconds left off the stick of Mika Zibanejad, but TJ Oshie beat Karlsson to score the empty netter.

Caps beat Senators 4-2. The Caps have won the Eastern Conference.

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The Caps Are Coasting Towards a First-Round Loss

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY

Sunday night’s defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins has left some Washington Capitals fans in angst. This team, who has been described as a Stanley Cup contender so often this season, did not look as such in their 6-2 loss. But that’s just the most recent point in a longer, concerning pattern.

I’ve caught myself recalibrating my expectations for the Caps over the last few weeks. As of right now, I no longer think they are the Team of Destiny. This is not The Year. The road they’re on right now ends in the first or second round of the playoffs.

It’s not too late to change course, but we must first acknowledge that the course we’re on now is a bad one.

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