Utter Domination: Caps beat Pens 4-0!

Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

RIP The Great Losing Streak of 2015. Early on, the Caps played an even game against the Penguins, but Washington had a secret weapon in its captain. Alex Ovechkin positively lit up Marc Andre Fleury in the first and second periods, which was way more than Pittsburgh and their erstwhile star player could offer.

Ovi’s first-period goal came at even strength, deflecting Alzner’s shot with a little net-front presence. Ovi’s second-period goal came on the power play, set up by Mike Green.

Eric Fehr and Mike Green interrupted Ovi’s party in the third, crashing the net for Fehr’s goal and scoring Green’s while on the rush. The game dissolved into chaos late as Holtby helped kill penalties to secure the shutout.

Caps beat Pens 4-0! Losing streak over! Two shutouts in a row against the Pens! BAILAMOS!

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Blue Jackets beat Caps 4-3, Four-Game Losing Streak…

Jamie Sabau

Photo: Jamie Sabau

On Tuesday night, the Washington Capitals didn’t look quite ready to return from all-star break. Playing visitor to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Caps did well enough at tilting the ice, but a glut of goof-ups in their own end gave Lumbus a too-easy victory.

After a quiet first frame, Mark Letestu kicked off a wild second period by scoring on the rush. Ryan Johansen got his 18th of the season soon thereafter, notching from the high slot, but Andre Burakovsky struck back half a minute later by tapping in Matt Niskanen’s long bomb. Fedor Tyutin beat Holtby after the top line and top pairing failed to clear the zone, but Troy Brouwer crashed the net to make it a one-goal game– again half a minute later.

In the third, Cam Atkinson cued those damn canons with a quick shot from the slot. Lumbus was buzzing after that, but Evgeny Kuznetsov shut em up with a wrister off a rebound to make it a one-goal game once more. A Backstrom penalty in the final minutes neutered the Capitals’ comeback effort.

Blue Jackets beats Capitals 4-3. Four-game losing streak. Ack.

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We Were on a Break: Oilers beat Caps 5-4 (SO)

Patrick McDermott

Can we all agree that we like the beard? (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

The Caps’ last game before the All-Star Break began crackling with excitement, but quickly settled into the quiet urgency of a bunch of guys eager to get home for a long weekend. They couldn’t even manage to do that well, as the Caps squandered an early, healthy lead and lost in the gimmick.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice in the first period, first with a slapper on a delayed penalty and then again with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot. Edmonton’s own number eight, Derek Roy, returned fire by beating Matt Niskanen to the niskanet. Before we hit intermission, Jay Beagle scored and there was much rejoicing.

Nikita Nikitin put the Oilers within one goal late in the second period while Niskanen was in the box.

In the third, Nick Backstrom tipped in John Carlson’s long bomb to put Edmonton back in the two-goal hole where they belong, though I guess maybe we forgot to tell them that. Teddy Purcell got a quick little snapper to Holtby’s far side to make 4-3 in the final five minutes, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied it in the final 100 seconds, forcing overtime. Overtime didn’t do nuffin, so you know what’s next.

Shootout bullets!

  • Kuznetsov put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Yakupov did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Backstrom did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Eberle did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Ovechkin did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Roy put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Fehr did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Purcell put the biscuit in the basket, of course he did.

Oilers beat Caps 5-4 in the shootout. That was dumb as hell.

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Loss Weekend: Stars beat Caps 5-4

Glenn James

Photo: Glenn James

What were your expectations for Saturday’s Caps game? Seriously, I want to know. Two games in as many nights, a deflating loss against the league’s most winning team on night one, a backup goalie in night two facing one of the fastest improving teams– I can think of lots of reasons this one could have gone really badly, but here’s how it really went:

Badly, at first at least. Tyler Seguin scored a power-play goal after Brooks Orpik blew his assignment on Jason Spezza, then Erik Cole got a deflection in front of Justin Peters to make it 2-0 going into intermission.

Spezza converted a three-on-one before the Caps finally woke up. Eric Fehr responded with a goal assisted by Joel Ward, then Andre Burakovsky put a zipper of a shot behind Kari Lehtonen. Alex Ovechkin converted a breakaway to tie the game early in the third period, but then the wheels came off.

Within twenty seconds, Antoine Roussel and Jamie Benn scored– the former with a lucky bounce and a layup, the latter with a rush goal against a slower defense.

Nick Backstrom got a one-timer off a brilliant pass from Alex Ovechkin in the final four minutes to make it a one-goal game. The Caps had some fireworks in the final ticks, but couldn’t hit the back of the net.

Stars beat Caps 5-4.

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Ovisplosion Not Enough: Preds beat Caps 4-3

Frederick Breedon

Photo: Frederick Breedon

The Caps had a spirited effort against the Nashville Predators, erasing a two-goal hole and gaining the lead, but James Neal– that jerk– got the best of the Caps twice, earning a W for the home team and ending Washington’s win streak at three.

The game was back-and-forth until Seth Jones’s shot after an offensive-zone faceoff win for the Predators beat Holtby’s glove side. James Neal found a good spot and got a better bounce to put the Preds up two goals in the second period, but hold up–

Ovi comin’.

Alex Ovechkin scored on monster shot from, like, no angle during 5v5 and then doubled it up with a power-play shot from the Ovi spot two and a half minutes later. That guy alone changed the game before you had time to go potty.

Marcus Johansson notched a PPG in the third before Mattias Ekholm tied it up on the power play late in the third. Then, with one hundred seconds late, Matt Niskanen choked the puck up to James Neal, who scored an unassisted layup.

Preds beat Caps 4-3. Stunned.

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Rob Carr

Photo: Rob Carr

So ends a very successful home stand for the Washington Capitals. Defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in #rego, the Caps earned their seventh consecutive win at Verizon Center. It was all but decided in the first three minutes, but we went ahead and did another 57 minutes for fun.

When Jason Chimera notched a goal just three minutes into the game, we thought we’d have a goal-scoring bonanza on our hands. Instead, we went the distance without another entry on the scoresheet. I think we can all agree that’s okay.

Caps beat Flyers 1-0! Braden Holtby records his fourth shutout of the year! 

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Nick Wass

Photo: Nick Wass

The Washington Capitals played exactly the right kind of game against Patrick Roy’s Avalanche on Monday. They had the puck a ton, they crashed the net for a depth goal, and they made the visitors pay for losing their temper. Would’ve been even better if the Caps didn’t hit the post eighty three times.

Jay Beagle, yes, Jay Beagle scored first– knocking in Tom Wilson’s rebound. Alex Tanguay got a beneficial bounce during a second-period power play to tie it up, but Alex Ovechkin gave the Caps back the lead with a power-play marker.

Caps beat Avs 2-1! The Caps are finally hot at home.

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Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

The Washington Capitals didn’t play particularly well against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, but an awful injury to Jimmy Howard, some sterling work on special teams, and some killer instinct in the dangerous zones vaulted the home team to a comfy lead over the possession monsters of the Motor City.

Troy Brouwer scored early in the first, exploiting a costly mistake by Jimmy Howard that forced him to leave the game. In the second period, Andre Burakovsky sent a perfect pass to John Carlson for a one-timer, and Joel Ward chopped at a loose puck to put the Wings in a three-goal hole. Before the second intermission, Jonathan Ericsson seized on a loose puck to make it 3-1. No change in the third, so the Caps enter the season’s back half on a high note.

Caps beat Wings 3-1.

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Bruce Bennett

Kuzy’s face (Photo: Bruce Bennett)

Did we expect anything better from Capitals at Flyers? The road-weary Caps played bad hockey and still got a point, thanks to our friends in black and white stripes and our old buddy PDO. Lemme tell you ’bout it.

Things started off well enough when Alex Ovechkin notched a power-play goal off an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot. The Flyers tied it up with a casual goal by Sean Couturier against Green-Schmidt and the fourth line. Then nothing happened for a long time.

In the third, Karl Alzner sent a shot from the blue line that Nick Backstrom deflected in to restore Washington’s lead. It didn’t last. R.J. Umberger scored on a one-timer after Holtby failed to settle a bounce from behind, pushing this one to overtime.

Someone in orange scored during OT.

Bleep bloop doop. Whatever. In Overtime.

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Nothing Can Stop Us Toniiiiight: Caps beat Leafs 6-2

Graig Abel

Perfect picture is perfect. (Photo: Graig Abel)

Setting the scene: One of the world’s best scorers in a foreign country on a team that has consistently failed to meet sky-high expectations. After hitting rock bottom in puck possession under their disastrous former coach, they’ve got renewed hopes.

I honestly forget what team I was writing about there, but here’s my recap of Wednesday’s Caps-Leafs game.

The Caps struck first as Evgeny Kuznetsov carved the Toronto defense to set up Marcus Johansson.

The Leafs returned fire in the second period with a tip-in goal by Daniel Winnik. Eric Fehr got a shorthanded goal with the help of Jay Beagle to put the Caps back in the lead, then Brooks Laich scored off an offensive-zone faceoff to make it 3-1. Toronto responded with a rebound goal by Trevor Smith, but Marcus Johansson got his second of the night a couple minutes later.

In the third, Eric Fehr got his second of the night as well. I haven’t seen Bernier stunned like that since the time someone asked him who Nelson Mandela was. Alex Ovechkin got the empty-netter and that was that.

Caps beat Leafs 6-2! Bailamos!

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