Sunk by a Slow Start: Rangers beat Caps 3-2

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Photo: Chris Gordon

The thing about hockey games, or at least one of the things about hockey games, is that they are at least sixty minutes long. If your team only plays well for– let’s say– the back forty of that hour, you’re gonna have a bad time. The Washington Capitals had a bad time on Saturday.

Chris Kreider scored in the game’s first minute, exploiting some uninvolved Capitals defense. Dan Boyle’s power-play marker made it 2-0 before the first intermission, and things looked grim.

Evgeny Kuznetsov extended his stupid-good postseason with a nifty rebound goal in the second period.

The Caps failed to convert their first power play in the third, and then Derick Brassard made it 3-1. Alex Ovechkin narrowed the gap by taking on two Rangers and scoring from his knees. The Caps made a lot of noise in the final 90 ticks, but couldn’t score.

Rangers beat Caps 3-2. The series is tied 1-1.

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Late-Game Heroics: Caps beat Rangers 2-1!

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I have so many jokes about this picture, but Ian won’t let me make any.

The rested Rangers came out flying in the first period of the first game of the second round, but it was weary Washington who scored first. A pitched battle followed– with plenty of end-to-end action and shoulda-been-coulda-been goals. A late goal by the Rangers made it a contest, and just as we prepared for overtime, something happened.

On a power play late in the first, Alex Ovechkin gained the zone and carved a Christmas ham with a sneaky shot. With five minutes left, the Rangers tied it up after a looooong offensive-zone session. No big deal– Alex Ovechkin and Joel Ward combined for the clutchest of clutch moves you’ve ever seen.

Caps beat Rangers 2-1. Caps lead the series 1-0. Hahahahahaha

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Caps beat Islanders 2-1: Halak No More!

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The hero of game seven. Or, one of them.

Game seven. Gay sev. The most Caps of Caps hockey. Will they lose in a teeth-gnasher or will they lose in a blowout?

THEY WILL DO NEITHER, GOOD SIR. THEY WILL DO NEITHER.

We were nearly forty minutes into a scoreless (and penalty-free) game when Brooks Orpik took a slapper from the blue line. Jaroslav Halak had the shot covered, but Joel Ward was all up on him. A couple vicious taps to a sensitive region and a slow trickle followed: 1-0 Capitals.

The Isles owned the puck early in the third. Frans Nielsen entered the zone and cut to the middle, putting a sneaky shot on Braden Holtby that went five-hole. Tie game with 17 minutes left.

Ten minutes later, Evgeny Kuznetsov was jokes. He moved laterally across the crease, undressing Halak and splaying him on his side. From no angle, Kuzy hit the back of the net.

The Washington Capitals have defeated the New York Islanders.

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Coffee’s for Closers: Islanders beat Caps 3-1

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The Caps did not close out the series on the road, but you knew that already.

For the millionth time, the Islanders got onto the scoreboard first. Brooks Orpik lost the play after going for a hit, so John Carlson was overwhelmed in covering John Tavares and company: 1-0 Isles. Late in the period, that same Carlson gave the Caps power play a shot in the arm with a big goal. The second period was wild but scoreless.

Wild Butt Scoreless is the name of my Poison cover band.

Midway through the third period, everything happened in a single play. A rumble along the bench went unwhistled, so Ovechkin creamed Tavares into the glass, and then somehow Kulemin was all alone to beat Braden Holtby. Beagle hit the crossbar, and then Clutterbuck got the empty netter.

Islanders beat Caps 3-1. The series is tied 3-3. Gay sev on Monday.

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Bailamos! Caps beat Isles 5-1!

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Tonight we dance.

Also tonight, we witnessed the emergence of Evgeny Kuznetsov as a Caps playoff legend. Scoring two in a thrilling home-ice win over the Islanders, Kuznetsov is all you’ll talk about on Friday. If someone tries to talk about something else, then you’re done talking to that person.

The Caps surrendered the game’s first goal to Josh Bailey, but don’t worry– the rest of this recap is gonna be a blast.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, the goddamn hero, batted a puck out of mid-air to tie the game, and then Karl Alzner (no seriously) stormed the net to give the Caps the lead after forty. The Caps blew a power play early in the third, but Brooks Laich grabbed a loose puck soon after to make it 3-1.

The flood gates.

In the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second of the night on a breakaway, and then Jason Chimera got a dribbler into the Isles net. And with that, at long last, the Capitals had chased Jaroslav Halak from the net in a playoff game.

Caps beat Islanders 5-1. Caps lead the series 3-2.

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You.

You and I were not prepared for this game. We weren’t girded for the emotional tumult and unrelenting attack. We just weren’t ready. The Caps, though– they were ready. The Isles kept pressing– a ceaseless assault just like we saw in games one and three, but the Capitals had battened down the hatches and set the mainsail and whatever else.

Capitals captain and current Greatest Human Alex struck first, oviflecting a shot by Carlson after Backstrom’s o-zone faceoff win. Casey Cizikas knotted the score after a bad change a big rebound. The second period was packed with penalties, but the Capitals killed them all. The third period was a little more even, but neither team could hit the back of the net. And so, once again, we went to overtime on Long Island.

And then, Nicky Backstrom’s muffin gave the Capitals instant victory.

Caps beat Isles 2-1 in overtime. The series is new at two to two!

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Sudden-Defeat Sunday: Isles beat Caps 2-1 (OT)

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Hockey hugs.

The New York Islanders were apparently unhappy with their performance on Friday, so they opted to pound the hell out of the Capitals on Sunday. Without Braden Holtby standing on his head, this would have been a blow out. It was a constant onslaught with immense tension. It was the Ardennes forest of hockey games.

Despite a ton of Isles chances, we were scoreless until halfway through the game, when Kyle Okposo deflected a shot by Lubomir Visnovsky to finally crack Holtby. With six minutes left in the third, the Capitals finally beat Halak with Nick Backstrom’s heavily trafficked shot– off the crossbar and in. That was where we stood at the end of rego.

John Tavares won it immediately in overtime.

Isles beat Caps 2-1. I’m crestfallen.

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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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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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Rangers beat Caps 4-2: Now the Dance Begins

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Gorgeous photo by @Lexixkim

The Washington Capitals didn’t win their final game of the regular season, but it’s already an afterthought. The Rangers got an early lead and didn’t let go. Doesn’t matter– we’re moving on– just as soon as we do this recap.

Kevin Hayes struck first, sinking a backhand scoop on Braden Holtby. Derick Brassard put the Caps in a two-goal hole on the power play, and then Dominic Moore’s Crosbyesque backhand goal made it three. Alex Ovechkin punched back with his 53rd, an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot.

Jesper Fast got an empty netter in the third, and then Stan Galiev recorded his first NHL goal in the final minute.

Rangers beat Caps 4-2.

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