Rock the Red Wedding: Penguins beat Caps 2-1

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That was brutal. The Washington Capitals played badly and poorly against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two. I mean poorly in the sense that they did not perform well. I mean badly in the sense that they did some stuff that wasn’t exactly gallant. And yet, thanks to the singularly stellar performance of a certain Saskatchewanian stud in net, the Caps kept the score close.

The Penguins had little to show for their possession dominance until Nick Bonino won a board battle and set up Carl Hagelin for the opening goal.

In the third, Marcus Johansson, that notorious softy, tied the game with a power play goal earned from the paint. But with five minutes left, former Capital Eric Fehr caught a puck from Evgeni Malkin and tapped home the game-winner.

Pens beat Caps 2-1. The series is tied 1-1.

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TJ Oshie’s Big Night! Caps beat Pens 4-3 (OT)!

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Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time since 2009, first time in the RMNB era. (Is that a thing? Can we say that?) We knew this series would be entertaining, but I don’t know if I was truly prepared for Game One being the seventy-minute, end-to-end, goal-filled, goat tornado that it was.

Scoring was opened with Swedish aplomb by prom king Andre Burakovsky, popping in a loose puck with a one-timer in the first period.

In the second, the Penguins struck back with two goals in 60 seconds: Ben Lovejoy’s goal after Orlov and Schmidt wrecked one another and Evgeni Malkin’s nifty top-shelf shot. Olli Maata’s blue-line giveaway freed TJ Oshie for a breakaway goal, tying the game at 2 after 40 minutes.

Oshie did it again in the third period, giving the Caps the lead with a backhander to Murray’s five hole, but Nick Bonino got a fortunate bounce off Schmidt’s stick to tie it again. That score got us to the end of #rego and into overtime.

TJ OSHIE WON IT WITH A WRAPAROUND! HAT TRICK PLAYOFF OVERTIME GAME WINNING GOAL!

Caps beat Pens 4-3 in overtime!

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Done, Done, Onto the Next One: Caps beat Flyers 1-0

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Photo: Kyle Mace

Well, don’t we all feel like silly gooses. Turns out the Capitals are capable of closing out a series in under seven games after all. With a nailbiting win over the Flyers in Philadelphia, the Caps advance to the next round.

We were scoreless until the midway mark, when Nick Backstrom scored a rush goal on Michal Neuvirth. That was it. That’s all it took.

Caps beat Flyers 1-0! Caps win the series 4-2! Braden Holtby records the shutout!

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Capitals Playoff Hockey: Flyers beat Caps 2-0

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In the trailer for the new Independence Day movie, the voiceover is all like, “We knew it would happen again. We just didn’t know it suck super duper hard.”

THIS IS EXACTLY LIKE THAT.

We know the Caps were designed by the Old Ones to teach man how to suffer. We know this. We’ve even gotten used to it a bit. But this is worse. THIS IS SOOOO MUCHHHH WORSEEEEE.

Everything was fine. The Capitals were driving play, but pesky penalties kept putting them on defense. And then a puck hopped off Taylor Chorney’s skate and past Braden Holtby. Then an empty netter.

IS THAT IT?! That’s all? Oh, it burnsssss IT BURNSSSS

Flyers beat Caps 2-0. Caps lead the series, I guess, 3-2.

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Bringing It All Back Home: Flyers beat Caps 2-1

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Photo: John Clark

You didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, did you? Without special teams dominance and a convincing performance at even strength, the Washington Capitals dropped Game Four to the Flyers. It’s just prolonging the suffering is what it is.

Shayne Gostisbehere, the Ghost Bear, got his first playoff goal with a blue-line slapper in the first period, deflected off Karl Alzner up front. The Flyers made it 2-0 in the second period with a goal by — I’m not making this up — Andrew MacDonald.

The Caps finally got something going early in the third, with TJ Oshie putting a backhand tuck past Philly goalie Michal Neuvirth. What followed was a barrage of Caps offense, but no goals.

Flyers beat Caps 2-1. Caps still lead the series 3-1.

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Take Out the Trash: Caps beat Flyers 6-1

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In Game Three, the Washington Capitals magnanimously spotted an early goal to the grieving Philadelphia Flyers. But dirty play by the home team squandered that good will, so the Flyers had to be put down. Without mercy.

Philadelphia, feeling the high of a pregame tribute to Ed Snider, scored in the first minute off the stick of Michael Raffl. The Caps returned fire with a power-play goal, Marcus Johansson’s tip-in of John Carlson’s slapper.

Alex Ovechkin scored the lone goal of the second period, the end result of some great neutral-zone work by the top line.

In the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov joined the rodeo, grabbing a weird bounce and pantsing Steve Mason to put the Flyers in a two-goal hole. Alex Ovechkin buried it during a supersized power play late in the game, but a bunch of hardcore Philly fans had already headed towards the exit by then. They didn’t even see Jay Beagle make it a six spot.

Caps beat Flyers 6-1! Caps take a 3-0 series lead!

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Braden Holtby is the Wonderwall: Caps beat Flyers 4-1

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Chimera-bration!

The pain of the playoffs usually goes like this: the Caps are dominating play but can’t crack the goalie. They do everything right, but they just can’t hit the back of the net.

Game Two was the exact freaking opposite. The Caps were on their heels from the drop, but Flyers goalie Steve Mason wasn’t exactly Halak-like in his crease work. A trio of goals in the first forty made this a solid win, and that curious reversal of fortunes made Saturday night actually kind of pleasant and fun. That’s not the Caps playoff hockey I know, but I could get used to it.

John Carlson scored first, using patience and a couple screens to crack Steve Mason. And crack he did. Mason next allowed a high-fiber softy from Jason Chimera early in the second period. Jakub Voracek narrowed the score by seizing on a loose puck, but Alex Ovechkin got an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot before the second intermission to make it 3-1.

With two minutes and change left in the third, Nick Backstrom got himself on the ledger, zipping a glove stick-side goal on poor Steve Mason. Locker called it “icing on the cake,” which reminds me– we should eat some cake!

Caps beat Flyers 4-1! Caps lead the series 2-0!

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Sweet Fifteen: Caps Blank Flyers 2-0 in Game One

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Just before four AM this morning, I pulled myself from bed, took my medication, and crawled back upstairs. But I never went back to sleep. Playoff hockey is here. Time to grab the wine. Things are about to get real.

After a sluggish start, John Carlson opened the scoring with a blast from the point. Naturally, there were 38 minutes of penalties, but skill won out in the end — especially after Jay Beagle’s late third-period insurance goal. Caps blank Flyers 2-0! One-nil series lead.

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A Hockey Game: Ducks Blank Caps 2-0

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This game meant nothing to the Washington Capitals, but for their opponent a Pacific Division title was on the line. Former Capitals bench boss Bruce Boudreau came back to Verizon Center for the first and only time this season, except for when somebody thought it was a good idea to send the Anaheim Ducks to the phone booth during a blizzard that kept me trapped on my street for four days.

The Mites on Ice played a better game than the Washington Capitals. They were probably playing for popsicles or something.

Anyway, the Caps didn’t score while Corey Perry tallied his 34th goal of the season and Nick Ritchie — rejected Jersey Shore character — tipped in his second of the year. Ducks blank Caps 2-0.

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Bravo, Braden: Caps Beat Blues 5-1!

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Photo: Scott Rovak

The 2015-16 regular season is about to draw to a close, and the Caps gave us plenty to look forward to as the playoffs rapidly approach. Tonight was also #RMNB9, during which many of you gathered at RFD to drink, cheer, and generally be merry. On behalf of everyone who couldn’t make it (because you live in Siberia or just celebrated your twelfth birthday), I hope you had a fabulous time. I will live vicariously through your Instagram photos (and Chris’s groovy live blog.)

With a three-game win streak under their belt (and the Western Conference title at stake), the Blues were fierce in the first, at first. The first period was a hoppin’ twenty minutes of Russian-sanctioned offense. Despite surrendering the first goal to Vladimir Tarasenko, the Caps rebounded nicely via two fantabulous, consecutive Alex Ovechkin goals.

The resurgence didn’t end there, as the second period was hardly devoid of offense. We witnessed the continued resurrection of John Carlson, as well as Jason Chimera proving that scoring goals is a better antidote to aging than Botox.

The Caps didn’t play a hard, grinding sixty minutes. They didn’t need to. Cruising into the third period with a 4-1 lead speaks for itself, especially when coupled with the Blues’ lackadaisical play. And lest we forget, the Caps have a grueling, bone-crushing series against the Flyers in the not-too-distant future. Although, the pace picked up in the third period, and the Caps began to make Braden Holtby work–just a little bit–for his milestone, record-tying win.

Caps beat Blues, 5-1!

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