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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No Winter Classic Hangover: Caps beat Panthers 4-3

Patrick McDermott

Anteater! (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

Were you expecting a low-key game following the literal fireworks at the Winter Classic? The Caps’ home game against the Florida Panthers was kind of sleepy for a bit, but in the end this was another thrilling example of Caps hockey. Nice start to 2015.

The game was scoreless after twenty minutes, but don’t worry: the second period more than made up for the boredom.

Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal on an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot in the second. Vincent Trocheck got a ridiculous goal to tie it for the Panthers, and then Dylan Olsen used an abundance of screens to put Florida up 2-1. No worries though, as Brooks Laich sniped an outside goal just past halfway through #rego to knot it up again. Karl “Dad Strength” Alzner and the second line beat Luongo to make it 3-2 going into the second intermission.

Top-liner Andre Burakovsky swept in a lay-up from the weak side to put the Panthers in a two-goal hole in the third period. Nick Bjugstad scored an impossible goal with an empty net and two minutes left to make it a one-goal game late, but the Caps emerged victorious over an Eastern Conference rival.

Caps beat Panthers 4-3. Big two points.

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Caps beat Blackhawks 3-2 in Winter Classic!

Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

It’s the Winter Classic! Hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Park, the Washington Capitals played maybe their most important game since the 2013 playoffs. It was a terrific affair: Two great teams on a great sheet of ice, in front of 42,831 fans and one guy in a Crosby sweater, playing wide-open hockey punctuated by all the hockey nonsense that makes this game so compelling. The result of the game is almost secondary, but I bet you might care.

NHL outdoor goal-scoring leader Eric Fehr struck first, converting an early breakaway. Alex Ovechkin crashed the net, exploiting chaos to put the Caps up 2-0 in the first period. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: that lead did not hold. The Hawks won a power-play faceoff shortly before Patrick Sharp got a sun-drenched shot past Braden Holtby. John Carlson’s turnover in the second period led to Brandon Saad tying the game, which is how it stood after forty minutes.

Then, with twelve seconds left in regulation and the Capitals on the power play, Troy Brouwer swatted a loose puck behind Corey Crawford.

Caps beat Hawks 3-2! The Caps are undefeated outdoors!

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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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Eric Fehr is God: Caps Blank Pens 3-0

deadguins

Yep.

I spent my Saturday at Nationals Park — well, until NHL PR literally chased me out. The stadium is nearly in its full party dress with fake domes, banners, and a sheet of ice with logos on.

But alas, there were still more games on the calendar before New Year’s Day. Tonight the Caps visited Pittsburgh. A bunch of the Penguins have mumps. Crosby had mumps. Mumps makes your face big. Okay, we got that out of the way.

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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 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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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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Three Games in One: Caps beat Blue Jackets 5-4 (OT)

Mike Munden

Photo: Mike Munden

Ever notice how awful and awesome share the same root? Same with terrible and terrific. There’s some cosmic link between being great and being the opposite of great, which the Capitals illustrated brilliantly in their game against the Blue Jackets on Thursday.

The Caps started off well enough, scoring two in the first period. Joel Ward struck first, getting  a sharp-angle goal for the third 2b line. Before the first intermission, Michael Latta got a great pass to Jason Chimera, who sweeped in an easy goal to give a comfy two-goal lead.

And then they blew it. The Caps gave up two power-play goals in the second period– first to Jack Johnson and then to Nick Foligno. Penalties pocked the rest of the middle frame, and we left it tied.

Foligno scored one minute into the third to give Lumbus the lead, but Karl Alzner tied it up seven minutes later, tying his career high for goal-scoring (two). Michael Chaput scored his first NHL goal with four and a half minutes left in rego, taking a rebound while wide open. Troy Brouwer drove to the net to kick in (legally) Mike Green’s wizardly pass and force overtime.

Mike Green set up Eric Fehr to finish ‘em off in a flurry in overtime. Bacon bits!

Caps beat Blue Jackets 5-4 in overtime!

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Eliot J Schechter

Photo: Eliot J. Schechter

Kind of a snoozer in Sunrise. The way the Washington Capitals played against the Florida Panthers was so button-up and boring I was waiting for the dowager countess of Grantham to say something snarky. No team wanted to win this one, and then things went completely apenuts in the shootout.

Mike Green choked up the puck to Scottie Upshall to give Derek McKenzie a layup, making it 1-0 for the Panthers going into the first intermission. Troy Brouwer tied it on the power play in the second, getting the puck back after a block by Willie Mitchell. A washed-out kicked goal by Brooks Laich meant we were headed for overtime, which was exciting enough I guess, but no result.

Prepare yourself for the shootout bullet epic!

  • Fehr didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Huberdeau didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Backstrom didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Bjugstad didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Kuznetsov didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Boyes didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Ovechkin PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET.
  • Jokinen also put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Brouwer didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Kopecky didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Latta didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • My god this is going long. Epix show is almost over by now.
  • Barkov didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Brooks PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET.
  • Bolland also put the biscuit in the basket. Harumph.
  • Johansson didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Flash didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. He burned the biscuit.
  • Schmidt didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Upshall didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Ward PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET.
  • MacKenzie also put the biscuit in the basket. It never ends
  • Carlson PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET.
  • Bergenheim put the biscuit in the basket. This is my hell.
  • Beagle didn’t put the biscuit in the basket, but shoulda been a biscuit-delivering beagle.
  • Hayes didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. Life is meaningless and full of pain.
  • Green didn’t didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Campbell didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Chimera’s biscuit missed the basket by a mile.
  • Gudbranson didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. You can’t put a biscuit in the 5-hole.
  • Wilson didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Ekblad didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Niskanen didn’t put the biscuit in the basket because the stupid crossbar.
  • Kulikov didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • BORPIK PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET!!!!
  • Olsen didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. 17 rounds down.
  • Alzner didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Mitchell didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Backstrom, part II, didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Jokinen, part II, didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. I no longer fear death.
  • Ovechkin didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Bjudgstad put the biscuit in the basket! WINNER. FINALLY. I’M OKAY WITH THIS.

Panthers beat Caps 2-1 in the longest shootout I can remember!

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