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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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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