On Monday “we” had a match-up of handsome goaltenders who also happen to be the two best at the position in the entire world. One of those men, Braden Holtby, is currently playing the best hockey of his career in this young blogger’s opinion. Three straight games of absolute dominance, and he won a duel with the perceived best netminder in the entire league on a big stage at the Bell Centre. Be thankful for him, Caps fans. “We” are lucky.
The first was a highly competitive and fast period that saw your Capitals go up 1-0 on the Habs after Nicklas Backstrom put home a rebound from an Alex Ovechkin shot to put the good guys on top. A quick goal from the “new” first line with TJ Oshie out. Shots 12-7 Caps at the end of 20 minutes.
The Caps dominated the second period in pretty much every positive stat that you can think of except the one that counts most, goals scored. Carey Price and Braden Holtby were still locked in a duel between two goaltending greats. A scoreless second left us at 1-0 still after 40 minutes. Shots 29-15 Caps.
Holtby’s sparkling effort couldn’t keep Montreal off the board in the third though. Tomas Plekanec converted on a power play opportunity ending Holtby’s shutout streak at 8 periods. The goal would be reviewed for goaltender interference but eventually upheld. Evgeny Kuznetsov then went full video-game deke with his magic hands to put the Caps back on top 2-1 almost immediately after the game was tied. Kuznetsov would leave another heavy mark on the game as he stripped Carey Price of the puck behind the net and fed a charging Brett Connolly to make the game 3-1. Alex Ovechkin would add a late power-play goal to make it 4-1.
Caps beat Canadiens 4-1!
Now, on Saturday, we had no 16-game winning streak on the line, but standings points count the same no matter who you beat. The Ottawa Senators aren’t a good team so you might have expected a letdown in the Caps play, and we did see of some that through three periods, but thanks to excellent goaltending the Caps pulled out another two points.
Trevor Jenkins Oshie put the Caps up 1-0 early, and his goal also involved the 500th assist of Nicklas Backstrom’s career. Well done, Nicky. The rest of the first was a bunch of cycling in the Senators zone and a few outside shots against Braden Holtby that he easily handled. Shots were 10-5 Ottawa.
The second period came and went without anything notable on the score-sheet outside of the two teams exchanging power plays. The Senators had a couple great late chances including a ping off the crossbar from Erik Karlsson, but Braden Holtby was elite, per usual. Shots 21-13 Ottawa (yuck).
The third period was pretty much more of the same. A few Caps rush chances here, a few Sens shots from the outside there. We were still locked at 1-0 through the first ten minutes. Braden Holtby held down the fort for the last ten minutes earning his second straight shutout.
Caps beat Senators 1-0!
DING DONG the streak is dead. The Blue Jackets came to town and were met very rudely by your Washington Capitals in their fancy home alternate jerseys. In a game that started with a playoff-like feel, your Caps had a chance to put an end to the biggest story of the NHL season so far. They did just that, stopping Columbus’ attempt to tie the NHL record of winning 17 games in a row set by the 1993 Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Caps came out strong, limiting the Blue Jackets to only one or two real chances and putting two goals past Sergei Bobrovsky. Daniel Winnik struck first, converging on a net front scramble and John Carlson deflected a Marcus Johansson pass off of his skate and past the Russian netminder to make the game 2-0.
In very Bachman–Turner Overdrive fashion, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” the Caps followed up a strong first period with an even better second. They doubled their lead with strikes coming from Nate Schmidt and Andre Burakovsky. 4-0 after two.
The Caps weren’t done there. In the third, Justin Williams would continue his hot streak with a top shelf dart to make it 5-0 and remove Sergei Bobrovsky from the game. Braden Holtby with the shutout, ho-hum. BAILAMOS!
Caps beat Blue Jackets 5-0!
We came into tonight’s #CapsCanadianNight with three streaks in jeopardy of being broken. The Caps PK had killed off 29 straight power plays coming into tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs had won 5 straight games, and also have not lost a game in which forward Connor Brown scored a goal. All of those streaks were broken. No streak for you.
The first period saw both offenses explode for 5 goals combined, which is abnormal in games involving the Caps as they have allowed the least amount of first period goals this season. Kadri, Brown, and Gauthier on the board for the bad guys. Williams and Oshie for the Caps.
The Leafs made it 4-2 in the second when Auston Matthews showed why he is the savior of USA Hockey and my new favorite player that isn’t a Washington Capital. Period ended 4-2 Leafs.
Your Caps responded strongly with two quick goals in the first five minutes of the third to tie the game 4-4. Kuznetsov and Orlov on the board. But the Leafs wouldn’t go down quietly as Mitch Marner made it 5-4 on a breakaway, Leafs rookies involved on all 5 goals. Real American Hero John Carlson re-tied it 5-5.
ALEX OVECHKIN won it in over time!
Caps beat Leafs 6-5!
The Washington Capitals hadn’t had a lot of contributions from their defense so far this season, but that all changed on January 1, #TwentySeminteen, and the Caps’ home game against the Ottawa Senators.
After a scoreless first, Kyle Turris scored following Matt Niskanen’s defensive zone turnover. In the final minute of the second period, Karl Alzner scored a blazing one-timer goal set up by TJ Oshie to tie it up.
Taylor Chorney gave the Caps the lead with a strong outside shot early in the third. The Caps killed a two-minute Senators power play and secured the win.
Caps beat Senators 2-1!
Twenty sixteen was a mess. It was swirling chaos in which the things we depend on vanished and in their place came a grim mockery of fairness and equanimity. Appropriate then that the final Caps game of 2016 was refereed by Marc Joannette. The zebraman of the apocalypse tooted his evil whistle early and often, intending to make this the game of his will. The Capitals did not comply.
Andre Burakovsky sent a perfect pass to Brett Connolly to open up scoring, but scoring paused there once John Moore was injured by Tom Wilson. Later, Jay Beagle tapped in a point shot by Brooks Orpik to set a tone of eschatological ruin.
The second period was lousy with penalties. A three-on-three and an errant pass from Kyznetsov gave Kyle Palmieri a chance to score that he did not miss. But then the Caps erupted with three goals in six minutes: Oshie, Ovechkin, and Williams all struck before the second intermission.
Beau Bennett scored for the Devils in the third, but Marcus Johansson responded immediately.
Caps beats Devils 6-2!
A matchup between two Metro division foes usually means good things for hockey fans. Instead, tonight’s game was dreadful. Keith Kinkaid made it hard for the home team to light the lamp. And this season, practically no visiting team at Verizon Center can score goals (32 goals against in 18 games coming into this one) against Braden Holtby or Philipp Grubauer.
Your recap of the game goes like this. The Caps would misfire on two early power play chances and after a flurry of late scoring chances the first period would end scoreless. Shots in favor of the good guys 14-8.
The second period would start and immediately head downhill as Evgeny Kuznetsov decided to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. The period ended 1-0 after some heroics from the Devil’s netminder. Shots were 29 to 15 Caps.
The third period however went much better for the Caps. Daniel Winnik struck shorthanded off a great feed from Jay Beagle to tie the game up at 1.
But the Devils would ultimately win in the shootout. Devils win 2-1.
A sold out Barclays Center and a back and forth, playoff-like pace would create an exciting Tuesday night game for the Capitals and the Islanders. Unfortunately, due to a boatload of really bad turnovers, the game would end in a loss for the Capitals.
The first goal of the game came in eight minutes into the first with a rebound goal from Cal Clutterbuck to put the Islanders on top and give Clutterbuck his 99th goal. Was the goal because of a Dmitry Orlov turnover? Ugh, yes. Luckily, the Capitals answered back five minutes later to tie the game with a Justin Williams rebound goal. It was a weird one.
The second period was messy and heavy on the penalty side. Penalties were killed, power plays were wasted, but then with about six minutes remaining, Andrew Ladd buried a goal while John Carlson was asleep to bring the game to 2-1.
Going into the third period, the Capitals and Islanders were tied with shots on goal at 22 and the Caps were not about to lose on Ovechkin’s watch. Not even a minute and a half into the third period, Ovechkin ties the game with his 541st career goal off a feed from Williams. Unfortunately, Andrew Ladd responded (again) and the Islanders were back on top. Seconds later an unassisted goal from Anders Lee would put the Islanders up 4-2. Fast forward to 6:55 left in the period, Andre Burakovsky gives the Caps (and our spirits) a boost and buries one to bring the score to 4-3. But that wasn’t enough and the Capitals fall to the Islanders.
The Capitals billed their December 23 matchup as a holiday party. Man, was it a fun one. John Carlson got on the board 55 seconds into the game only to net another goal 15 minutes later. In the second, Alex Ovechkin put on his fancy pants and scored his 15th goal of the season and the 540th goal of his career. Marcus Johansson continued his great season with another breakaway tally in the third. Great times. Caps blank Bolts, 4-0.
The Caps went to Philly for the first meeting between these two teams since last spring when the good guy eliminated the bad guys from the playoffs.
Andre Burakovsky opened the scoring off a sublime feed from Dmitry Orlov, giving the Caps winger his first goal since almost a month before Election Day. The Flyers pinned the Caps in their end to start the second period and tied it at one. The third line struck again, this time it was Lars Eller giving the Caps a 2-1 lead after a great pinch by John Carlson. We went 4-on-4 near the end of the second and the Caps decided to let the Flyers tie it so we entered the third level at two. No one scored in the third so this one required OT.
Both teams had chances in OT but no one scored, so to the stupid gimmick we went.
I don’t do bullet points for the shootout because the shootout is lame.
CAPS LOSE in the shootout
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