Caps beat Rangers 7-3

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Nothing is forbidden anymore. The Washington Capitals can seemingly surrender a two-spot to any team in the league just so they can have fun with the comeback effort. That’s precisely what we got in the home den of the New York Rangers on Sunday: a disheartening start, a soaring comeback, and lots and lots of fun hockey.

Taylor Chorney was the setup man in a lovely sequence finished off by Justin Williams for the game’s opening goal. Then it was all Rangers. JT Miller tied the game with a solo drive and a tricky release, then Chris Kreider got the lead by converting a broken play, then Dan Boyle converted a power play before the first period was up.

In the second period, the Caps clawed their way back in with a Russian team-up, Dmitry Orlov to Evgeny Kuznetsov, to make it 3-2, and then TJ Oshie crashed the net to tie the game again. An Ovi Shot from the Ovi Spot gave the Caps the lead, which Justin Williams doubled with a power-play gutshot from the slot late int he period.

Jason Chimera scored a shorthanded goal on relief goalie Magnus Hellberg. No, seriously. Evgeny Kuznetsov forechecked superbly to set up Marcus Johansson for the game’s seventh goal. SEVENTH. GOAL.

Caps beat Rangers 7-3! Hahahahaha))))

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Call it a Comeback: Caps Beat Bolts 5-3

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Photo: Patrick McDermott

The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped by Verizon Center for the final game of the season between these former division foes. In honor of this year’s omnibus, the stuff happening process was stalled until the very end of first session, with just two shots in the game’s first 10 minutes. Tampa got on the board first on a weird goal by Alex Killorn after Braden Holtby ended up somewhere in Delaware. The Caps pressed near the end of the frame, with Alex Ovechkin launching shot after shot to no avail.

In the second, Andrej Sustr, which is not a drunk text, got on the board for the first time in 106 games with a laser of a shot from the far circle. Steven Stamkos added another bullet from the slot just over two minutes later, sending Braden Holtby to Sasstown.

The Capitals rallied after Philipp Grubauer entered the game in relief with TJ Oshie putting the Caps within one with an unassisted tally just with just over 12 minutes left. Alex Ovechkin then scored again, which made lots of people happy. Marcus Johansson then made lots of people extremely happy. Oshie added an ENG. Five unanswered goals. Perhaps the wildest win of the year. Sublime. Caps beat Bolts 5-3!

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A Rollercoaster That Only Goes Up: Caps beat Sens 2-1

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The Washington Capitals looked great on Wednesday night, and I’m not just talking about their uniforms. A win over the Ottawa Senators wasn’t in doubt until Tommy Drama got the home team in trouble late, but some sturdy penalty killing and the world’s best goaltender made it 22 wins for the Caps.

Michael Latta got Washington on the board in the first period with a breakaway goal set up by Dmitry Orlov’s skyward pass. John Carlson put the Sens in a two-goal hole with a one-timer masterfully facilitated by Justin Williams. Tom Wilson got a match penalty late in the third period, allowing Ottawa to spoil Braden Holtby’s shutout, but that was it.

Caps beat Sens 2-1!

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Hey Pat, Oshie Scored Twice: Caps beat Pens 4-1

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Oh, look. Holtby’s mask came off during play again. This is fine. I am fine.

I’ll get to the Penguins-Capitals game, and the debut of Mike Sullivan, and Oshie’s big performance and everything, but first: it happened again. Braden Holtby’s mask came off again. I’m not making too big a deal about this. This is literally a disaster in the making and no one is freaking out enough in my judgment.

But let’s talk about the scoring first.

Nick Backstrom scored early on, snatching a pass from Oshie to beat Marc-Andre Fleury up the gut. Three minutes later, John Carlson took his own rebound and turned it into a two-goal lead, which the Penguins began eroding with Evgeni Malkin’s tip-in through traffic. TJ Oshie put the Pens back in the two-goal hole where they belong with a dandy wraparound in the third period. The Penguins got busted late in the game for having cranky pants, so TJ Oshie got another goal. Woo!

Caps beat Pens 4-1. 21 wins and counting.

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Bank Shots, Blood, and Onions: Caps Beat Bolts 2-1

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Photo: Scott Audette

Tampa is an unrated city. It’s full of strip clubs and personal injury lawyers. The beaches are only 45 minutes away. There’s a nice apartment complex across the channel from Amalie Arena. On Saturday, the Washington Capitals took to those glorious environs looking to bounce back from their terrible game against the Panthers to the southeast.

The game got off to an auspicious start when Jay Beagle took a puck off the face and then flipped it off Ben Bishop’s back to put Washington up 1-0. The Caps then sucked for 10 minutes and had some terrible power plays, but they survived with the lead.

In the second, Evgeny Kuznetsov dropped a Chanukah miracle, once again exploiting Big Ben’s lack of 360 degree vision.

The final frame was blahhhh. I originally had the blah in there as a placeholder for whatever actually happened, but it aptly describes Washington’s third period. Blahhhhhhh. Braden Holtby is good, though, so the Caps won. Caps beat Bolts 2-1.

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Meh: Cats Beat Caps 4-1

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Photo: Wilfredo Lee

The Caps headed down to Sunrise on Thursday with their dads in attendance. Washington showed they learned well from their mentors by doing what old people normally do in Florida: nothing.

The game got off to a weird not-start, with puck drop being delayed nearly 20 minutes due to a lack of EMS folks in the area. When it finally got going, ya boy Jaromir Jagr put the Panthers on the board in the opening minute with a glorious deflection past Philipp Grubauer.

While the Caps offense lay dormant, Washington kept gifting Florida power play. On their fourth man advantage in under 30 minutes, the Panthers converted as Brandon Pirri unleashed a ballistic slap shot from the near circle.

Aaron Ekblad, Alex Ovechkin, and Logan Shaw added tallies in the third, but everyone had stopped caring at that point. Cats beat Caps 4-1.

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Mike Green’s Homecoming: Caps beat Red Wings 3-2 (SO)

Mike Green by Amanda Bowen

Photo: Amanda Bowen

Mike Green returned to Verizon Center for the first time since, eh, I’d rather not talk about it. The Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals played another one of their agonizingly tight games, but it was actually pretty good hockey, so it was fun to watch. But if this game were played in May, I’d be vomiting my soul up right now.

The Capitals didn’t wait long to score. Justin Williams took advantage of a broken play by Detroit to score his 600th career point. A little later, a dumb icing call gave Dylan Larkin the opportunity to set up Henrik Zetterberg for a smooth-looking goal. Detroit took the lead in the second period with Tomas Jurco’s first goal of the season. The Caps drew two penalties in the third period, the second of which Alex Ovechkin converted by crashing the net. Tied at two, the game went to 3v3 overtime, which is basically just NBA Jam for hockey. The Caps had to kill a big penalty in the extra period to force the shootout.

Shootout bullets!

  • TJ Oshie put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Gustav Nyquist did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Pavel Datsyuk did NOT put the biscuit in the basket.

Caps beat Red Wings in the shootout!

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End of the Streak: Jets beat Caps 2-1 (OT)

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^ From actual gameplay during a penalty kill with the clock running and everything

If I were a pro hockey player who was paid ludicrously well to play a silly game, I’d be in a good mood all the time. I’d be an unlimited high five dispenser. You’d get so many free drinks off me you’d develop cirrhosis. I definitely wouldn’t be a cranky piss-pants. And yet, Saturday’s game between the Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals had a bunch of cranky piss-pants in it. From the first whistle players on both teams were already peeing pants. That led to a bunch of penalties early on, but no clear victor in rego and a very murky finish in overtime.

Andrew Ladd scored on a controversial power play late in the first period. Nick Backstrom even it up with a Nicky shot from the reverse-Ovi spot in the second period. No one scored in the third, so into overtime we went. The Caps fired a million shots, but Mark Scheifele finally beat Braden on a disputed but upheld OT goal.

Jets beat Caps 2-1 in overtime, eventually.

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Caps beat Canadiens 3-2: We Have a Holtby

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There’s a scene in Marvel’s Avengers where Iron Man and Loki are talking trash before the big fight. Iron Man plays his trump card, “we have a Hulk,” and then a long, exciting action sequence follows. The Capitals’ performance in Montreal on Thursday would be a bit like that if, instead of fighting for their lives, the Avengers just sorta chilled out and made their “Hulk” do all the work.

Tom Wilson scored on his first shift, a decent snipe after Brooks Laich did work along the boards. The Canadiens tied the game in the second with Lars Eller’s stuff-in goal, but the Caps took a lead to the second intermission thanks to TJ Oshie, ostensibly. The Habs tied it again early in the third with a shorthanded goal by Brian Flynn, but Oshie again restored the lead by being only barely involved in Karl Alzner’s long bomb.

Caps beat Habs 3-2. Seriously, they won that. I don’t know how. The six-game win streak continues!

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Let Us Read and Let Us Dance: Caps Beat Leafs 4-2

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Photo: Chris Young

The Capitals came into the Air Canada Centre looking flat, getting outshot 16-4 in the opening frame. That’s understandable, given the Caps were playing back-to-back games, their seventh match in 11 nights. The Toronto Maple Leafs, meanwhile, hadn’t played since the 23rd of November. They came out swinging, wanting one last win against the boys from Arlington before Steve Whyno relocates back to the National Capital Region.

Jason Chimera, Whyno’s biggest admirer, made sure the Leafs would not get it. After a nice save by Braden Holtby, Chimmer used his speed to go two-on-one up the ice. His shot wasn’t great, but it was enough to beat Jonathan Bernier, who hadn’t played since November 15.

The Leafs got the goal back when the fourth line failed to clear the defensive zone. Maybe Tom Wilson and Michael Latta were tired after carrying all of Brooks Laich’s Black Friday shopping.

Wilson must have been rejuvenated in the second, as he picked up a loose puck in front, did a move from the Nutcracker, scored his first goal in his hometown and his first since March 3. Later in the second, Toronto tied it again when Leo Komarov deflected a puck past Braden Holtby on the power play.

The man advantage was the story of the rest of the night, as Marcus Johansson expertly deflected an Alex Ovechkin PP Bomb into the net for his second goal in as many games. Justin Williams added Washington’s fourth of the net off a brilliant assist from Jason “Yes, That One” Chimera. Nothing in the third. Caps beat Leafs 4-2.

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