Fehr Redeems in the Desert: Caps beat Coyotes 2-1 (OT)

Christian Petersen

Photo: Christian Petersen

I don’t get it. Twenty minutes in, the Washington Capitals looked like they almost had it figured out. Despite some sub-optimal lines, they held a lead over an inferior team. Then they stopped skating, surrendered the lead to the Arizona Coyotes, and then looked not much better than the Oates Caps. I don’t get it, but at least they had Eric Fehr to seal the deal.

The two players we expected the least from, Jason Chimera and Jay Beagle, combined for a skill goal in the first period when Chimera burst into the o-zone then dropped to the late-guy Beagle, who put it in the back of the net. The Caps had control for the rest of the period, but surrendered all momentum in the second, culminating in Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s goal into a practically empty net.

Nobody could score in the third, so we got to see the dry scrape– maybe for the last time. Then, in overtime, Eric Fehr crashed the goddamn net and won it.

Caps beat Yotes 2-1 in overtime!

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Lost Weekend: Blues beat Caps 4-1

tarasenko-orlov

Orlov and Tarasenko: BFFs.

The St. Louis Blues are really good. I don’t know if the Capitals are having a bad weekend, or if it’s that their opponents have just been really good. I’m not sure how much it matters: another loss. Zero points on the weekend. Major bummer.

Jori Lehtera scored first, exploiting some distracted defense. Joel Ward tied it up with a lucky long bomb that trickled past Brian Elliott. Before the second period was up, Jaden Schwartz outlasted Karl Alzner in the paint to restore the Blues’ lead. Justin Peters misplayed a puck behind his net (sound familiar?) to give David Backes a lay-up just twelve seconds in the third period. Patrik Berglund made it 4-1 with a lovely, unchallenged passing play late in the game.

Blues beat Caps 4-1.

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Devils beat Caps 1-0 And There is Nothing to Say

I don’t know what we were expecting from the Caps’ home game against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are notorious for stifling fun, and the Capitals had Jay Beagle on their top line. Frankly, I blame the NHL.

Nothing happened for nearly fifty minutes, then Braden Holtby made an unwise board-and-out that found Mike Cammaleri. It was barely a hockey game.

Devils beat Caps 1-0.

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Фото: Джефф Бурк

“Вашингтон” продлил свою победную серию до трех матчей, переиграв дома “Коламбус”, 4-2. После разочаровывающего первого периода, “Блю Джекетс” навязали столичному клубу борьбу и имели шансы свести игру к ничьей, но в решающие моменты “Вашингтон” был чуть лучше.

“Коламбус”, у которого лазарет заполнен чуть более, чем полностью, проиграли перед этой игрой восемь матчей подряд и гордо носили звание худшей команды НХЛ, которая не называется “Баффало Сэйбрз”. Всего “Жакеты” недосчитались, учитывая дисквалификацию Джека Джонсона, десяти игроков основы, в том числе Сергея Бобровского, Нэйтана Хортона, Артема Анисимова и Брэндона Дубински. В итоге, атака “Коламбуса” выглядела как “Джохансен, Фолиньо, Хартнелл и еще кучка каких-то малоизвестных ребят”. В обороне не все так прискорбно, а вот основным вратарем “Блю Джекетс” является Кертис “90,1% отраженных бросков в карьере” МакЭлинни. Здесь должна быть шутка про безработного Илью Брызгалова, но я ее так и не придумал.

Таких соперников надо побеждать. Что и было сделано.

Маркус Юханссон пролез к воротам и затолкнул шайбу мимо МакЭлинни примерно через полторы минуты после первого вбрасывания. Шестью минутами позже, Александр Овечкин забил со своей точки в двойном большинстве (беззащитную тройку “Коламбуса” было даже жалко). Кэм Аткинсон ответил через пару минут выстрелом, который прошил Холтби. Потрясающая комбинация в исполнении Джея Бигла и Никласа Бэкстрема в конце первого периода и Овечкин снова прострелил вратаря “Джекетс”.

Во втором периоде команды голов не забивали на протяжении 19 минут, хотя шансов было немало у обоих клубов. Но в самой концовке “Жакеты” усилиями Давида Савара и не без помощи удачного отскока от Брэйдена Холтби одну шайбу отыграли.

В третьем периоде Юханссон забил красивый гол из-за ворот, по сути обеспечив своей команде победу.
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Killer Instinct? Caps beat Canes 4-3 (OT)!

Happy Beagle GIF by @myregularface

A full sixty minutes of good hockey still eludes the Washington Capitals. Saturday’s bout with the Carolina Hurricanes almost shaped up that way, but the Caps let the Canes shamble away after the second intermission. And just like Tyreese on the Walking Dead with that creepy guy in the baseball cap, the Caps would regret not killing the bastards when they had the chance.

But they still squeaked out the W, and that’s what matters. Two in a row!

Eric Fehr drew a penalty in the first period, resulting in a hardworking power-play goal by Troy Brouwer set up by Marcus Johansson’s drive to the net. Jay Beagle made it 2-0 by scoring from an angle where it’s supposed to be impossible to score. The Canes got on the board late in the period with a nice goal by Riley Nash.

Eric Fehr scored a thrilling goal late in the second period, converting a turnover he forced, and then reaching wide to beat Anton Khudobin.

The Canes closed the gap int the third period. Jeff Skinner ripped off Eric Fehr in the D zone and set up Eric Staal for a one-timer, and then Justin Faulk got a shot off the faceoff through a bunch of traffic to tie it (Update: Lindholm tipped it, which explains why Peters couldn’t stop it).

With just seconds left in overtime, Nick Backstrom put Alex Ovechkin’s rebound in the back of the net like a flappy salmon.

Caps beat Canes 4-3 in overtime!

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Caps beat Hawks 3-2! The Capitals Won a Game!

Freaking great GIF by @myregularface

The Chicago Blackhawks were wayyyyy better than the Washington Capitals for the first half of Friday night. Like, it wasn’t even close. It was like David and Goliath except if Goliath mercilessly beat David to death with a club. But then the Caps herded a little big mo’ and got the bounces that had been eluding them for the last two weeks.

It was ugly at first. Get this. Marian Hossa beat Matt Niskanen along the boards and set up Brandon Saad for a lovely goal on a two-on-one. Then, Duncan Keith got a rebound for a power-play goal from the Ovi spot to make it 2-0.

Okay, now get THIS, ’cause this all happened inside five minutes. First,Andre Burakovsky called his own number on a breakaway late in the second, scoring with a dart to the high corner. Then, Marcus Johansson tied it up with a spinny shot that took some bounces. Finally, Matt Niskanen release a long b0mb from the blue line that had plenty of support up front– namely Joel Ward, who tipped it in.

The third period was all Hawks as the Caps played prevent defense in the same manner as your parents played prevent defense about nine months before you were born. Except this time it worked.

Caps beat Hawks 3-2! THE CAPITALS HAVE WON A GAME!

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Flames beat Caps 4-3 (OT), Oh Noes, Teh Caps R Bad

Patrick McDermott

The GOAT (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

The Washington Capitals should have beat the Calgary Flames. They played well for the most part, but the Calgary Flames got the better bounces. So the slump continues, but at least the Caps got a standings point this time.

Calgary got on the board first when Lance Bouma stole a rebound that Mike Green didn’t see. The Caps struck back soon after as Nick Backstrom chopped Alex Ovechkin’s long bomb.

Mark Giordano got the best of some meh Capitals defense to give the Flames the lead in the second, but the Caps had a quick response thanks to a weird bounce in Marcus Johansson’s favor. The Capitals entered the second intermission with a one-goal lead thanks to a greasy 5v3 goal by Joel Ward.

The Flames got a freak goal of their own off Marcus Johanssons’ stick and Troy Brouwer’s skate with about five minutes left because hockey is cruel and hates your stupid narrative. Tom Wilson almost had a buzzer beater, but Hiller denied him.

Dry scrape! Overtime was exciting as hell, with tons of chances for the good guys, but it was the Flames who emerged victorious when Sean Monahan got the best of the defense.

Flames beat Caps 4-3 (OT). Five games without a W.

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Don’t Panic: Coyotes beat Caps 6-5

baby-zebra

Nope, this wasn’t the turning point. The Washington Capitals started strong against the Arizona Coyotes, but surrendered five unanswered goals after the first period and looked more than a little messy. Some nasty reffing didn’t help either.

Antoine Vermette got a quick power-play goal in the first period, but the Caps stormed back with three of their own: Tom Wilson’s deflection of Alex Ovechkin’s long bomb, John Carlson’s point-blank wrister, and an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot.

The second period belonged to the Coyotes, who got two goals on or immediately after power plays.

Arizona scored two early in the third– first when Sam Gagner did something mysterious and inscrutable in front of Justin Peters, and again when Shane Doan stole Alex Ovechkin’s defensive-zone turnover. Tomas Rierder got his first NHL goal on a breakaway in the final five minutes.

Joel Ward got a PPG in garbage time off the skate of a Yotes defender, and then Troy Brouwer made it a one-goal game with a weird bounce in the final 30 seconds.

Coyotes beat Caps 6-5.

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Lightning beat Caps 4-3: Blurghghrhghlgh

Scott Iskowitz

Photo: Scott Iskowitz

The Washington Capitals are way better than their record shows, but it still ain’t showing up in the standings. A thrilling defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night extends that patterns and tests our patience, but at least it was fun to watch.

Ryan Callahan returned from injury tonight and scored right away with a fancy redirect between his legs. The Caps tied it up when Marcus Johansson scored on a rebound off a hero effort by Alex Ovechkin.

The second period was a back-and-forth affair. Eric Fehr scored after a blistering attack (told ya so), but the Bolts tied it up with a pretty passing play punctuated by Palat. It looked like the Bolts would have the lead going into the third, but Brouwer scored off a perfect tee-up by Johansson during a late-period power play.

Jason Garrison scored off a faceoff early in the third, the deflection going off Nick Backstrom’s skates. The Caps couldn’t get it one.

Lightning beat Caps 4-3.

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Broken Noses, Broken Hearts: Wings Beat Caps 4-2

WingsCaps

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

I was pessimistic about the Caps entering the season. Early on, however, they proved me wrong. The team went until late October without a loss in regulation, picking of a bunch of standings points. They were strong on both sides of the puck and all the storylines were positive. It was like everyone was Ian: innocent, happy, naïvely carefree.

A trip out west changed that. The Caps lost two of the three played past your bedtime and we came down to earth. Looking to change things, Barry Trotz decided to go with another forceful lineup that he divined using either his brilliant hockey mind or a hat. Perhaps he knows half of you didn’t watch this game either.

The scoring got stared in the first when Braden Holtby took a twirl and a tumble in the crease. The referees, perhaps unaware the Caps play their home game on melted Slurpee, called the goal back, alleging goalie inference on Luke Glendening. Other than a few reorganized faced, the first was otherwise uneventful, though the Wings registered Pantherian three shots on goal.

In the second, things got more interesting. About nine minutes into the period, Marcus Johansson continued his goal scoring streak by putting the Wings up for real this time. Jojo turned the puck over inside the blueline before Gustav Nyquist stretched Holtby’s groin past its breaking point. Bray Bray, though, got even a little over five minutes later with a delicious bank pass to Joel Ward, who fed the puck to a streaking Evgeny Kuznetsov to tie it up on the power play. With 58 ticks remaining in the period, first-liner Andre Burakovsky used his fancy euroness to blow past the Detroit D before John Carlson used the First Amendment to set Troy Brouwer up for the one timer.

Alas, things got rather dumb in the third period. Brooks Orpik and Burakovsky combined for an awful turnover, allowing Justin Abdelkader to tie it. It was basically the FBI building of brutalism.

The party didn’t stop there. John Carlson joined in on the “hey free pucks!” train and Abdelkader twisted the knife. Another for good measure. Wings beat Caps 4-2.

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