That was a dumb period. (Photo credit: Justin Tang)
On this festive weekend, the Caps looked to clinch a playoff berth with a regulation win over the Senators. Instead, they dug themselves a huge hole early. Somehow, they came back. Then they blew it again. Oh well. Put down your matzo and wine, it’s no time for a yeast-less party.
What’s that thing called? That thing when you have the puck and then you shoot it at the other team’s net? It’s a word that’s like “trying to score” except it’s one word instead of three, and I think Canadians pronounce it wrong.
Whatever it was, it was missing in Montreal for most of Thursday night. The Capitals played a lot of defense, but less so of the other thing until they had surrendered the lead. Then Alex Ovechkin did his thing: spat in the dirt, said nyet, and made this a goddamn game.
Enjoy this one.
It was the Canadiens who scored first, with Jeff Petry beating Braden Holtby after a penalty expired early in the second period. Joel Ward struck back with a lovely rush goal on an odd-man rush, and then Alex Ovechkin broke Peter Bondra’s all-time scoring lead with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot. The Canadiens instantly returned fire with goals by Tom Gilbert and Lars Eller– thanks to bad defense and badder bounces, respectively.
The Caps earned a power play in the third, and Alex Ovechkin converted it to tie the game with nine minutes remaining. John Carlson unleashed a bomb from another power-play, maybe tipped by Joel Ward, to give the Caps a late lead. With Curtis Glencross in the box for a silly penalty, PK Subban scored a gorgeous game-tying goal to force overtime
Galchenyuk did not put the biscuit in the basket.
Kuznetsov did not put the biscuit in the basket. Stupid post.
Desharnais did not put the biscuit in the basket.
Backstrom did not put the biscuit in the basket.
Parenteau did not put the biscuit in the basket. Flashy glove save.
Ovechkin did not put the biscuit in the basket. Hart showdown.
Patches did not put the biscuit in the basket. Diving save by Braden.
What a great game. The Capitals beat the Hurricanes in a must-win game. Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th. All the goals were pretty rush goals. That was a blast.
Mike Green scored first, on the rush, like a boss, as Curtis Glencross crashed the net. Then Alex Ovechkin hit the 50-goal mark for the sixth time with a lovely wrister from the high slot.
The Canes evened it up in the second period with goals by Nathan Gerbe (thanks to Alex Semin) and captain Eric Staal, but before we hit the second intermission Jason Chimera found Brooks Laich driving to the net to restore the Caps lead, which Joel Ward supersized with a late-period goal off Alex Ovechkin’s perfect pass.
On March 29, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
The view from MSG’s bridge, from Caps Road Crew
Brutal weekend. Or at least it would have been without the best player in the NHL, Alex Ovechkin. The New York Rangers looked speedy and cohesive, whereas the Capitals looked discombobulated and panicky– but Alex Ovechkin grabbed this game by the horns and tamed it like a folk hero. Jason Chimera had a huge third period, and all of a sudden a nightmare weekend wasn’t so bad after all.
Alex Ovechkin started us off just four minutes in, carrying the puck into the Rangers zone and using the D as a screen to beat Cam Talbot. The next two goals belonged to New York: the first Kevin Hayes’ solo effort after John Carlson’s woeful turnover, the second Derek Brassard’s rush goal after Niskanen’s bad pinch.
Ovechkin struck again in the second period, using Joel Ward as a screen to knot the game heading into the final period.
Jason Chimera scored twice (I know, right?!) in the third period– both times by crashing the net and both times with the help of Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr. Marcus Johansson got the empty netter as soon as Cam Talbot left the crease.
On March 28, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Mike Green scored with one of your sticks.
If you turned off Saturday’s Capitals-Predators game after twenty minutes, I’m worried for you. Yes, it was ugly at that point, but the Caps team of the game’s latter two-thirds wasn’t so bad. If you tuned out, you’d have missed Troy Brouwer’s hero pose and Mike Green’s Ovi spot routine. It was still a brutal loss, but it wasn’t such a bad game after all.
The Caps actually looked pretty good for ten minutes, but after failing to convert a 4v3, the Predators took over. First it was Mattias Ekholm, whose pretty backhand goal came right after the Caps power play expired. Then Mike Fisher took the wheel after Karl Alzner lost his stick and a battle in the crease to Filip Forsberg. Speaking of that dude, Forsberg broke our hearts and ended Holtby’s afternoon with a solo scoar.
That all happened in the first damn period.
The second found Troy Brouwer scoring twice, his 19th and 20th of the season, to put the Caps within striking distance. Things were looking up, but then Mike Ribeiro, who is probably a garbage human being, gave the Preds their fourth goal.
Mike Green put the Caps back within one just 20 seconds into the third, scoring on a Greenie shot from the Ovi spot with his Stealth. The Capitals ratcheted up the pressure late, but Pekka Rinne held onto the lead.
On March 26, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
The Capitals hadn’t played a game since the late 80s (okay, Saturday), so they looked rested and dialed-in for most of Thursday’s home game against Adam Oates and the New Jersey Devils. Then the third period happened, wherein the Capitals played a prevent defense, which is about as effective as the rhythm method is at birth control.
Inconceivably, Karl Alzner scored first, wandering deep in the offensive zone, where Oates did think him naughty for being there. Eric Fehr doubled down in the second period because he’s terrific, but then Travis “Pat” Zajac cashed in on one of the Caps’ many power-play turnovers. The Caps surrendered the possession game in the third period and relied way too much on Braden Holtby. Steve Bernier tied it up in the final thirty seconds to force overtime, but who cares– Matt Niskanen fired the niscannon to get the OTGWG. (Or maybe Kuznetsov tipped it? Doesn’t matter. CAPS WIN!)
The Washington Capitals didn’t play very well against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, but spirits at #RMNBPartyGr8 were high enough that we didn’t mind.
Mark Stuart converted in the first after a convenient puck dribbled across the slot. Mark Scheifele scored in the second after a failed breakout pass allowed him a clear shot– again from the slot. Someone got an empty-better during a late-game Caps power play. Oh well. The Caps spent a few special moments in front of Pavelec’s net, but not a once did they hit its back.
Jets beats Caps 2-0. Shutout city. Share your feelings and analyses in the comments. Thanks to everyone who came out to the party. Sorry the boys couldn’t SCOAR moar for you.
On March 19, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
It took a while to get going, but the Capitals played a good road game against a good opponent to earn two huge points on Thursday night. It was game that, like so many others, serves to remind us how valuable Alex Ovechin is to this team. You might even say he’s the Most Valuable.
We waited with baited breath until past the halfway mark, when Zach Parise roughed up Tom Wilson and Wilson got a B.S. embellishment call. Alex Ovechkin responded with his 46th of the season, followed by Evgeny Kuznetsov’s snatch-and-score just 40 seconds later. Christian Folin extracted revenge right before the second intermission with a rush goal.
Ovechkin scored number 47 in the third period, which was amazing, and Jared Spurgeon hit a stand-up double on a late-game power play. Braden Holtby fended off a wild (get it?) attack in the final minute to win the game.
On March 16, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Be honest: you saw this coming. After last night’s thrilling win over the Bruins, the Caps weren’t quite so motivated playing on the road against the league’s escape goats, the Buffalo Sabres.
Why was this even a contest? Because the Capitals are gaslighting you right now basically. They want to see you crack. Don’t let them see you crack, fan.
Jason Chimera looked particularly goat-tastic on Buffalo’s first goal, a give-and-go sequence capped off by Tyler Ennis. Curtis Glencross scored– yet again in the first period– cleaning up Matt Niskanen’s rebound during the power play. Cody Hodgson got a fluke goal off Braden Holtby’s back to give the Sabres the lead.
“…to give the Sabres the lead”
Mike Green showed tremendous patience in finding the empty 80 percent of Anders Lindback’s net in the second period, so we went into the third tied.
Evgeny Kuznetsov put the Capitals in the lead in the third period, which shouldn’t have been a big deal considering the opponent, but here we are, genuinely excited about the Caps leading the Buffalo Sabres, and even that didn’t last. Johan Larsson deflected a shot by Chad Ruhwedel, who really is an actual hockey player and not just a name you get by slamming on your keyboard like Wefwejop.
Anyway, overtime didn’t decide anything, so…
Ennis did not put the biscuit in the basket
Kuznetsov put the biscuit in the basket with a jaunty waltz
Moulson did not put the biscuit in the basket
Backstrom did not put the biscuit in the basket
Whoever went last did not put the biscuit in the basket
Caps beat Sabres 4-3 in the shootout. yey they beat the sabres.
On March 15, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Alright, listen. There was a game and the Caps won, but all I really care about is that Nate Schmidt scored. I’m not gonna play it cool and dedicate just a single, solemn bullet to Nate’s goal because you will all know I’m being disingenuous.