KarlAlznerGameOneRobCarr

Photo: Rob Carr

Karl Alzner missed Saturday’s morning skate with what the team is calling a “maintenance day.” Alzner missed two days of practice earlier this week but played in Thursday’s game despite being “banged up.” Skating in Alzner’s spot on the second pairing alongside Matt Niskanen was Mike Weber, though Weber stayed out late with the heathly scratches.

Dmitry Orlov looks to be healthy scratch as well following a misplay on Nick Bonino that led to a goal in the second period. Capitals coach Barry Trotz benched Orlov for the second half of the game, save for one short shift in the third period. Orlov has not missed a game all season.

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#CapsFilmRoom: Goals from Game One

Oshie Hattrick

For the last couple months (since I figured out how to create GIFs), I have been posting 140 character or less takes on goals that the Capitals have either scored or given up on the Twitter. I am more than happy to take any requests on a non-goal play that someone has questions about, so feel free to make any requests. For now, let’s use the ability to post longer than 5-second videos to get some more detail in the explanations for the goals of Game One.

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Photo: Monumental Sports Network

I know this might sound crazy, but TJ Oshie’s daughter Lyla set the tone for the Washington Capitals ahead of Game One. The Tiny Osh was recorded by her mother kicking the crap out of a Penguins poster, which, according to Dan Steinberg, was left at the family’s doorstep by a neighboring Pens fan.

The clip, which was posted by Lauren Oshie during an Instagram takeover of Ted Leonsis’s Monumental Sports Network, went viral.

Lauren also captured many other precious moments, such as Lyla celebrating her father’s second period breakaway goal at Verizon Center.

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NHL Fines Tom Wilson for Kneeing Conor Sheary

WilsonKneeSheary

Knee-on-knee.

Once again, Tom Wilson is being talked about for all the wrong reasons. On Friday afternoon, the NHL fined Wilson $2,403.67, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for kneeing Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary.

Sheary missed a few shifts after the hit but stayed in the game.

Speaking before the fine was levied by the Department of Player Safety, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz admitted Wilson should have avoided the hit, though he described it as “shin-on-shin.”

“We’ll leave it up to the league,” Trotz said. “Whatever they decide, I think we’re fine with it. That’s what their job is. You gotta respect. Player Safety with the NHL has done, I think, a good job.”

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Washington Capitals center Jay Beagle played great in Game One of the Second Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The fourth liner skated 15 minutes and 17 seconds, topping Washington’s third line in TOI. He and partners Daniel Winnik and Tom Wilson were hard on the forecheck, forcing turnovers and tiring out Pittsburgh’s forwards. Beagle also won 63 percent of his faceoffs, including some key ones against Evgeni Malkin, whom he bested 75 percent of the time.

After the game, Beagle and I exchanged our usual fist bump for a job well done, but no one in the locker room wanted to ask him about about his performance. Instead, Beagle’s adventures with Kris Letang’s stick, which got stuck between his helmet and visor, was the topic du jour for the national media assembled at Verizon Center.

“I definitely knew there was a stick in my visor,” Beagle said. “I just couldn’t believe that it was stuck. I tried to pull it a couple times just so I could continue with the play, but it wouldn’t come out. Then I figured I might as well get to the bench, I’m useless right now. I can’t see a thing.”

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mike-green-baby

Photo: @cparrie

Early Wednesday morning, former Capital Mike Green and his wife Courtney were celebrating the birth of their first child. Axel Rain Green was born at 5:45 AM. According to Courtney, Axel weighed 7.1 lbs and is 20.5 inches long.

The parents shared photos on social media.

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caps-fans-bad-behavior

The lasting image of Game One should be TJ Oshie getting lovingly mauled by his teammates or a horde of Caps fans bursting out in song at Metro Center.

But there’s also this, so let’s talk about this. (Warning: Bad language below.)

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LovejoyOrlovGameOneRobCarr

Lovejoy celebrates his goal (Photo: Rob Carr)

Capitals defensemen Dmitry Orlov went for the big hit, hoping to take Penguins center Nick Bonino out at the blue line. Instead, Orlov missed, colliding with Nate Schmidt. Bonino was left with an unfettered path to the net. He shot the puck on Braden Holtby before Ben Lovejoy cleaned up the rebound at the midway point of Game One on Thursday, tying the score at one.

Orlov, who, like Schmidt, is playing in his first postseason in the NHL, didn’t see the ice for the rest of the game, save for a brief 25-second shift early in the third period. He finished with less than six minutes of time on ice.

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Pittsburgh+Penguins+v+Washington+Capitals+DKNtOep8b5ax

Photo: Patrick Smith

Riding a trick of hats from TJ Oshie, the Caps grabbed a 1-0 series lead Thursday night with a 4-3 win over the Penguins in overtime. The game’s pace and intensity was noticeably up a notch over the Caps first round matchup against the Flyers. The Penguins are also obviously a more skilled opponents.

The most important thing is the Caps got the win. But there are things the team can improve upon moving forward. Some of the matchups gave the team fits and there were prolonged periods of the game where the Pens carried the play.

In the end, it was, objectively, a great hockey game and the Caps are up 1-0. Let’s take a look at the numbers 5-on-5 numbers from the game.

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Young Rising Sons and Game One Victory (RMNB Podcast)

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Photo: Sophie Hsu

Right after the final goal horn went off on Thursday night, I chatted with Andy and Steve, two fervent Caps fans who also happen to be members of the band Young Rising Songs. We talked about the win, hockey, and rock and roll. It was fun chat and now you get to hear it.

The RMNB Podcast is on iTunes. Do us a solid and give us a positive rating if you like it.

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