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Photo: Kirk Irwin

Alex Ovechkin has four goals in his last two games, which included the game-winning goal Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In the first period, Ovechkin scored a greasy goal, tipping a Brooks Orpik shot past Sergei Bobrovsky. In the third period, Ovechkin scored again after firing two consecutive shots within seconds from The Ovi Spot.

After Ovechkin missed the net on his first attempt, Backstrom regained the puck along the boards and tossed a perfect pass into the Russian machine’s wheel house. Ovi’s quick shot baffled Bobrovsky.

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Angry Barry Trotz is Angry (GIF)

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With 2:16 left in the game, a tired Washington Capitals first-line iced the puck after a flurry of activity in front of Braden Holtby‘s net. Marcus Johansson‘s stick had been partially broken during the previous play so he asked to get a new twig before the face-off. Officials denied him.

To prove his stick was broken, Johansson bowed down and put his weight on it. It broke. The officials ushered him to the box for delay of game. They thought Johansson was trying to buy time for his tired teammates.

Barry Trotz exploded. He literally exploded.

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Nasty Boys: Caps beat Blue Jackets 5-3

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Image by Danny

Raise your hand if you expected Tuesday’s Capitals/Blue Jackets game– the first after the trade deadline– to be a grim, fin-headed mess of a hockey game. The good guys won in the end, but if it costs them Michael Latta for any length of time, I won’t look back on tonight as a victory.

The game started as so many of them do: with Alex Ovechkin opening up scoring, this time with a savvy deflection of Brooks Orpik’s shot. Eric Fehr waited at the doorstep to make it 2-0 before the first period was up, letting us think this would be a secure, uneventful win.

Dumb. The second period was a penalty-laden mess, and it played to Lumbus’ advantage. David Savard and Scott Hartnell each scored with a pair of darts– with Tom Wilson’s net-crash goal in between.

Ovi struck again in the third period because screw the Jackets. Scott Hartnell earned his second while Troy Brouwer was in the box and threatened to tie it on a suspicious late-game penalty, but Holtby was superior. Marcus Johansson got the empty netter and that was that.

Caps beat Jackets 5-3. Let’s get the hell out of here.

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Washington Capitals checking-line center Michael Latta is questionable to return after a check from behind by Columbus enforcer Jared Boll.

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Hockey fights happen in every game, but this do-si-do was weird.

Troy Brouwer and Cody Goloubef exchanged angry shoves in neutral, then they dropped the gloves.

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Alex Ovechkin can score a million different ways. Tonight he gave us a greasy goal. Brooks Orpik gathered a pass from Nicklas Backstrom and sent a shot on net. The Russian machine turned his skates, put his blade to puck, and deflected it past the Sergei Bobrovski, who is back on the force for the first time since January.

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Caps at Blue Jackets Pregame: Meet the New Guys

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Photo: Capstragram

The Capitals are in exotic Ohio tonight for a game with the poor Columbus Blue Jackets. Tonight will be our first look at new forward Curtis Glencross and just our second at man-animal hybrid Tim Gleason on the blue line. These guys, plus assorted fellows from Hershey, will be your Caps squad for the duration, so let’s get start on the right foot: a W.

Puck drops at 7 PM on CSN-DC. Drive safe getting home tonight; roads are gonna be nasty.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 34-20-10 51.6% 100.4 23.6% 81.4%
Columbus Blue Jackets 26-32-4 46.3% 98.8 20.4% 80.4%

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#RMNBPartyGr8: Saturday, March 21 at RFD!

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Prepare yourselves. It is time.

We haven’t thrown a real party since last March–when the Oates!Caps won in San Jose. That was way too long ago. We gotta do it again.

Come party with us at RFD on Saturday, March 21st!

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Alex Ovechkin loves to score goals. Afterwards, sometimes he leaps in into the glass, sometimes he does a jig, sometimes he tumbles to the ground like a building loaded with TNT. That last one happened on Sunday night after Ovi’s fortieth goal of the season.

“I think sniper was up there, shot me in foot,” Ovechkin told reporters after the game.

When I asked around the Capitals locker room at the Kettler on Monday, I was hoping the learn that Ovi’s teammates had seen the fall — or at least the replay — and had been giving Ovechkin a hard time. Troy Brouwer didn’t let me down.

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Photo credit: Christian Petersen

Coming into 2014-15, Jay Beagle had never scored more than four goals in a season. For a fourth line center, that’s fine. Under Barry Trotz, however, Beagle’s playing time has increased. When the Caps took the ice against the Leafs on Sunday, Beagle was slotted in the top-six alongside Marcus Johansson and Troy Brouwer. By the end of the game, Beagle was the top-line right wing, a position he has occupied many times this season.

But here’s the rub: despite a career-high nine goals and 17 points for Beagle, he brings Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom down. I love Beagle. He’s a great face-off man, a solid fourth liner, and a fantastic guy. He is not, however, qualified to play on the first line. Analytics — and the singularly important eye test — back this up. Trotz disagrees though.

“Beagle’s like my lucky charm,” Trotz told reporters when asked about the rotating right-wing spot. “When I put him up there ,we score. I know you analytics guys don’t like his numbers, but we score and get back in the game. There’s reasons for that.”

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