On Thursday night, the Capitals continued their strong start to the season with a 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers. They are now one of only three teams in the NHL yet to lose in regulation. The game itself was mostly solid, except for losing both a 2-goal lead and a piece of Daniel Winnik’s ear when he blocked a shot with his head in the third period.
The game also featured Alex Ovechkin’s 90th career game winning goal (a lovely tip-in off a Niskanen blast), and the 750th goal by someone named Jaromir Jagr.
The Washington Capitals haven’t hit their full stride yet this season, but four games into the new campaign, the 2015-16 President’s Trophy winners are already among the league’s best in a bunch of categories.
While Jaromir Jagr got all the headlines Thursday after scoring his 750th career goal, Alex Ovechkin quietly made some history of his own. In the third period, Ovechkin deflected a Matt Niskanen point shot past Roberto Luongo. The goal gave the Caps a 3-2 lead. After Marcus Johansson added an insurance goal late, the Caps defeated the Panthers 4-2.
Ovechkin’s goal would stand up as the game winner.
In the third period, Caps forward Daniel Winnik blocked a shot with the side of his head.
Winnik writhed in pain on the ice before going down to the locker room. He returned several minutes later and we all assumed he was okay.
He was not. According to Barry Trotz, Winnik lost a part of his ear.
During a late third period power play, Daniel Winnik dove to the ice in an attempt to block a Reilly Smith shot from the point. Winnik was successful, but he paid a price.
The Caps forward blocked the slap shot off the side of his head.
The Washington Capitals headed down to the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area for a hockey match. Or maybe it was the Kazakhstan desert. Either way, no one was there.
The Capitals got the scoring started after a great play by the love of my life Nate Schmidt, who fed the puck in front to a waiting Justin Williams, ever whacking until he scored his first goal of the season. Less than two minutes later, Evgeny Kuznetsov got his first regular-season goal since March 1 when he tipped in a shot from Matt Niskanen. Before the period was up, however, Michael Matheson surprised Braden Holtby with a quick shot from the half board.
The second period landed with a flop like this year’s Al Smith dinner, with the Panthers outshooting the Caps 14-4 and Jaromir Jagr netting his 750th career goal. The joke is in reference to something that was on TV during the game, which I turned off because it was too boring.
In the third, Alex Ovechkin deflected another Niskanen point drive. The Caps flipped the script on the second period, only allowing a handful of shots in the closing 20. Marcus Johansson added one late. Caps beat Panthers 4-2.
Former Capital Jaromir Jagr just hit a milestone against the Capitals. The 44-year-old Jagr became the third player of all time to score 750 career goals. The tally, Jagr’s second career goal on Braden Holtby, came after the Czech rifled a one-timer past the 2016 Vezina Trophy winner.
Tonight, the Caps are gunning for their third straight win. They’ve got a killer second line, and the power play has finally clicked. Yeah, yeah–it’s early in the season, but things are looking really good.
Tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers takes the Caps down south to Sunrise, Florida, where today’s high is a balmy 83 degrees. In addition to fabulous weather, the Panthers also boast a 2-0-1 record. Their lone loss, like the Caps’, was in the pesky ol’ shootout.
The Panthers secured the Atlantic Division championship last season before getting booted in the first round. This season, they’ve returned as a younger, better team. They’re currently a top possession team–as are the Caps. This should be a jolly good game. Puck drop is at 7:30 on CSN.
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After beginning the year zero for eight on the power play, the Capitals burst out of their goalless drought Tuesday night with two goals in five opportunities. Nicklas Backstrom may be the most important player on the Capitals’ power play, according to the CSN poll between periods last game, but some love needs to be given to the point men. When John Carlson and now, Dmitry Orlov get shots through and feed pucks accurately to Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals power play is virtually unstoppable.
Thursday morning in Florida, three Capitals players sat on a bench and waited for the team bus to take them to practice. Brett Connolly and Andre Burakovsky furiously fidgeted with their mobile phones while Caps goaltender Braden Holtby worked on a crossword puzzle.
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