johansson-injury

Scary moment, but a false alarm. First, Eric Fehr went down after a shoulder hit by Kyle Okposo, then Marcus Johansson suffered what could have been a bad injury from Cal Clutterbuck.

(Mojo’s okay now. Deep breaths, everybody.)

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During game three on Sunday, Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr absorbed a clean, shoulder-to-shoulder hit from Islanders forward Kyle Okposo. Fehr, who has a history of shoulder injuries, was pressed into the boards, his right shoulder first.

He left the game. His return is questionable.

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Caps at Islanders Pregame: Noon at Nassau

Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

“He acts like it’s his.” That’s how my mom characterized Alex Ovechkin‘s celebrations for other players’ goals on Friday night. And while I used that to make a cheap joke about selfish Russians, my mom was right. Ovi got to celebrate four times on Friday night’s excellent win over the Islanders (one for him, three for others). It was one of the best games these Caps have played all season, and they’re gonna need more of it today on Long Island.

The series is tied 1-1.

Game starts a little after noon on NBC proper, so if you’re watching from brunch and Pierre mentions the Brandon Wheat Kings, take a deep swig of your mimosa.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 45-26-11 51.9% 100.3 25.3% 81.2%
New York Islanders 47-28-7 53.5% 99.1 18.7% 78.0%

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Photo credit: Chris Gordon

In recent years, as the Capitals began to falter and the Wizards and Nationals rose to playoff status, the crowds at Verizon Center slowly shrank. Though the team announced its 264th consecutive sellout after game two, there have often been large swatches of empty purple seats in the last few years.

Now, the Caps are back in the playoffs. They have a new coach, a new mentality, and are confident that they can finally bring a Stanley Cup to Washington.

With the resurgence of the team, the fans have come back. On this Friday night, the crowd brought back memories of late-game Sergei Fedorov goals and the hope and promise of the electric, run and gun Caps. At one point during game two, the decibel level reached 112. For a lot of the night, the numbers were over 100, nearly breaching the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s permissible noise level exposure limits.

The Rock the Red spirit is back and it’s pushing the Capitals forward. The team knows it. Here’s what they said after the game.

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Wes Johnson’s Epic Unleash The Fury (Video)

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Verizon Center was insanely loud tonight. Many players remarked about it after the game (more on that later). And according to friend of the blog Chris Gardner, the noise reached a maximum of 112.2 dB inside the arena, which came on some good ol’ fashioned organic cheering. You guys are crazy.

Caps PA Announcer Wes Johnson was also on top of his game tonight. Every game, Wes will try to pump up the crowd after the team runs it’s Unleash The Fury video on the jumbotron. The video package is played at a strategic time in the game where the Caps Game Entertainment crew thinks it will most help the players and lead them to victory. Tonight, after Karl Alzner scored to make the game 2-1 Isles, the video played.

Then Wes did his thing. It is magical.

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There was a point on Friday night when the Caps trailed the Islanders 3-1. All hope seemed lost. A 2-0 series deficit was on the horizon.

Then Alex Ovechkin scored. Nicklas Backstrom crashed the party next. And then, finally, Jason Chimera, last game’s goat (who probably should have been scratched tonight), gave the home team their first lead of the series.

4-3. Chimera’s tally would stand as the game winning goal. Series tied.

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Believe: Caps beat Isles 4-3!

File photo: You, while watching this game (Photo courtesy of You)

Without Holtby but not without hope, the Washington Capitals played desperate hockey on a thrilling Friday night duel with the New York Islanders. Down one game to none, the Caps started out without distinction. Into the two-goal hole they went …and then out again they came, furious and scoring.

If you believe in the Caps, this game is why.

Like last game, the Isles struck early– this time with Cal Clutterbuck scoring on a 2-on-1 rush just five minutes in. Ryan Strome’s second-period marker put the Caps in a two-goal hole, but Karl Alzner’s huge goal got the home team into the game. Kyle Okposo scored a seeming dagger shortly after, but a stellar rally by Washington led to Alex Ovechkin’s kanooblian goal just before the second intermission.

The Capitals drew their first penalty in the third period, so Nick Backstrom carved through the Isles defense to tie the game at three goals apiece. Jason Chimera, yes, Jason Chimera, gave the Caps the lead by conducting laser surgery on his own rebound after Nick Leddy choked up the puck.

Caps beat Isles 4-3! Series is tied 1-1!

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Nicklas Backstrom Ties The Game (GIF)

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Talking about this goal would be vulgar. Just know this: Nick Backstrom has tied the game at three with a power-play goal that will make you cry or high five or cry five, which is what you call it when you cry and high five at the same time.

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ovi-celebrating-goal

A New York Islander just broke another stick, and the Caps just scored another goal.

After Matt Niskanen unleashed a puck from his Niscannon towards Jaro Halak, captain Alex Ovechkin smacked the rebound emphatically into the net.

HUGE.

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alzner-goal

It might have felt the same, but it was nothing like 2010 except in the most superficial way: the Caps couldn’t score.

With a possession lead but in a two-goal hole, the Caps grew increasingly desperate in the second. Eventually the shots started getting on net, but none could be that damned Jaro Halak. And then, with a real offensive-zone presence, Mike Green executed a perfect pass to Karl Alzner. With Troy Brouwer’s big ass up front, Alzner hit the back of the net for the second time of his playoff career.

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