The Washington Capitals are 2-7 all-time in Game Sevens. They’re 0-1 all-time in Game Sevens on the road, 1-2 all-time in Game Seven OT, and none of that matters at all, because all we need them to be is 1-0 in Game Sevens on April 25, 2012, versus the Boston Bruins.
Kanoobs celebrates his Game 5 goal. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)
After being scratched for the first three games of the Caps’ first round series against Boston, 39-year-old Mike Knuble was inserted into the lineup for Game Four and hasn’t been taken out since. The fan-favorite right wing even scored in the third period of Game Five to help the Capitals take a 3-2 lead in the series. Knuble has always been reliable for the Caps in the postseason — he’s scored 5 goals in 16 career playoff games for the Capitals and has 28 points in 57 career playoff games. The 16-year NHL veteran has also won a Stanley Cup and played in three Game Sevens, which is something not many players on the Caps roster can say.
So what should we expect to see in the deciding game on Wednesday? In an interview with DC101’s Elliot in the Morning, Knuble talks about Braden Holtby, tuning out the Bruins’ trash-talk, and Ovechkin’s limited ice time in Game Three.
Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
After Andrew Ference chucked a rebound past a helpless Braden Holtby, the Bruins took a commanding a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes to go in the game. The Caps’ hopes of clinching the series at home slipped away with that play…
Or at least until Alex Ovechkin slammed a puck through Tim Thomas’s five-hole with five minutes left to go. Despite countless cricitics declaring his decline, it was Ovechkin’s second goal and his fifth point in the series. He is the second highest playoff point-scorer among active players in the league.
The best part of the goal however, was Ovi’s jubilant celebration which included a face-first jump into the boards.
If you liked our new cover photo, you’re really going to love the photos below.
Crash the net! (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
Three times in Game Six did the Boston Bruins gain a lead over the Washington Capitals. And three times did the Caps tie it up. But the Caps just couldn’t finish off Boston.
Rich Peverley was credited for deflecting Bergeron’s blue-line bomb past Holtby. Mike Green got that back with a slapshot from way out, bouncing off Greg Zanon’s lower body in traffic. David Krecji used his speed to convert a power play and restore the Bruins’ lead. Jason Chimera evened it up by finishing off a great setup from Nick Backstrom at the end of the second period. Tyler Seguin’s rebound made easy feeding for Andrew Ference, giving the Bruins their third lead of the day. Alex Ovechkin canceled that out with a laser-quick shot off the faceoff with just five minutes remaining.
Into overtime, which Boston dominated until Tyler Seguin got the game winner. Bruins beat Caps 4-3 (OT). We’re going to Game Seven in Boston.
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
With 42 seconds left in the second period, the Capitals tied Game Six up with a bizarre play that resulted in both Brad Marchand getting bloodied and Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara being faked out of his jock. Let’s review, shall we?
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
Coming into Game Five, Troy Brouwer — one of three players on the team to have a championship ring (Knuble, Aucoin) — had five career playoff goals in his career, including one in the Stanley Cup Finals.
He picked a great time for number six.
After the Capitals first power play unit struggled mightily to do anything productive in their shift on a late third period power play, off the bench jumped John Carlson, Mike Green, Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich, and Brouwer. Unlike their cohorts, they kept it simple.
Crash the net! (Photo credit: Brian Babineau)
The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins had split wins in each other’s cities. Saturday afternoon’s bout in Boston was the first of two games within 30 hours, and another example of how tight this series has been.
After a scoreless first, Alex Semin wristed the puck past Tim Thomas while Joe Corvo writhed in pain in the periphery. Jay Beagle sent a loose puck dribbling past Thomas to make it 2-0– the first time either team has had a two-goal lead all series. Dennis Seidenberg got some space from Ovechkin and beat Holtby near-side to get the Bruins on the scoreboard. Just a few seconds later, Marchand (with help from Peverley) pushed the puck through Holtby’s five-hole and tied the game.
And then…. in the third period…
Yes. Mike Knuble crashed the net to make it 3-2 for the Capitals. Johnny Boychuk tied it up while Dennis Wideman was in the penalty box. On the Brouwer Play, Troy Brouwer scored a brouwer play goal, his first brouwer play goal and the game-winner. Caps beat Bruins 4-3.
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
Braden Holtby. He was simply incredible against the Bruins Thursday night — the only reason why the Caps aren’t down 3-1 heading into Boston. The 22-year-old netminder made 44 saves while allowing a single goal (on a 2-on-1) as the Caps squeaked out a 2-1 victory.
“That’s playoff hockey,” Holtby said after the game. “That’s why it’s so fun — the close games, the close battles. I hope it doesn’t change and I hope that we’re on the high end of it every time.”
After struggling somewhat Monday night (though not as much as the defense) in the Capitals 4-3 loss, this was a hell of a way to bounce back. Throughout the game Holtby was continuously peppered with shots but made save after save.
Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
After two noisy days without a game, the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins finally got into it again. After the feisty mess that was Game Three, the Capitals had something prove for the hometown crowd– and they had to do it without Nick Backstrom.
Brooks Laich set up Marcus Johansson for an odd-man rush to score in the first ninety seconds of the game. With Dennis Wideman overcommitted on offense, Rich Peverley had an easy time tying it up with an odd-man rush. Alex Semin beat Thomas with a surgical strike on a power play late in the second to give the Caps the lead. Caps beat Bruins 2-1.
Photo: Chris Gordon. Guy on TweetDeck: Adam Vingan
The Washington Capitals had only a 38% win percentage on the road this season, so getting the W Thursday night is crucial; they just can’t depend on victory away from Verizon Center. But Monday’s home loss to the Bruins was an ugly affair, and the once well composed team fell to shambles. To win Game Four, the Caps are gonna have to dig deep.
I have compiled a series of modest steps the Capitals should take to make it happen. And then we threw in the secret weapon. (Okay, we’ll tell you: more posters.)