The game’s only goal. Whatever. (Photo credit: Alan Diaz)
The Capitals will face the Rangers -- who won 5-2 Saturday -- in the first round of the playoffs. (Photo credit: Jonathan Klein)
The game that impacted the Capitals the most Saturday night didn’t involve Washington at all. In fact, it took place 13 hours away from them in Raleigh, North Carolina.
With the New York Rangers beating the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Saturday afternoon, the Carolina Hurricanes had to get the victory Saturday night to tie New York at 93 standings points. By virtue of holding the tie-breaker Carolina would pick-up the eighth and final playoff spot, getting themselves a date with the Caps. Continue Reading
Indeed it would be. Despite chucking 19 shots at Cam Ward through two periods, the Capitals went into the lockerroom facing a 1-0 deficit. Why? Because everyone’s favorite Ruutu brother, Tuomo, converted on a three-on-two odd man break, blasting a slap shot past a screened/interfered-with (you choose) Braden Holtby. The goal, scored with only 36 seconds left in the period, forced the normally chipper Craig Laughlin to lament “goals at the beginning and end of periods are always back-breaking.” Joe Beninati then let us know that the Hurricanes were 21-0-0 when leading after two. Wuh oh.
But then God’s gift to hockey, Alex Ovechkin, decided to do his thing. 47 seconds into the third period, Ovi rifled a twisted wrister past a baffled Ward. Tie game. Then six and a half minutes later, Matt Hendricks showed us again why he was the most valuable player the Capitals picked up over the summer. Jason Arnott, who was sprung on a breakaway after serving a two minute minor for hooking, was initially denied by Ward’s glove. However, a rebound was left in the crease, and Hendricks, who had just killed off Arnott’s hooking penalty, hustled all the way down the ice and chipped home the rebound.
On December 26, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck
Ouch. (Photo credit: John Carlson)
The yuletide has receded, and the Washington Capitals have gotten back to work. Meeting the Carolina Hurricanes in snow-covered Raleigh, the Caps were out to test their mettle following that shootout loss to Pittsburgh on the 23rd.
Mathieu Perreault crashed the net in the first period, turning a sublime, unguarded puck from Alex Semin into the night’s first goal. In the second, Jussi Jokinen exploited a bad Caps line change to sneak one past Semyon Varlamov. Minutes later, Alex Ovechkin stormed through neutral ice and set up David Steckel to make the score 2-1. In the late second period, a bounce went finally went the right way for Ovi, who submitted the Caps third and final goal. The Canes attempted a comeback led by Jay Harrison/Tuomo Ruutu’s goal, but couldn’t get all the way. Caps beat Canes 3-2.
On November 28, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
The Washington Capitals hosted the Carolina Hurricanes in a pleasant matinee of stick’n'puck and HOLY WOW I SAW THE CAPS WIN IN PERSON FOR THE FIRST TIME EVAR!!!
Marcus Johansson got it started early with a crease-borne knock-in set up by Eric Fehr. A 2-on-1 breakway by the Alexes led to a picturesque second tally (Minor scored, Major gets the assist). Erik Cole made the Caps pay for not clearing the zone and put the Canes on the board early in the second period. There the score sat until only 2.2 seconds remained in regulation. With Cam Ward on the bench and an extra attacker up in our face, Eric Staal tied the game, earned the Canes a well deserved point in the standings, and sent us all the way to the shootout. Where Ovi and Varly totally dominated. Caps beat Canes 3-2 (SO).
The Caps also came into tonight’s game a bit bruised up. They would be forced to pick themselves off the mat without early-season standouts Michal Neuvirth and Mike Green, who were nursing lower-body and upper-body injuries respectively.
So in came the recently-rehabbin’ Semyon Varlamov, Tom Poti, and a reinvigorated Russian Machine.
Nicklas Backstrom then decided to celebrate his birthday in fashion – albeit a day late – scoring in both the first and second periods. Semyon Varlamov made all the big stops when needed and our heroes dug deep and prevailed despite third period momentum-changing tallies by Sergei Samsonov and Eric Staal. Thanks to Brooks Laich, the Caps beat Carolina 3-2.LOSING STREAK OVAHHH!
10/30 Update: The video’s no longer available. At least we have a screenshot.
We give ESPN a hard time for its chronically bad hockey coverage, so we’ve gotta give them a pat on the butt when they do it right. That’s how you curb bad behavior, right? Michal Neuvirth’s stone-cold robbery of Eric Staal from last night’s Caps/ Canes game is SportsCenter’s top play of the day. And no names were flubbed. Laudable.
On October 27, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Michal Neuvirth robs Eric Staal. (Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck)
The Washington Capitals began their transcontinental road trip in style. Undisputed #1 goalie, Michal Neuvirth, delivered a flawless hour in net to shut the Carolina Hurricanes out at their first home game of the year. While a bothersome number of Caps (Varlamov, Poti, Johansson, Gordon) missed the game, the remaining players sported great performances. Matt Hendricks converted a nasty supine pass from David Steckel to score the only goal the Caps needed. Nicklas Backstrom recovered a rebound from Mike Knuble to score the second goal, and deposited the third in an empty net.
But it’s Mikey Neuvirth’s first NHL shut-out that captures our imagination tonight. Neuvi stopped 29 shots, half of dozen or more in spectacular fashion. Despite noble efforts, Eric Staal and Joe Corvo simply could not best the Czech prodigy. Caps beat Canes 3-0.
On March 25, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Legace's Oscar Worthy Performance Sends Ovechkin to the Box For Goalie Interference. (Photos by Gerry Broome)
Sorry, we thought the photo should be extra big tonight. The Washington Capitals took too long to suit up for tonight’s appointment with the Carolina Hurricanes. A sleepy first period left the boys from Chinatown with a two-point deficit. The Caps woke up and delivered captivating hockey for the rest of regulation and overtime, but it wasn’t enough to best their division rivals.
For the second time in as many nights, the Capitals could not seal the deal in an hour of regulation hockey or the five bonus minutes. But unlike last night, the Russian Alexes did not go 2 for 2, and Bruce Boudreau’s hunch did not pay off. When Mike Green‘s shot sailed high over the Carolina net, it was game over. Despite their best efforts the Caps fall to the Canes 3-2 in the shootout.
On March 18, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
I know that photo isn’t from our game, but it’s too cool to pass up. (Photo credit Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Ian “Bloglethorpe” Oland joined me for tonight’s game at Russian Machine Never Breaks World Headquarters, located miles under the Alleghany Mountains and adjacent to a combination Pizza Hut/Taco Bell. You’d think this would be occasion for celebration, as the top-ranked Caps should be able to stomp the Canes even without Ovechkin, still suspended after having been caught riding dirty. And while the Capitals showed some shimmer with Joe Corvo’s two goals, their laziness and disinterest allowed the Hurricanes to exploit one too many plays. Sad to say it, but the Hurricanes beat the Capitals in overtime 4-3.
Well we managed to get our hands on a 100% fake hand-crafted card Alex Ovechkin recently sent to Tim Gleason in apology. Hopefully this clears up any ill-will between the two, and we can all just move on. Check out the card below the jump.