Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, which means the Washington Capitals once again played a matinee game to set the stage for a whole lot of couch-sitting  by you all day. You’re gonna go through a lot of wings, chips, pretzels, assorted other fried things, and bad beer on your way to gridiron glory and hypertension. I shall join you, but not before we revisit the real big game: the Detroit Red Wings at Caps. With a national audience, two (or three) crucial standings points on the line, and a triad of Caps scratched to injury, this was a big one.

Jason Chimera got rewarded for some hard work in the opening minutes, recording the game’s first goal five minutes in.  Joel Ward caught a great pass from Nick Backstrom to score a powerplay goal and make it 2-0. The momentum shifted as the Wings got the puck more, resulting in a powerplay goal by Gustav Nyquist, but the Caps struck back with another PP marker– this time from John Carlson.

Tomas Tatar got a sneaky shot under Neuvirth’s shoulder to make it 3-2, but Joel Ward struck back nineteen seconds later. A two-handed slash (a greatslash?) by Troy Brouwer gave the Wings a power play and Nyquist’s second goal of the game.

Nyquist got the hat trick early in the third, obliterating the Caps’ lead, but Troy Brouwer crashed the net and created a new lead following a Wings turnover. That one didn’t last either. Justin Abdelkader was all up in the paint to score after a faceoff in the Caps zone. Into overtime we went.

Or shall we say… OVI TIME!?!?!

Caps beat Wings 6-5 (OT).

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neuvy

Photo: Luke Glendening

Editor’s Note: Peter and Chris are totally not here tonight. They’re at the Neutral Milk Hotel (who?) concert at DAR Constitutional Hall. Instead of having Ian recap the game poorly in English, we’re throwing a bone to our Russian readers tonight and letting Igor do the recap in Russian Machine’s native tongue! Please translate what we wrote in the comments below. If you’re nice, we’ll help.

Сегодня Кэпиталз привезли свой кошмарный Январь в Детройт. Десять поражений в течении первого календарного месяца нового года и предпоследнее место в таблице своего дивизиона – это уже довольно серьёзно, ну а то как команда проиграла вчера свой поединок в Коламбусе… перечень неприятных впечатлений довольно длинный – совершенно безалаберная игра в обороне, беззубая атака, невероятно “бесполезный” (аж -5!) Овечкин, потенциально серьёзная травма Грина – в общем ситуация хуже некуда. Всего одно очко отделяло Детройт от Кэпиталз  в таблице Восточной Конференции перед игрой, да и играли Ред Уингс в прошедшем месяце не намного лучше чем Вашингтон; если бы регулярный сезон закончился сегодня, обе команды вместо плэй оффс учасвовали бы в североамериканском варианте Кубка Надежды – на площадках для гольфа. А ведь Ред Уингс не пропускали борьбу за Кубок Стэнли уже почти четверть века! Смогут ли парни в белых свитерах с зимней классики закончить этот жуткий месяц на победной ноте – или Лорд Волан-де-Морт опять появится на нашей стартовой странице?

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Whole Latta Overtime Games: Caps beat Wings 4-3 (SO)

Oleksy - Dave Reginek

Just  a city boy / born and raised in North Detroit (Photo: Dave Reginek)

With the Metro division lead nearly within reach, the Washington Capitals headed to Delta City for their first date against the newly Eastern Conferencified Red Wings.

Brooks Laich opened up scoring– both for the game and the Caps’ beleaguered second line– with a solo expedition into Wings territory capped off with a nifty backhand goal. On the power play later in the first, Johan Franzen tied it up with a no-angler to Holtby’s short side. Tomas Tatar served up Franzen for another before the first period was up.

Danny Dekeyser caught a no-look, skip-a-man pass and scored a power play goal at the tail end of the second period to make it 3-1.

Early in the third, Alex Ovechkin chipped it in to put the Caps in striking distance. Michael Latta tied it in the final 10 minutes of regulation, backhand-swatting  his first career NHL goal. That tied the game at the end of 60 minutes, so — yet again– into overtime we went. Where nothing happened. So…

Zomg shootout bullets!

  • Holtby sent back Datsyuk’s soup
  • Grabo was forced wide
  • Franzen was denied the DC Hat Trick
  • Ovi put it right into Howard’s pads
  • Bertuzzi tried to spin and Braden was all, yeah okay pal
  • Nicky Backstrom WON IT

Caps beat Wings 4-3 in the shootout!

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Dirty Goals: Caps beat Wings 5-3

Photo: Dave Reginek

What a game. If the Washington Capitals could play the Detroit Red Wings 82 times a year, we’d be happy campers. After that tremendous 7-1 thrashing back in October, the Caps’ fortunes shifted dramatically. But here we are again– late in the campaign– and the Caps have that spark. If only they could keep it glowing for a full hour of hockey.

Marcus Johansson delivered a perfect pass to Alex Ovechkin, who fired a perfect one-timer from the perfect spot. Mike Knuble made it 2-0 by finishing off a smart passing sequence with Jason Chimera and Mathieu Perreault. Ovechkin got another by skating around the trainwreck in front of Jimmy Howard and wristing it. Kyle Quincey got one back in the second period with a long bomb that rang iron, but Keith Aucoin nullified with a spin-o-rama made possible by Alex Semin.

Just half a minute into the third, Todd Bertuzzi beat Holtby’s slow glove hand to give Detroit some life. Danny Cleary crashed Holtby’s net to make it 4-3, and things got tense. Jason Chimera defused it with an empty netter. Caps beat Wings 5-3.

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Detroit Red Wings Pregame: Vive Le Revolucion!

Here’s your pregame report from Doug of the PuckBuddys. Get thee to a twittery.

Pre-après-Game: PuckBuddy Craig sorta demolished me with his last post, mixing the most potent juvenile jeers (“You smell like butt“) with contemporary culture (The Godfather) and hockey insights in the juicerizer that yours truly has been refining for months.

Whaaa…butt why dat? Well, because Craig, unlike Doug, went hunting for a stick-tap from Uncle Ted on how brilliant his pregamer was. Nice. No matter that he stole from me for months – blogging versions of the Winnipeg Head-Crash – or that I’ve been telling our opponents they smell like ass since October. But , boohoo, what’s an obvious foul between frenemies?

I kid. And yet in seriouslyness, between these partners there is no other game that divides the PuckBuddys like Monday’s test of the Caps against the Wings. 

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Trade: Steve Downie Somehow Turns Into a First-Round Pick

If we had entitled this “Steve Downie Involved in Three-Way”, you never would have clicked on it, but that’s exactly what happened this afternoon. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Tampa Bay has traded Steve Downie to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Kyle Quincey, and then traded Kyle Quincey to the Detroit Red Wings for a first-round draft pick and prospect Sebastien Piche.

Steve Downie has a cap hit of $1,850,000 and will bring with him his charming personality and 121 season penalty minutes, while the Detroit has acquired Quincey and his $3,125,000 cap hit, who they originally drafted in 2003, and lost on waivers in 2008.

We’re obviously very broken up about Steve Downie leaving the division and will deeply miss seeing his face six times a year. We’ll make it through this somehow. The real question is, who’s going to tell Semyon Varlamov about his new teammate?

5-on-5 with The Production Line, a Detroit Red Wings Blog

Oh man. How awesome was Saturday night? Did this actually pan out for anyone?

We pretend to hate everyone who isn’t us, but we’re actually sorta chummy with hockey fans across this great land (not including Canada). Through Puck Buddys, we hooked up with The Production Line, a charming operation out of Detroit that runs an entertaining podcast I cannot recommend enough. We’re trying to get to know each other better, so we’re doing something called 5-on-5– a rapid-fire Q&A designed to reveal dark secrets and rankle egos. Our answers are already up over on their site, so go feast your eyes on that action.

Below, check out how Robert Discher of The Production Line handles questions about the nature of winning, Steve Yzerman’s legacy, Pavel Datsyuk’s reliability, and cavemen.

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Caps Fight Cancer

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin stands next to 12-year-old cancer survivor Anthony Holley during the national anthem. (Photo credit: Ned Dishman)

Cancer affects millions of people every year and is truly an awful disease. So on Saturday night, while the boys in red battled the Detroit Red Wings, the Caps held Hockey Fights Cancer Night, joining in a league-wide program to raise money for cancer research and treatment. During warm-ups, the team wore special jerseys with Hockey Fights Cancer patches and lavender outlining around the names and numbers, representing the official color of the initiative. The sweaters, which were signed by their respective player, were then auctioned off to fans at the community relations booth.

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High and Mighty, Caps beat Wings 7-1! Undefeated!

Photo credit: Ann Heisenfelt

Look how happy those white people are! (Photo credit: Ann Heisenfelt)

The final two undefeated teams in the NHL, the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings, met in Chinatown– each with the intention of removing that title from the other. All eyes were on this game. And it was a good one.

On the power play, Nick Backstrom found Mike Green, who scored with surgical precision from the high slot. Just 61 seconds later, Mike Knuble’s takeaway led to a short-side goal by Marcus Johansson. Back to Mike Green, who turned Ovechkin’s lateral pass into his second powerplay goal of the night. Niklas Kronwall unleashed a monster one-timer during a two-man advantage to put Detroit on the board. Mathieu Perreault ended the second period by cleaning up Matt Hendricks’ rebound. Brooks Laich stole the puck and set up Joel Ward to make it 5-1. Perreault showed up again with a clever wrister up front to make the score just plain ridiculous. The Wings didn’t even try to stop Nick Backstrom, who made it a touchdown. Caps beat Red Wings 7-1.

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TONIGHT: Capitals and Red Wings Enter Thunderdome

The NHL has only two undefeated teams left, and tonight they meet.

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