Caps beat Red Wings 2-1: Nearly a Playoff Lock

smilingfaces

All these smiling faces.

With less than a week to go, the Capitals got an important win on the road from the Detroit Red Wings– drawing ever closer to making their playoff fate a lock.

The Caps got an early lead off Evgeny Kuznetsov’s stick (and a sick bounce). Mike Green’s Easton made it 2-0 in the second period, but Darren Helm got a power-play goal after a great pass from Pavel Datsyuk. The Caps held off a brilliant empty-net attack late to earn two crucial standings points in #rego.

Caps beat Red Wings 2-1.

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Caps at Red Wings Pregame: Happy Easter!

easter

The Spirit of ’87

Happy Easter, which is traditionally a good holiday for the Washington Capitals, yes, definitely. The Capitals squandered a comeback and a chance to lock a playoff spot last night, but no worries– it’s not like the Wings are a strong 5v5 team with good coaching and a distinct home-field advantage.

Puck drop at 5 PM on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 43-25-11 51.9% 100.2 25.2% 81.3%
Detroit Red Wings 41-24-13 54.1% 99.8 24.1% 80.9%

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Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

The Washington Capitals didn’t play particularly well against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, but an awful injury to Jimmy Howard, some sterling work on special teams, and some killer instinct in the dangerous zones vaulted the home team to a comfy lead over the possession monsters of the Motor City.

Troy Brouwer scored early in the first, exploiting a costly mistake by Jimmy Howard that forced him to leave the game. In the second period, Andre Burakovsky sent a perfect pass to John Carlson for a one-timer, and Joel Ward chopped at a loose puck to put the Wings in a three-goal hole. Before the second intermission, Jonathan Ericsson seized on a loose puck to make it 3-1. No change in the third, so the Caps enter the season’s back half on a high note.

Caps beat Wings 3-1.

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Caps vs Red Wings Pregame: Schmidt Down, Oleksy Up!

Rolling with the homies.

The Washington Capitals didn’t seem like themselves during Thursday’s overtime loss to the Philadephia Flyers. If they don’t get their act together for Saturday night’s home game against the Detroit Red Wings, who are a far better team than the Flyers, this one’ll get ugly quick.

Puck drops a little after 7 PM on CSN, though I have a feeling 18 thousand or so of you will be watching it in person at Verizon Center.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 21-11-8 51.0% 100.7 23.3% 79.1%
Detroit Red Wings 22-10-9 53.8% 99.9 24.5% 86.8%

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Broken Noses, Broken Hearts: Wings Beat Caps 4-2

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

I was pessimistic about the Caps entering the season. Early on, however, they proved me wrong. The team went until late October without a loss in regulation, picking of a bunch of standings points. They were strong on both sides of the puck and all the storylines were positive. It was like everyone was Ian: innocent, happy, naïvely carefree.

A trip out west changed that. The Caps lost two of the three played past your bedtime and we came down to earth. Looking to change things, Barry Trotz decided to go with another forceful lineup that he divined using either his brilliant hockey mind or a hat. Perhaps he knows half of you didn’t watch this game either.

The scoring got stared in the first when Braden Holtby took a twirl and a tumble in the crease. The referees, perhaps unaware the Caps play their home game on melted Slurpee, called the goal back, alleging goalie inference on Luke Glendening. Other than a few reorganized faced, the first was otherwise uneventful, though the Wings registered Pantherian three shots on goal.

In the second, things got more interesting. About nine minutes into the period, Marcus Johansson continued his goal scoring streak by putting the Wings up for real this time. Jojo turned the puck over inside the blueline before Gustav Nyquist stretched Holtby’s groin past its breaking point. Bray Bray, though, got even a little over five minutes later with a delicious bank pass to Joel Ward, who fed the puck to a streaking Evgeny Kuznetsov to tie it up on the power play. With 58 ticks remaining in the period, first-liner Andre Burakovsky used his fancy euroness to blow past the Detroit D before John Carlson used the First Amendment to set Troy Brouwer up for the one timer.

Alas, things got rather dumb in the third period. Brooks Orpik and Burakovsky combined for an awful turnover, allowing Justin Abdelkader to tie it. It was basically the FBI building of brutalism.

The party didn’t stop there. John Carlson joined in on the “hey free pucks!” train and Abdelkader twisted the knife. Another for good measure. Wings beat Caps 4-2.

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Caps vs Red Wings Pregame: Fehr or Wilson?

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With a disappointing road trip through western Canada in the rear view, Barry Trotz and the Caps hope to recapture the magic with a home game against Detroit. The Caps’ lines are all-new, and a familiar face might be returning to action. There’s a lot to look forward to, but the game is on NBCSN, so… uh… Pierre McGuire is back? Puck drop a little after 7:30.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 4-2-2 54.0% 102.3 25.9% 80.0%
Detroit Red Wings 4-2-2 52.3% 98.9 6.7% 96.2%

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Swede-on-Swede

A little Swede on Swede action at last year’s Caps Wings match

About that recent little jaunt to the land of moose and Anne Murray that was supposed to be a skip through the daisies? Exactly. And let us never speak of it again.

For the most part, the Caps are still playing their best in several seasons, we’re seeing skill from young and old alike, and our goaltending worries appear to be over. But tonight we face a team that’s also resurgent, skilled, and with new blood in the net.

The Red Wings should worry you.

They’re older than us by nearly five decades, they’re Cuppier than us by about everything, they’re Swede-ier than us av en skit belastning, their unis are hands-down the best anywhere, and they’ve got octopi. We’ve got Winger.

But they do have to live in Detroit, so there’s that.

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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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