Eliot J Schechter

Photo: Eliot J. Schechter

Kind of a snoozer in Sunrise. The way the Washington Capitals played against the Florida Panthers was so button-up and boring I was waiting for the dowager countess of Grantham to say something snarky. No team wanted to win this one, and then things went completely apenuts in the shootout.

Mike Green choked up the puck to Scottie Upshall to give Derek McKenzie a layup, making it 1-0 for the Panthers going into the first intermission. Troy Brouwer tied it on the power play in the second, getting the puck back after a block by Willie Mitchell. A washed-out kicked goal by Brooks Laich meant we were headed for overtime, which was exciting enough I guess, but no result.

Prepare yourself for the shootout bullet epic!

  • Fehr didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Huberdeau didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Backstrom didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Bjugstad didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Kuznetsov didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Boyes didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Ovechkin PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET.
  • Jokinen also put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Brouwer didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Kopecky didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Latta didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • My god this is going long. Epix show is almost over by now.
  • Barkov didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Brooks PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET.
  • Bolland also put the biscuit in the basket. Harumph.
  • Johansson didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Flash didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. He burned the biscuit.
  • Schmidt didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Upshall didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Ward PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET.
  • MacKenzie also put the biscuit in the basket. It never ends
  • Carlson PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET.
  • Bergenheim put the biscuit in the basket. This is my hell.
  • Beagle didn’t put the biscuit in the basket, but shoulda been a biscuit-delivering beagle.
  • Hayes didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. Life is meaningless and full of pain.
  • Green didn’t didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Campbell didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Chimera’s biscuit missed the basket by a mile.
  • Gudbranson didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. You can’t put a biscuit in the 5-hole.
  • Wilson didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Ekblad didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Niskanen didn’t put the biscuit in the basket because the stupid crossbar.
  • Kulikov didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • BORPIK PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET!!!!
  • Olsen didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. 17 rounds down.
  • Alzner didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Mitchell didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Backstrom, part II, didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Jokinen, part II, didn’t put the biscuit in the basket. I no longer fear death.
  • Ovechkin didn’t put the biscuit in the basket.
  • Bjudgstad put the biscuit in the basket! WINNER. FINALLY. I’M OKAY WITH THIS.

Panthers beat Caps 2-1 in the longest shootout I can remember!

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The Swedish Machine doin' his thing

The Swedish Machine, doin’ his thing with the Florida Cats

You know that scene in the Star Wars movie? The first one…or, the fourth one which was actually the first? The one that was good?

Luke and Han are blasting away at all the awful spaceships that are swarming around outside, and Luke is missing and missing and just shooting impotently away, pew pew pew, until he actually gets one? The one that was headed directly toward him in a straight line at about 10 miles an hour? And he’s so happy and Han says “Don’t get cocky, kid”?

That.

Oh, I can hear you all now, sighing “There goes Doug who knows nothing about hockey and is just a huge wet blanket and shut up.” I mean, those very few of you who actually read these things. Hey, I’m super fantastic happy about how the Caps are playing these days, and I loved seeing Nick “Swedish Machine Never Smiles” Backstrom get a hattie in regular season. And we’re playing the Florida Panthers tonight, who aren’t 1/2 the team Tampa is, or us probably, so there’s no need to worry, right?

Call me Eeyore, but I just can’t get too comfortable with this team. As awesome as they are, I’ve just seen too many times great play slide suddenly into crap.

Speaking of, I’ll say this about Sunrise, Florida, home of the Cats: at least it’s not Fort Lauderdale. Since starting in the 90’s expansion, Panthers management have done just about everything they could to alienate their fans… sorta like another professional sports team that’s become a tire fire since being acquired by a certain weasel, which needs not be named. Even down to the location of BB&T arena where we play tonight, which is located literally ACROSS THE STREET from the marshy, anaconda-filled Everglades. Nice move, Panthers.

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Caps at Panthers Pregame: Ready for Their Close-Up

louuuuu

GIF: We See Red

Tonight is the debut of whatever the name of the show is about the Winter Classic on EPIX. But before that, we’ve gotta watch the Capitals play visitor to the Florida Panthers, who somehow are a pretty good team this season!

The Caps haven’t lost in #rego since December 2nd, and they don’t play to start now. See you at 7:30 on CSN Plus.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 14-10-5 50.9% 99.3 26.5% 77.0%
Florida Panthers 12-8-8 51.4% 99.0 13.8% 80.8%

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Undefeated in #Rego: Caps beat Panthers 2-1 (SO)!

Patrick McDermott

Best player of the game in my book. (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

The Washington Capitals dominated the Florida Panthers at possession on Saturday, but getting the puck in the net is another matter. A couple penalties in the third penalty made this thing way more competitive than it should have been. Another game that took 65-plus minutes to decide.

Eric Fehr sent a wizardly pass to Jason Chimera, who scored the goal’s first goal with a nice backhand. Brad Boyes tied it up by swatting in a loose puck during an early third-period power play. That goal forced overtime.

The dry scrape was a bunch of nothing, so let’s do this… ugh… again.

Shootout bullets!

  • Kuznetsov put the biscuit in the basket
  • Huberdeau put the biscuit in the basket
  • Backstrom put the biscuit in the basket
  • Jokinen did NOT put the biscuit
  • Ovi put the biscuit in the basket

Caps beat Panthers 2-1 (shootout)!

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Caps vs Panthers Pregame: Peters, Panthers, Puppies

I am a puddle. (Photo: Capitals)

The Capitals will wrap up their three-game homestand tonight at 7 PM by showing the Florida Panthers what a packed hockey arena looks like. Tune in to CSN-DC and get ready to welcome Justin Peters, scheduled to make his first start in net.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 2-0-2 51.40% 104.2 27.8% 93.3%
Florida Panthers 1-2-1 54.67% 97.8 5.6% 72.7%

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brooks

Photo: J Pat Carter

I forget how to recap. I don’t know what the numbers on the back of the jerseys mean, and all the players look giants playing on a snack-size rink. I forgot how to get to all the stats reports. Everything looks weird to me. I’m gonna do my best, but go easy on me.

The Washington Capitals returned from their Olympic break down in sunny Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers, mainstays of the league’s bottom-5, were supposed to be the right team to face in this first game back. The Caps pulled out an early lead, promptly blew it (as they do), and then got another one, then blew that one.

Here’s how it went.

Troy Brouwer stuck first, owning a scramble in the slot to record a power play goal. Brooks Laich followed up, finishing off a nifty pass from Alex Ovechkin to make it 2-0. Hey, look at that: a two-goal lead. Sweet. Everybody relax.

Then Tomas Fleischmann caught a pass Jesse Winchester to make it 1-0 and Brad Boyes scored from the slot early in the second to tie it up. Two-goal lead, we hardly knew ye.

Nick Backstrom scored later in the second period, a layup that even a total allergy-med junkie could have hit. Troy Brouwer got his second PPG of the night, winning another fight in the paint off of Alex Ovechkin’s rebound.

A powerplay goal by Jimmy Hayes and a clustereff clean-up by Brad Boyes midway through the third made it a tie-game– erasing the Caps’ second two-goal lead. Mike Green blew the best breakaway chance ever, but Captain Alex Ovechin scored the game-winner, his 41st, on the very next shift.

Caps beat Panthers 5-4! Oh hurrah. They beat the Panthers.

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Grubi Great but Panthers beat Caps 3-2 (SO)

Grubi - Eliot J. Schechter

Photo: Eliot J. Schechter

Friday night’s game between the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals could have been an exciting reunion of two former division rivals. Instead, the Capitals put up an uneven effort, and relied on special teams to keep up with a Florida team that was curiously strong on the puck. Grubauer kept the Caps alive despite a lot of action, earning the team a point in sixty-five minutes, but not the decision.

Scoreless through twenty,  Dylan Olsen (who?) finally hit the back of the net after unlimited zone time for the Cats. Nick Backstrom tied the game during 4v4, but– wait for it– Florida scored soon after thanks to a bad Mike Green turnover and bad Mike Green D coverage. Joel Ward crushed the nut to re-tie the game late in the second, though that one required video review.

The third was pointless, so everybody got a pity point and we headed into OT, but that never does anything, so…. again…

Shootout bullets!

  • Fehr converted a nice wrister
  • Barkov looked like a jerk and got swept away
  • Ovi hardly got a shot off
  • Huberdeau had a long reach and beat Grubi
  • Backstrom fumbled it, then did the exact same move as Huberdeau
  • Grubi got a piece of Boyes, but didn’t stop it
  • GraboGraboGraboGraboGraboGrabo five-hole
  • Bjugstad had speed and stopped on a dime to put it in
  • Brouwer rang post
  • Kulikov rang post because why not
  • Erat refused on a sly move
  • Flash’s shot no match for Grubi’s stick
  • Johansson had some weird moves and an unconvincing backhand
  • Upshall rejected on the wide backhand attempt
  • THIS IS GOING LONG
  • Orlov pokechecked– yikes
  • Hayes also sent back because no one can score anymoire
  • SOMEBODY SCORE
  • Ward’s shot got blocked a giant bald head or something, maybe just a weird camera angle
  • Goc missed or something I dunno I am kind of blacking out at this point
  • Chimera– and I’m just guessing here– is not gonna score, nope he does not, typical
  • Kopecky wins it thank goodness at this point I’m ready to be done

Panthers beat Caps 3-2 in the Shootout.

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Bjugstad and Schmidt (right) bump fists before the 2012 West regional semifinal (Photo credit: Sherri LaRose-Chiglo/St. Paul Pioneer Press)

After the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers were upset by Yale during last spring’s regional semifinal, a few of Minnesota’s star players left the program to pursue professional careers.

Among them were defenseman Nate Schmidt, who signed with the Washington Capitals as an undrafted free agent, and Florida Panthers’ 2010 first-round pick center Nick Bjugstad. Both spent three years in college hockey, and both were all-stars in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

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Neuvy in Net: Caps beat Panthers 3-2 (SO)

backy boered Greg Fiume

The most excitable man in hockey. (Photo: Greg Fiume)

The horse show or whatever is gone from Verizon Center, and the Caps are finally back. Good thing too. Friday night’s curbstomp in Philly got really ugly at the end there, and the handsome faces of DC made things all better.

Nick Backstrom scored the game’s first goal in a low-shooting first period, which is pretty much exactly how last game started. Florida’s Jesse Winchester scored on a breakaway in the second, but John Carlson answered back 36 seconds later thanks a lovely saucer pass from Michael Latta. Tomas Fleischmann tied it on a 4v3 with under 3 minutes left because ugh. Into OT we came, and into the shootout we went.

Shootout bullets!

  • Grabo with the greatest move of all time
  • Barkov did the same thing
  • Laich like salmon in the back of the net
  • Huberdeau GLOVE SAVED NEUVY
  • NICKY WON IT

Caps beat Panthers 3-2 in the shootout!

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PurcellGoal

Tie Game. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

The Washington Capitals were leading the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Saturday night. They ended up winning 6-5 despite a pathetic third period collapse. Afterwards, the players were understandably upset, none moreso than Jason Chimera.

In response to an earnest question about how to mentally handle a late game blow up, Chimera got sassy.

“Sometimes you’re not your best at writing articles,” he said. “You gotta do better next game.”

After a quick back-and-forth, Chimera stormed off to the showers at Verizon Center. Ah, the joys of a winning locker room.

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