Caps Beat Isles 3-2 (OT), Ovi’s OTGWG IS FTW

Screengrab by: @recordsandradio

If I had told you in October that a late-February game against the Islanders would be one of the most important games of the season, you would have laughed yourself sick. This one was big, though. All of them will be from now on. The Caps hung in there, didn’t stop fighting, tied up the game in the most completely improbable fashion possible — and then they won. You might not have seen that one coming.

Josh Bailey glided right through a defensive breakdown and scored the first goal. Matt Moulson deflected a long shot in front of Neuvirth to make it 2-0. Brouwer scored one Knuble-style in front of the net with the clock winding down. Brouwer then officially became a certified hero by tipping in a second goal with seconds left to go and took us to overtime. Alex Ovechkin ended it with a five-hole beauty, and you know what? We might believe. Just a little bit. Caps win, 3-2.

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Caps beat Rangers 4-1, Looking Good for the Cameras

Brouwer hour. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

Just a few days before the Winter Classic, the New York Rangers visited the Washington Capitals ready for their close-up. The Caps showed up to play though, and we got to see one of the better overall games of the season.

Marcus Johansson scored the first of the game by cleaning up a rebound off a Jeff Halpern shot that he set up. Brandon Dubinsky converted on a breakaway to tie it after one period. Troy Brouwer snapped a streak of bad luck by tipping in a Jeff Halpern/John Carlson collaboration. Alex Ovechkin leveled a hit to open up a turnover, which Nick Backstrom turned into a breakaway by passing it to Alex Semin, who made the game’s fourth tally look easy. Late in the game, Alex Semin scored again, sailing one past Biron. Caps beat Rangers 4-1.

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Download and Print the FOUND: BEAGLE Sign

Based on reports from this morning’s practice, Jay Beagle is back in action. After missing 31 games following a fight with Pittsburgh’s Arron Asham, Beagle is suiting up to play tonight versus the New York Rangers. It’ll be his first game since October 13th, just in time for HBO 24/7 too.

To celebrate Beagle’s return to active duty, here are some printable posters!

The mondo link below will download a PDF, which fits an 8.5″ x 11″ page perfectly. Download the file and print a few billion of these to pass out to everyone you see at Verizon Center. Let Jay know you’re glad he’s healthy and ready to play like the scrappy little pup he is!

DOWNLOAD THE FOUND: BEAGLE SIGN

Pittsburgh Penguins Pregame: The Epicenter of Suck

Illustration by Ian Oland

Heeeeeere’s Doug Johnson of PuckBuddys fame. Tweet his face.

The Pre-Game: I think it was Benjamin Disraeli who said “Sometimes cities just suck.” Or maybe it was Don Rickles. We’re getting our historical figures mixed up.

Look, there’s nothing that stinks about San Diego, the actual place. It’s lovely. Or Phoenix, for that matter, if it weren’t for all the whack-a-doodles. Vancouver: now there’s a dandy city for you! If you can just get over all the residents piously reminding you just precisely how dandy it is.

On the other end, there are places like Mogadishu, a city that, I can comfortably assure you, sucks. Or vacation paradise Pripyat!  – home to the entombed Chernobyl perpetual light bulb. Pyongyang. Philadelphia.

Then we come to the middle ground: decent places inhabited by truly awful organizations. Pittsburgh comes to mind. Hoorah, it’s beautiful and their food isn’t too toxic and the local rumor is that there’s even a museum or something. But it’s also home to the rat burrow of unctuous fink Richard Mellon Scaife and his poisonous heirs, and the ‘Terrible Towel’, which we rank as only just below Scaife as scabes-inducing. The Pittsburgh Penguins… and Dan Bylsma. Think about that for a moment: both the Penguins AND Bylsma (and his douche-hat) compressed into one geographic point. That single distinction alone  is enough to push Pittsburgh to new title holder: Epicenter of Suck.

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Edit by Ian Oland

Photo edit: Ian Oland

Doug Johnson is one of the Puck Buddys. You already follow them on Twitter, right?

The Pre Game:  We’re thankful for Puck Buddy Bunny and Dave E filling in for us on the pregamer for the Winnipeg Jets game a few days back. So, too, were RMNB readers, if the comments are to be believed (and really, has the Internet ever lied?) “I retract any critical statements I’ve made of Doug Johnson in the past,” commented one ‘CDizz.’ To which we say: ha ha! We’re betting you will soon be retracting that retraction, Mr. Dizz. We now return you to your regular, disappointing pregames.

It must be said, however that these last few games have been anything but disappointing for Caps fans. Sure, Wednesday’s result was closer than we like (in part due to a genuinely crummy officiating call against Mike Knuble’s third-period goal that made us throw things at the television) and we’re still only talking a ‘streak’ of two games. We always considered, and still do, any talk of streaks in either direction premature. A streak implies consistent success or failure of the team to execute; this past week or so proves that Coach Boudreau’s squad is not consistent, playing like jellyfish one game and superheros the next. Still, Sasha, Nicky, and Chimera were a gravy-boat of goodness against the Jets, as was the team overall, and we have reason to believe that may continue. Or hope. Reason to hope, maybe. To believe. Moving on…

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Reactions to Jay Beagle and Arron Asham’s Fight

Jay Beagle fights Aaron Asham

Photo credit: Gene J. Puskar

Thursday’s game between the Penguins and Capitals was an exciting affair, but it was the third period fight between Jay Beagle and Arron Asham that got people talking.

Jay Beagle and John Carlson practice fighting last year.

After roughing Kris Letang, Jay Beagle was approached by Arron Asham, a known fighter with more than 70 bouts on his rap sheet according to hockeyfights.com. The fight left Jay Beagle apparently knocked out, bleeding on the ice, and requiring help to get up. Asham skated away from the fight and made pro-wrestling-style gestures that could translate as “it’s over, he’s asleep.”

Beagle spit out blood, pulled out a tooth, and retreated to the locker room. As Beagle got up, Asham banged his stick from the penalty box out of respect. Arron and Jay served matching major penalties, Beagle doing so from off ice.  Also served by Beagle was the original two-minute penalty for roughing Letang. Asham was not assessed an instigator penalty.

We do not yet know the severity of Jay Beagle’s injury.

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Caps beat Pens 3-2 (OT), Jay Beagle Knocked Out

Dennis Wideman goal

Dennis Wideman celebrates his OTGWG. (Photo credit: Gregory Shamus)

For the third time in three games, the Washington Capitals required extra time to make a decision, and for the third time the Capitals proved themselves the better team. The Pittsburgh Penguins did their best to play a classy game of hockey, but then they realized they’re the Penguins and punked out. Read on and you’ll find out how.

James Neal was wide open to take a wide pass and make it 1-0 on the game’s first shot. Mike Knuble worked hard to kanoob the puck to tie it back up. Alex Ovechkin deflected a Mike Green shot that required a review to be called a goal. On a late power play, Malkin found Neal with a cross-ice pass to tie it up. Into OT and on the power play, Dennis Wideman put enough stank on the puck to evade Johnson. Caps beat Pens 3-2 (OT).

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Eric Fehr, Matt Hendricks, Brooks Laich celebrate goal

Photo credit: Rob Carr

Not all goals are created equal. A team scoring first has almost twice the win percentage of a team that trails first, while scoring an empty net goal almost always means the game was out of reach. But what about all the goals scored in between? Of all those goals that a player scores, how many contribute to victories and how vitally do they contribute?

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Caps Rally In Uniondale, Beat Islanders, 3-2

Alex Semin scores the Game Winning Goal against the Islanders and celebrates with Backstrom and Ovechkin

Photo credit: Mike Stobe

Matt Hendricks proves once again why DJ King's unneeded on this team. (Photo credit: Kathy Kmonicek)

Hendy tried to spark the team, but instead he got his face Kanopka'd. (Photo credit: Kathy Kmonicek)

With the Washington Capitals in danger of losing a second game in two nights, their flabbergasted head coach Bruce Boudreau called a timeout and made some adjustments.

He scrapped his floundering top line and put together his dream team trio in a desperation last resort to try and spark a squad that inexplicably could not create scoring chances.

It worked.

With Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin playing together, the Capitals rallied from two goals down to beat the rapidly improving New York Islanders, 3-2, Saturday night for a pivotal road win just two days before the trade deadline.

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This Ain’t No Puppy Bowl, Caps beat Pens 3-0

MattCookeOvechkin

Matt Cooke and Alex Ovechkin in happier times. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

Once again the Super Bowl Sunday rendezvous between the  Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins was a rousing success. Through three periods of hockey, the Caps laid siege to the Penguins’ net and their depleted forces.

Mathieu Perreault won a battle below the goal line to feed Brooks Laich, who was waiting eagerly in Fleury’s paint. His greasy backhander put the Caps up 1-0. On the penalty kill in the second, Marcus Johansson scored perhaps his prettiest goal yet, a no-look backhander. 2-0. Desperate in the third, the Penguins’ offense relented and allowed Mike Knuble the empty netter. Shutouts don’t feel so bad from the other side. Caps beat Pens 3-0.

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