Photo credit: Rob Carr
The Capitals’ power play, the main factor behind Washington’s early wins, has dropped off. So, too, has their penalty kill. Still, the team is finding ways to win — barely. Though they got four points over the weekend, both games took extra time. Nevertheless, the team’s five-on-five play has been improving. Would it be enough to defeat the new old division rival Canes?
The Caps played well in the first, with Jason Chimera nearly converting early on a scrum in front to give Washington the lead. Carolina, though, struck first. After Eric Staal fed him the puck from behind the net, Hockey Bieber — that would be Jeff Skinner — took a shot from the goal line. Braden Holtby couldn’t make to the near post in time as the puck deflected in off his nether regions.
In the second, things got out of hand. Midway through the frame, lil’ Skinner was at it again with fly ball from the near circle. Less than three minutes later, the Hurricanes pushed the lead to three as Andre Sekera unleashed a blast from the point on the power play that Holtby never saw. Point number three for Skinner. Fifty-three seconds later, it got even uglier when Jiri Tlusty put a nasty backhand top shelf. Ugh.
For the final frame, enter Philip Grubauer. The Caps didn’t show much life in the third, but at least Mike Green got on board for the first time since the Obama administration with a power play marker. Nothing more. Canes thump Caps, 4-1.
While the Caps are losing thanks to penalty and possession problems, Alex Semin (3 goals, 8 assists) is prancing around North Carolina doing unspeakably pretty things with hockey pucks.
For example, check out this gorgeous pass from Semin to Jiri Tlusty on the Canes’ way to a 4-3 loss to the Jets. In the video above, Semin makes a blind pass through Anthony Peluso’s legs to find Tlusty right at the goal mouth. Uncanny.
The Canes currently lead the Southeast Division, Alex Semin is averaging just .8 penalty minutes per game, and the Caps have a 4.5% chance of making the playoffs. On the bright side, it is 34 degrees and rainy in Raleigh today.
Photo credit: Jacquelyn Martin
By the time the Carolina Hurricanes made their way to DC, the Washington Capitals desperation for a win became strong enough to overpower any shyness the team may have developed when it comes to scoring.
Troy Brouwer ended 134 minutes without a goal by going backhand on Cam Ward. Jay Beagle turned a perimeter shot from Dmitry Orlov into the Caps second goal. But the Canes came back quick with goals by Tlusty and Larose in less than five minutes. A whiff by Dennis Wideman led to Brandon Sutter’s pretty breakaway goal. Brooks Laich tied it up by giving and going with Marcus Johansson late in the third period.
OT? Faulk. Canes beat Caps 4-3 (OT).
Screengrab via @TFGot.
In the Capitals thrilling 4-3 overtime-victory against division rival Carolina, there were several bigs hits of note. Nicklas Backstrom rocked Jiri Tlusty’s world with a fantastic counter-hit and Alex Semin decked Hurricanes Bryan Allen at the end of regulation.
While Backstrom’s hit was totally clean (shoulder to chest), Sasha Minor’s hit was borderline dirty and 2,000 percent unnecessary. Don’t believe me? Check out the video.
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