Wild beat Caps 5-3 in Braden Holtby’s Crummy Comeback

Ovi and Cookie - Bruce Kluckhohn

Ovechkin and Cookie get stupid. (Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn)

You could say the Caps have been struggling. Their puck possession has disintegrated over the last couple weeks and they haven’t been able to make up the difference with special teams, shot quality, or lucky goaltending. Heading into Minnesota, where no one wants the puck, you’d think the Caps would start the turnaround. But shot quality is a fickle fairy, and tonight she spread her lucky dust on the sticks of the Wild.

Marcus Johansson cleaned up a rebound to convert a first-period power play. Thirteen seconds later, Mike Green put some messed-up moves on Matt Cooke to make it 2-0 on the very next shot, just 13 seconds later. It was fun.

Nino Niederreiter scored on the Wild’s second shot of the game, early in the second period as no one in particular played defense. With Steve Oleksy and Karl Alzner serving time in the box, the Wild’s Ryan Suter struck twice– both times with Dany Heatley screening Braden Holtby. I’m not even gonna try to explain the tying goal, which Mike Green got credit for, so just read our story on that one. The Wild got the lead back with a bouncing puck finished off by Jason Zucker.

And then Ryan Suter got the hat trick after serving a tripping minor in the third period.

Wild beat Caps 5-3.

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Ovi - Patrick McDermott

“Hi Troy!” “Hi Alex!” (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

The Capitals haven’t played a whole lot of good teams so far. After a buncha seasons as a bad hockey team, the Minnesota Wild are finally looking pretty tough, and that was bad news for the Caps. The Caps were stymied for much of the Thursday night’s game, but they got enough peeks at Josh Harding’s net to make it interesting.

Here’s how it went.

Alex Ovechkin scored from the Ovi spot during a first-period power play, but Charlie Coyle tied it up with a power play tally of his own. Mikael Granlund chipped in Jason Pominville’s rebound in the second to give Minnesota the lead. In the third, Marcus Johansson tied the game with just three minutes and change left in regulation.

The Caps survived a late-game penalty kill thanks to some Holtby heroics. And seeing as overtime couldn’t reach a decision, it’s time for the…

Shootout bullets!

  • Puck rolled on Grabo: denied!
  • Pominville snatched by Holtby.
  • Ovi rings post.
  • Koivu off the crossbar.
  • Nicky Backstrom LIKE A SALMON IN THE BACK OF THE NET
  • Holtby saves!

Caps beat Wild 3-2 in the shootout!

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Ovechkin Ascendant, Holtby Perfect, Caps beat Wild 3-0

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

After letting the Jets steal two points on Friday, the Washington Capitals direly needed a win against the Minnesota Wild to keep them off the golf course come April 8th. Aware of this fact, the Capitals played a smart game– even after getting the lead.

A little over 30 minutes in, Alex Semin accelerated into the Wild zone and set up Jason Chimera for a smart opening goal. Mathieu Perreault crashed the net for a goal on an undeserved power play. Alex Ovechkin did the Alex Ovechkin thing in the third. Caps beat Wild 3-0.

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Minnesota Wild Pregame: Yah Sure, You Betcha

The other Nick Backstrom. (Photo credit: Doug Benc)

Healing Breath: So alright, everybody feel safe now? Good. Now, everyone, breathe in….and blow it out. Good; that’s good. And let’s just stick with “blow” for a moment, shall we?

Friday was basically the Mir of hockey games (look it up, noobs.) We all watched, incredulous, as our Hero Caps slung their way to 3-0, only to slump to end 4-3, mostly during the last third, as the flaming wreckage fell back to Earth. Honestly, that last stanza? Blowing chunks all over that very pretty, expensive Verizon sheet. In a phrase: everybody was Byfuglian-en.

OK, cleansing breath now; suck it in….and, blow it out. Blow hard…good.

The Pregamer: As a cure for our Capitals PTSD (Post Traumatic Suckage Disorder) we slopped out to Kettler today to see just wha’ what was up with the what wha’. We learned several things.

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Backstrom > Backstrom: Wild beat Caps 2-1

kobasew-scores-on-neuvirth

No argument here. (Photo via @dimickj)

Surprisingly not Maine. (Photo via @dimickj)

Chuck Kobasew starts the scoring for the Wild (Photo Credit: Jim Mone)

For those of us wondering if the Caps can string together two good games in a row… no.

All the way up in exotic Minnesota, the Caps faced the almost-unknown Wild but left their A-game in Raleigh. The travelling Caps’ ennui was strong, but the Wild’s fans’ was stronger. This sleepy twaddle of a game was a waste of even Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin’s time, as the commentators spent a decent chunk of the night observing the finer points of referee trousers.

The Caps’ forwards were stingy on shots, mustering only four in the first period. They didn’t do too much better in the latter forty minutes either, totaling a meager 22. The Wild didn’t need a lot of shots to score (goals from Chuck Kobasew and Mikko Koiku), offering only 17. That, apparently, is enough. Despite a late goal from Alex Ovechkin and a case of too-little-way-too-late, Minnesota won the night. Wild beat Caps 2-1.

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Backstrom vs. Backstrom

Thursday night, for one night only, see the fight of the ages. One man faces his deadliest dangerous foe yet: himself!

Backstrom vs. Backstrom

Niklas Backstrom will start in net for the Wild tomorrow night against Nicklas Backstrom and the Capitals [Michael Russo]. Guess that means former-Capital/perpetual handsome dude Jose Theodore rides the pine.