The Caps rolled into Newark looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s listless loss to the Senators. This wasn’t just any old hockey game though. A beard was on the line, people.
Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring with a goal that should remind all of us how lucky we are to watch this guy every game. Then the PP converted as Andre Burakovsky put the Caps up 2-0, showing the Devils why it’s a bad idea to pass the puck in front of your own net.
The Devils struck in the opening minutes of the second. The Caps got caught chasing in their own zone, and the lead was cut to to 2-1. The Devils continued to tilt the ice for the first half of the second period but there’s no need to worry because the best third line in hockey got to work and put the Caps up 3-1. Soon after, Dmitry Orlov sprung Evgeny Kuznetsov who slotted home the breakaway and, just like that, the Caps were up 4-1 and Keith Kinkaid’s night was over. The Devils scored before the second was over to make it 4-2. It was a PP goal against a Caps defensive pair of Brooks Orpik and Taylor Chorney…
Kuznetsov added an empty netter in the third.
Caps win 5-2! The beard stays!
Following a rare shutout loss, the Caps head north to right the ship against the New Jersey Devils. The Devs (can we make that a thing?) are dead last in the Metropolitan Division and most recently fell to the Kings, 3-1.
Meanwhile, there are no streaks the Caps can boast of, so consider this both a jinx-free pregame and a clean slate for the team. With TJ Oshie out and Top-Line Beagle in, anything goes.
Puck drop at 7 PM on CSN-MA.
|Team||Record||SA%||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|New Jersey Devils||20-20-9||48.6%||99.7||13.9%||82.1%|
On December 29, I was at Verizon Center for the Washington Capitals’ 2-1 shootout loss against the New Jersey Devils. While neither the game or its result were what Caps fans wanted, those in Verizon Center were treated to a bit of a pick-me-up late in the third period.
Amidst the tension over the tie game and the end of regulation nearing, Baby by a 15-year-old Justin Bieber was suddenly booming through the loud speakers. It was already a bit of an odd choice for a hockey game, especially considering the song came out nearly seven years ago. But then I noticed that the song had been requested by Tom Wilson, Washington’s resident enforcer, and everything made sense.
Twenty sixteen was a mess. It was swirling chaos in which the things we depend on vanished and in their place came a grim mockery of fairness and equanimity. Appropriate then that the final Caps game of 2016 was refereed by Marc Joannette. The zebraman of the apocalypse tooted his evil whistle early and often, intending to make this the game of his will. The Capitals did not comply.
Andre Burakovsky sent a perfect pass to Brett Connolly to open up scoring, but scoring paused there once John Moore was injured by Tom Wilson. Later, Jay Beagle tapped in a point shot by Brooks Orpik to set a tone of eschatological ruin.
The second period was lousy with penalties. A three-on-three and an errant pass from Kyznetsov gave Kyle Palmieri a chance to score that he did not miss. But then the Caps erupted with three goals in six minutes: Oshie, Ovechkin, and Williams all struck before the second intermission.
Beau Bennett scored for the Devils in the third, but Marcus Johansson responded immediately.
Caps beats Devils 6-2!
The Caps lost a disappointing game to the Devils a couple nights ago, but the chance for revenge is here already.
Today at 1 PM in New Jersey, the Washington Capitals will end the year 2016 by literally fighting Satan. Feels appropriate.
|Team||Record||Possession||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|New Jersey Devils||14-15-7||47.0%||98.4||15.1%||82.6%|
A matchup between two Metro division foes usually means good things for hockey fans. Instead, tonight’s game was dreadful. Keith Kinkaid made it hard for the home team to light the lamp. And this season, practically no visiting team at Verizon Center can score goals (32 goals against in 18 games coming into this one) against Braden Holtby or Philipp Grubauer.
Your recap of the game goes like this. The Caps would misfire on two early power play chances and after a flurry of late scoring chances the first period would end scoreless. Shots in favor of the good guys 14-8.
The second period would start and immediately head downhill as Evgeny Kuznetsov decided to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. The period ended 1-0 after some heroics from the Devil’s netminder. Shots were 29 to 15 Caps.
The third period however went much better for the Caps. Daniel Winnik struck shorthanded off a great feed from Jay Beagle to tie the game up at 1.
But the Devils would ultimately win in the shootout. Devils win 2-1.
Tonight the Caps are back home and will be facing the New Jersey Devils at the Verizon Center. The Devils are doing their best to try and get a .500 record, but it won’t help them that tonight Taylor Hall will not be dressing due to a lower body injury. For the Caps, Jakub Vrana has been announced as a scratch for tonight. What did Barry Trotz have to say about the decision? “We’re not in a developmental league. We’re in a winning league.” Well, alrighty.
Game time is at 7 pm on CSN.
|Team||Record||Possession||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|New Jersey Devils||13-15-7||47.1%||98.7||15.7%||81.9%|
Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Friday night, the Caps played a snoozefest and beat the Devils 1-0 in OT. While TJ Oshie was out with the flu, John Carlson returned to the lineup and scored the OTGWG. Game highlights include and are limited to the aforementioned goal and Jason Chimera playing a hearty round of Duck, Duck, Goose.
The Caps’ play as of late has raised some eyebrows. As they head into the playoffs, one area of concern is their possession numbers. Tonight, the Caps posted a very solid 60 percent of the shot attempts. Granted, they played the Devils, whose 46.1 shot attempt percentage ranks second-to-last in the NHL.
Friday night is the best night of the week, unless you’re watching the Capitals play the Devils. New Jersey, who is six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, spent the entire game playing some dump-and-chase, low event hockey. They did this hoping that by slowing the pace down, they could catch the NHL’s best team snoozing and eek out a much-needed win.
It did not work. The Caps are just too darn good.
After 60 minutes of a 0-0 tie, John Carlson, in his first game since February 24, blasted a one-timer past Scott Wedgewood 2:17 into overtime. Like it was fate, the goal came on the six year anniversary of Carlson’s first NHL goal.
Caps win their 53rd game of the season, 1-0.
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