Welcome Back, Ovi: Caps beat Isles 3-2

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

Winless for what seems like weeks, the Washington Capitals looked a bit flat at home against the New York Islanders. The Isles had a free pass into the Caps zone, whereas the Caps looked aimless, dumping and chasing to get deep. But possession aside, the Caps were the better finishers and escaped a close game with a #rego win thanks to their returned Captain and his late goal.

The Isles’ opening goal stung– it was (ex-Cap) Mikhail Grabovski off John Tavares through a billion screens. TJ Oshie got his 16th of the season off a pass from Nick Backstrom. The Isles had the puck for a million years but didn’t actually score, so Andre Burakovsky tapped in a puck set up by Jason Chimera to give the Caps the lead. With a chip shot from the paint, Josh Bailey made the game new in the third period.

Caps beat Isles 3-2! So this is what winning feels like!

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Caps vs Islanders Pregame: Ovi’s Back. Back Again

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

The best goal-scorer in the NHL returns to the Caps’ lineup tonight as the Islanders make the trip down from Brooklyn for a Metro battle. The Caps beat the Isles 4-1 when they met on January 7th.

The mission remains the same: pad the division lead. The Caps have 74 points, a 15 point lead in the division, and they are our guys. If things go badly tonight and you want to boo the team in red, we kindly ask that you get a grip. Thanks.

NBCSN has the coverage for the 7:30 game.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 35-9-4 52.1% 102.0 25.3% 83.7%
New York Islanders 26-16-6 50.9% 100.9 18.1% 86.9%

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

The Capitals beat the Islanders 4-1 on Thursday night at Barclays Center to extend their season record to 30-7-3. Alex Ovechkin scored his 22nd goal of the season bringing his career total to 497 goals. Jason Chimera and Nate Schimdt also scored for the Caps with Nicklas Backstrom adding an empty net-goal in the waning minutes.

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Caps Beat Isles: Numbers For The Morning After

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

On Thursday night, The Caps continued trouncing everyone in their path by tossing the Islander aside, 4-1. Nate Schmidt scored a goal. So did some other guys who aren’t as smiley as our guy Nate.

There was a patch of play in late 2015 when the Caps were winning consistently despite getting outplayed. Thursday night was nothing like that, as the Caps were the better team throughout.

Let’s take a look at some of the numbers.

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The Guys Behind the Guys: Caps beat Isles 4-1

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The Washington Capitals had never played in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, home of the New York Islanders. That unfamiliarity led to an unorthodox game from the Caps, replete with a dirty hit by Marcus Johansson, Karl Alzner’s confident offense, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for Tom Wilson. Okay, well it was mostly unorthodox. Let’s do the goals.

Like I said, Jason Chimera scored again, a low-angle tap-in made possible by the hard work of third-line center Marcus Johansson, then Alex Ovechkin put the Isles in a two-goal hole after Karl Alzner stoutly delivered the puck into the offensive zone.

Brock Nelson scored in the second period, but who cares, because then Nate Schmidt restored the two-goal hole thanks to a glorious takeaway and assist by Nick Backstrom, who also got the empty-netter.

Caps beat Isles 4-1!

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Caps at Islanders Pregame: Keep the Car Running

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

We’re almost to the second week of January and the top two teams in the Metro are set to clash for an important divisional match-up. Well, as important as a game can be when the first place team is 12 points ahead of the second place team.

It may have feel like the Caps results have dipped a bit lately, but the good guys are still 8-1-1 in their last 10 and continue to rack up the points at a dizzying rate.

If you believe in things like statement games, tonight might be one of those as the Caps face one of the best non-Caps teams in the conference. If you don’t believe in statement games, tonight is just a chance to put another two points in the bank.

Regardless of how you want to look at it, tonight is a chance for the Caps to keep the pedal down as they try to pull further away from the pack. Keep the car running, if you will.

The game’s on CSN tonight. Puck drops at 7 PM. Peter’s got your game coverage.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 29-7-3 51.6% 102.1 25.8% 84.2%
New York Islanders 22-13-5 50.4% 100.9 18.8% 85.6%

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Capitals in Awe of Bus Elevator at Barclays Center

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

The Washington Capitals played in the final game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 27. The Caps lost that contest to the New York Islanders, but their Game 7 victory in Washington put an end to hockey at the Coliseum. It was a glorious moment. Six months later, the Islanders have left the brutalist circular abode behind, moving to the opulent Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After closing out the Coliseum, the Capitals got the chance to play one of the first games in the new place, beating the Isles 3-1 Monday night.

The differences between the two buildings are striking. While the old concrete blob featured notable amenities such as rat poop and a TV angle that seemed to be coming from St. Louis, the new barn has a bus elevator, which is a freaking elevator for buses.

“I’ve never been on a bus elevator,” Jay Beagle told RMNB. “At first we were kind of like, what’s going on here? And then we realized it was an elevator for a bus, so that was kind of cool.”

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Caps beat Islanders 2-1: Halak No More!

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The hero of game seven. Or, one of them.

Game seven. Gay sev. The most Caps of Caps hockey. Will they lose in a teeth-gnasher or will they lose in a blowout?

THEY WILL DO NEITHER, GOOD SIR. THEY WILL DO NEITHER.

We were nearly forty minutes into a scoreless (and penalty-free) game when Brooks Orpik took a slapper from the blue line. Jaroslav Halak had the shot covered, but Joel Ward was all up on him. A couple vicious taps to a sensitive region and a slow trickle followed: 1-0 Capitals.

The Isles owned the puck early in the third. Frans Nielsen entered the zone and cut to the middle, putting a sneaky shot on Braden Holtby that went five-hole. Tie game with 17 minutes left.

Ten minutes later, Evgeny Kuznetsov was jokes. He moved laterally across the crease, undressing Halak and splaying him on his side. From no angle, Kuzy hit the back of the net.

The Washington Capitals have defeated the New York Islanders.

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Photo: Mike Stobe

One of my favorite movies of all-time is Hugo, so let it be know that I’ve always been a huge Chloe Grace Moretz fan. She’s a brilliant actor, but I’m having a hard time appreciating that right now. The reason? She loves the New York Islanders.

Now that’s fine. I can handle her liking another team, even the club that is trying to knock the Capitals out of the playoffs. I appreciate anyone who’s a passionate hockey fan (and respectful).

But her troll-level is so, so very high. Here’s a sampling.

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How Are You Preparing for Game Seven?

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Tonight, the Capitals will play game seven against the New York Islanders. It will be the tenth time the club has played in a game seven in the playoffs. Of the nine that have come before, the Caps have won three.

Year Oh God What Happened
 2013 Lost 5-0 to the Rangers
 2012  Lost 2-1 to the Rangers
 2012 Beat the Bruins 2-1 in OT
 2010 Lost 2-1 to the Canadiens
 2009 Lost 6-2 to the Penguins
 2009 Beat the Rangers 2-1
 2008 Lost 3-2 to the Flyers
 1995 Lost 5-0 to the Penguins
 1992 Lost 3-1 to the Penguins
 1988 Lost 3-2 to the Devils
 1992 Beat the Flyers 5-4 in OT
 1987 Lost 3-2 to the Islanders in 4OT

Game seven (gay sev to those in the know) is a familiar, painful Capitals tradition– one that began in ’87 with the heartbreak that was the Easter Epic. No matter what happens tonight, the game will take years off your life. The anxiety is imminent, and it will certainly make you a worse employee and a lazier lover.

How are you preparing for the game? Are you wearing rad Caps gear? Is it radder than my my signed Bradley jersey? Are you making signs and taking them to the game? Got any chants in mind? What is your dog doing and is he/she cute?

Use this space to share your outfit, your plans, and your feels. We’ll get through this together.

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