When the Capitals signed Mike Richards to a $1 million, one-year contract on January 6, Washington head coach Barry Trotz forecasted that the former Flyers and Kings forward would make his debut against the Anaheim Ducks on January 22 at Verizon Center. Richards hadn’t played since last April after having his contract voided by the Los Angeles Kings over the summer.
“There’s no assurances in anything, in life,” Trotz said at the time.
But after seeing Richards quickly get his legs under him and adapt to the Capitals’ system, Trotz had Richards debut almost a week earlier than planned when he skated on Washington’s fourth line on Saturday night in Buffalo.
“I probably went into this weekend thinking maybe in the seven-, eight-minute range,” Trotz said Sunday night, referring to Richards’s ice time. “Seven to eight minutes in the first game and seven to eight minutes in the second. Probably 10 at the high end.”
On January 17, 2016, In Game Recap, By Chris Gordon
Photo: Rob Carr
Speaking about Saturday night’s 4-1 loss to the Sabres, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said the team “didn’t invest enough in the game.” That seems like a stupider way of talking about “compete level.” Nevertheless, the Capitals diversified their assets tonight! Or whatever. I’m a liberal arts major.
The Rangers got the jump early, outshooting the Caps 5-1 in the opening 10 minutes. Just past the halfway mark of the first period, Chris Kreider converted on that zone time, tipping a Ryan McDonagh shot from the point past a helpless Braden Holtby. Late in the period, however, the Caps vaunted power play got them back-in when Alex Ovechkin stepped out of his office to fire a wrist shot past Antti Raanta, making his first start in 11 games.
In the second, it was the power play again. This time Nicklas Backstrom fired a brilliant pass from the half wall to Marcus “Soft Serve” Johansson, who tapped-in the puck for the go-ahead tally. Washington added to their lead with a Taylor (!) Scorney, but the goal was later awarded to Justin Williams, who got a stick on the shot. Kreider put the Rangers back within one off a broken play in the slot, another one Holtby had little chance of stopping.
The final frame sealed DC’s win as J-Will added another tip-in tally before hitting the empty net (well, the Rangers helped) for his second career hat trick. Caps beat Rangers 5-2!
Last night didn’t work out great for the Washington Capitals. Outplayed and outscored by a scrappy upstart Buffalo Sabres team, the Caps had one of those rare losses. Today at 5 PM they’ll be in peril of doing it again at the hands of New York Rangers, a team headed in the opposite direction of the Sabres but just as dangerous.
Tune in at 5 PM on CSN. Chris Gordon will have your deep-tissue Swedish massage with aromatherapy and recap.
On January 9, 2016, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
The Washington Capitals weren’t quite ready for Saturday afternoon’s date with the New York Rangers. They got an early lead but were unable to protect it. The Rangers took the lead in the third, and it fell to Nick Backstrom to push us past #rego. Then the Captain did The Thing.
Alex Ovechkin struck first with a gift-wrapped goal in the first period. Justin Williams doubled that lead with a solo-effort, tuck-in goal in the second period.
Oscar Lindberg cut that lead to one in the third period after defusing Washington’s breakout, then Kevin Hayes erased the lead altogether with ten minutes left. With 7 minutes left, Viktor Stalberg did the unprecedented: taking the lead back from the Caps in the third period. The Caps looked at the peak of their powers in a comeback effort, finished off by a desperate goal by Nick Backstrom with 6 seconds left.
Then, in overtime, Alex Ovechkin won it, scoring his 499th career goal.
Happy Saturday, hockey people. In just a few hours, the Capitals will take the ice at Madison Square Garden to play the New York Rangers, who aren’t very good anymore. But that’s no reason to get cocky; the Caps will be without their sterling third line center, Marcus Johansson, who is serving a two-game suspension.
Puck drops at 1 PM, and coverage is on CSN. I’ll be doing a light recap with heavy hors d’oeuvres.
On December 20, 2015, In GIF Recap, By Hana Imiolczyk
Photo: Bruce Bennett
The Capitals extended their lead atop the Metropolitan Division to 8 points by crushing the New York Rangers 7-3 at Madison Square Gardens on Sunday night. Justin Williams opened the scoring for the Caps. fter the Rangers ended the first period leading 3-1, the Caps went on to score six unanswered goals in the second and third periods. The Caps’ winning streak now stands at five games.
On December 20, 2015, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Nothing is forbidden anymore. The Washington Capitals can seemingly surrender a two-spot to any team in the league just so they can have fun with the comeback effort. That’s precisely what we got in the home den of the New York Rangers on Sunday: a disheartening start, a soaring comeback, and lots and lots of fun hockey.
Taylor Chorney was the setup man in a lovely sequence finished off by Justin Williams for the game’s opening goal. Then it was all Rangers. JT Miller tied the game with a solo drive and a tricky release, then Chris Kreider got the lead by converting a broken play, then Dan Boyle converted a power play before the first period was up.
In the second period, the Caps clawed their way back in with a Russian team-up, Dmitry Orlov to Evgeny Kuznetsov, to make it 3-2, and then TJ Oshie crashed the net to tie the game again. An Ovi Shot from the Ovi Spot gave the Caps the lead, which Justin Williams doubled with a power-play gutshot from the slot late int he period.
Jason Chimera scored a shorthanded goal on relief goalie Magnus Hellberg. No, seriously. Evgeny Kuznetsov forechecked superbly to set up Marcus Johansson for the game’s seventh goal. SEVENTH. GOAL.
Happy holidays, Caps people. The Capitals are in New York today to beat the Rangers on Madison Square Garden ice. Our own Pat Holden will be in attendance. Last time an RMNB human was at MSG, this happened. Today must go better, but the Caps are gonna have to right their 5v5 ship for that to happen.
Enjoy both of the hours of sunlight you’ll have before puck drop at 7 PM. Tune into CSN with us, won’t you?