GAME OVER GREEN! Caps beat Rangers 1-0 (OT)

Greg Fiume

Gorgeous pic by Greg Fiume

Hockey hypertension. The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers played a high-tension matinee game that had everyone watching in conniption fits. Superb performances by goalies Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby kept the game scoreless through regulation despite some dazzling chances at both ends. I’m trying to think of a non-cliched way to say we were on the edge of our seats, but I’m way too wrapped up in this to be clever right now.

Braden Holtby refused all offers, and the Capitals dominated overtime until Mike Green ended it on the power play.

Caps beat Rangers 1-0 (Overtime). Caps lead the series 2-0.

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Greg Fiume

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

Oh god. Oh god. Oh. God.

I’m a bit wrapped up in the Washington Capitals this year. I thought I’d be cool, analyzing the game with the sober distance of an expert, but I’m not that at all. I’m a basket case, and I bet I’m not alone. It’s the gosh-darn playoffs, and the Caps are off to a hot start.

Washington bombarded NYR goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the first period, but the Rangers somehow got the early lead anyway. The Caps didn’t change their style though and responded with three goals in the second period. Holtby withstood an enfilade in the third and earned a wonderful game-one win.

Caps beat Rangers 3-1. Caps lead series 1-0. Boom!

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The Freaking New York Rangers– Again


Photo credit: Greg Fiume

Saturday night revealed the Capitals’ playoff foe, and that foe is really, really familiar.

The New York Rangers locked up the 6-seed and will be headed to Washington early this week to begin the quarterfinal round. This will be the seventh time the teams have met and the third time RMNB will have written about a WSH-NYR series. The John Tortorella Rangers are a shot-blocking, workaday-type crew– but this year they’ve added convincing possession to the mix (they’re ranked sixth in unblocked shot attempts at even strength when the score is close). The Rangers may be a better match-up for the Caps than the Senators (whose Craig Anderson posted the best goalie stats this year) and the Isles (whose John Tavares is a convincing young star), but the Rags are no slouch either.

If you’re already anxious, you’re not alone. But this is the playoffs, where the gentle hum of anxiety is your stalwart dance partner.

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Caps beat Rangers 3-2 (SO), Back in the Chase?

Paul Bereswill

Photo credit: Paul Bereswill

The Washington Capitals came to Manhattan on a tear. They brought everything they had against the New York Rangers in the game’s first ten minutes, only to see the home team nullify a two-goal lead before the first intermission. Two periods of tight hockey and excellent goaltending followed– earning the Caps one point for surviving regulation. That second point had to wait until the shootout– the Caps’ first of the season.

Holtby poked Nash. Hendricks failed to paralyze Lundqvist. Callahan went wide. Ovi scoared. Stepan roofed it. Ribeiro got denied. Richards got swatted away. And Backstrom sunk it!

Caps beat Rangers 3-2 (Shootout)

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Patrick McDermott

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

After a misstep on Long Island, the Washington Capitals hoped to regain their footing while hosting the New York Rangers on Sunday. After a quick start, the Caps lost control of the game. A snazzy goal by Steve Oleksy in the first period gave the Caps the lead, but the Rangers retaliated with four goals– two of them scored after penalties by Alex Ovechkin. Holtby was chased from the net, and the Caps never really mounted a palpable comeback.

Rangers beat Caps 4-1.

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No O, Rangers beat Caps 2-1

Bruce Bennett

 Darroll Powe is helped off the ice. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

The Washington Capitals won three in a row coming into Sunday, but those games were against middling teams in their own division. This game was the New York Rangers, the guys who bounced the Hunter-led Caps from the playoffs last year. This game actually went a lot like those games: great goaltending but not nearly enough Caps offense.

John Carlson’s slapshot went top shelf in the game’s opening minutes. Carl Hagelin notched a goal halfway into a second period that felt more like an extended New York power play. Derek Stepan finished off a six-second power play to give the Rangers a lead– which held on for the win.

Rangers beat Caps 2-1.

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The Hangover: Playoffs by the Numbers

Welp, the Washington Capitals got knocked out of the playoffs again, and we’re totally exasperated. Here’s the part of the year where we wonder what went wrong.

Here’s also the part where the scoundrels will try to wrest away the discussion from right-thinking individuals. Before the loudmouths start throwing around sweeping generalizations and platitudes, I’m going to try to get some actual, objective information out there.

What follows is a breakdown of how the Capitals postseason went down– strictly by the numbers.

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Photo credit: @matt71royer

We learned a week ago that Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee can get quite animated during games. During the third period of Game Seven, McPhee’s emotions boiled over late while the Caps power play sputtered.

The Capitals trailed from the onset, but they suffered what seemed to be a death blow when Michael Del Zotto rifled a shot past Braden Holtby to put the Rangers up 2-0 with 9:55 to go in the final frame. A goal from Roman Hamrilk gave the team life just 38 seconds later, and then the Capitals got a gift: Ruslan Fedotenko‘s delay-of-game penalty.

But instead of converting the man advantage, the Caps squandered it in an embarrassing fashion, setting up shorthanded chances for the Rangers and spending most of their time stuck in their own zone. The low point was when one of the Caps attempted a dangerous no-look pass that nearly ended up in their own net.

CBC caught McPhee in the rafters watching the mess. He was — uh — unhappy.

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The End of the Road

Photo credit: Paul Bereswill

The Washington Capitals played their season on the edge of a knife. After losing Bruce Boudreau and picking up Dale Hunter in November, the Caps adopted a style of play that yielded smaller margins of victory, but more rarely imploded spectacularly.

Tonight the Capitals lost their final coin toss.

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Caps Fans Are Ready for Game Seven

Samuel Miller’s pump-up video for Game Seven. Goosebumps!

Tonight, the Washington Capitals will try to do what they so awesomely did to Boston 17 days ago: knock off a higher-seed in their own barn. If the Caps manage to beat the Rangers in Game Seven, they’ll advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 14 years. And just like a few weeks ago, Caps fans are doing whatever they can to send up their good karma to the Big Apple.

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