Braden Holtby Is Sick of The Way The Caps Are Playing

Andre Ringuette

Photo: Andre Ringuette

With their 4-2 win over the Senators, the Caps clinched the number-one seed in the East, set a franchise record for wins on the road, and put Braden Holtby within striking distance of Marty Brodeur’s single-season win record. But Holtby wasn’t happy.

“We’re all kind of sick of the way we’ve played at times the last couple of months,” Holtby said after the game.

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Hot Start, Cool Finish: Caps beat Senators 4-2

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All of a sudden, I’ve got an idea for the plot of Taken 4.

The Capitals came into Canadian Tire Centre like a wrecking ball, recording a trio of goals in the opening frame and then holding on for the remaining forty. The Ottawa Senators, it turns out, aren’t very good.

First it was Mike Richards, seizing on a takeaway by Tom Wilson to record his second goal as a Capital. Alex Ovechkin came next, sweeping in a shot on the power play, followed by Nick Backstrom who backhanded a bobbler past Craig Anderson to give the Caps a 3-goal lead.

The sole goal of the second period came from Matt Wideman, an outside fluke obscured by Karl Alzner’s glove. The Senators snuck back into it with 90 seconds left off the stick of Mika Zibanejad, but TJ Oshie beat Karlsson to score the empty netter.

Caps beat Senators 4-2. The Caps have won the Eastern Conference.

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Caps at Senators Pregame: Gimme Something Good

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

The Caps come into Ottawa tonight to face a Senators team that they should beat, despite the fact that the Sens have the league’s best defenseman, Erik Karlsson, on their roster.

The Senators aren’t a very good team. If the Caps struggle, it’s another concerning performance to add to the list that’s been growing longer at an alarming rate.

But let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about something good. I’ve compiled a wishlist for tonight’s game:

  • The Caps end the first period with the lead.
  • Braden Holtby gives up two or fewer goals.
  • The Caps are the better possession team.
  • The Caps score a PP goal.
  • Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin find their way onto the score sheet.

I’ll take a win that involves any three of these wishlist items. What’s on your wishlist for tonight?

7:30 faceoff on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 51-15-5 51.2% 101.6 23.0% (2nd) 84.1% (5th)
Ottawa Senators 34-31-8 46.7% 101.2 16.4% (26th) 75.4% (29th)

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GIF Recap: Ovi’s 500th as Caps Beat Sens 7-1

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Photo: Drew Hallowell

Alex Ovechkin became the first Russian to score 500 NHL goals and the fifth fastest player to reach that milestone on Sunday night, as the Capitals beat the Senators 7-1 at Verizon Center. Justin Williams, T.J. Oshie, Zach Still, and Dmitry Orlov had put the Caps up 4-1 before Ovechkin tallied on the PP, becoming the first Washington Capitals player to score 500 goals. Tom Wilson added a sixth midway through the third period, then Ovechkin scored his second of the game, powering past Erik Karlsson to get his 501st NHL goal and the Capitals seventh goal of the night.

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Jacquelyn Martin

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin

On the 27th Capitals shot of the game, Alex Ovechkin fired a puck from the far circle on the power play. At 30, Ovechkin became the fifth-fastest player to reach 500 goals in National Hockey League history. His teammates poured over the bench in recognition of the greatest player in Washington’s 41 year history. The game, and the league, stopped to take notice. The Senators filed off the ice to one of the loudest ovations in Verizon Center history as Ovechkin raised his arms in triumph. In the third, Ovechkin became the league leader in goals with his 26th score of the season and the 501st of his career.

Some other stuff happened in the game that I will now talk about.

The Caps dominated the game at the drop, striking first eight minutes into the game after Andre Burakovsky, who is good again, set up Justin Williams for his second goal is as many games. Less than three minutes later TJ Oshie extended the lead to two with a PPG. The Caps coasted after that, twice going on the penalty kill, but survived unscathed.

In the second, Ottawa got on the board after a colossal offensive zone screw up by the second line led to Mike Hoffman’s 20th goal of the season on a two-on-one.

Zach Sill, Washington’s actual third line center, was able to put the Sens back on their heels after Ottawa’s netminder Andrew Hammond whiffed on a pop-up in front. Dmitry Orlov made it 4-1 114 seconds later with a rocket from the far circle.

Tom Wilson added another, bookended by Ovechkin two historic tallies. Caps beat Sens 7-1!

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Caps vs Senators Pregame: All About Alex

Photo: Bruce Bennett

The Senators come to town tonight for a battle of capital cities. The Senators are not very good. The Caps are very good. But hockey is a game drenched with randomness, so being the superior team doesn’t assure victory.

Alex Ovechkin goes for 500 tonight. In today’s snapshot, one thing we talked about is the fact that it seems impossible to appreciate him enough, no matter how much we appreciate him. What a treat it is to be on the planet Earth as a Caps fan during Ovechkin’s career.

With where the Caps are in the standings right now, I’d take an Ovi goal over a Caps win tonight, if you forced me to pick.

The game starts at 7 and will be on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 31-7-3 51.7% 101.9 25.6% 84.9%
Ottawa Senators 20-16-6 46.3% 101.2 18.6% 77.1%

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GIF Recap: Two Point Night for Latta

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Photo: NHLPA Twitter

The Capitals extended their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. Michael Latta scored his second of the season and John Carlson got his second goal in as many games. Goals and celebrations below.

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A Rollercoaster That Only Goes Up: Caps beat Sens 2-1

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The Washington Capitals looked great on Wednesday night, and I’m not just talking about their uniforms. A win over the Ottawa Senators wasn’t in doubt until Tommy Drama got the home team in trouble late, but some sturdy penalty killing and the world’s best goaltender made it 22 wins for the Caps.

Michael Latta got Washington on the board in the first period with a breakaway goal set up by Dmitry Orlov’s skyward pass. John Carlson put the Sens in a two-goal hole with a one-timer masterfully facilitated by Justin Williams. Tom Wilson got a match penalty late in the third period, allowing Ottawa to spoil Braden Holtby’s shutout, but that was it.

Caps beat Sens 2-1!

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Caps vs Senators Pregame: Rivalry Night From DC

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Sleep tight, kids, with visions of sugarplums and evil bun-bun Ovi dancing in your heads.

Wednesday night is rivalry night, according to NBC Sports. This means that two random teams without any meaningful relationship play on a Wednesday and the game is on NBCSN and given the label “rivalry night” without any deliberate thought.

Tonight’s game is not on NBCSN, thank goodness, but it wouldn’t be the most random pair of teams to meet on a rivalry night. The Caps meet the Senators, which means we get to watch one of the best players in the league, Erik Karlsson, and a bunch of other dudes play hockey in their Senators jerseys.

Tonight’s game is on the trust CSN Plus. Puck drops at 7 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 21-6-2 51.7% 101.7 23.4% 84.0%
Ottawa Senators 15-10-3 45.8% 102.2 20% 87.9%

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Can’t Clinch: Sens Beat Caps 4-3 (OT)

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That was a dumb period. (Photo credit: Justin Tang)

On this festive weekend, the Caps looked to clinch a playoff berth with a regulation win over the Senators. Instead, they dug themselves a huge hole early. Somehow, they came back. Then they blew it again. Oh well. Put down your matzo and wine, it’s no time for a yeast-less party.

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