Brooks Laich congratulates Braden Holtby on his shutout

Brooks Laich gives Braden Holtby the ol’ congratulatory helmet tap. (Photo credit: Francois Lacasse)

Marco Sturm seems, let's just say, pleased with his goal. (Photo credit: Graham Hughes)

Marco Sturm seems, let's just say, pleased with his goal. (Photo credit: Graham Hughes)

Less than 24 hours after being shutout at the hands of the Ottawa Senators, the Washington Capitals turned the tables against the Montreal Canadiens on Holtby — err — Hockey Night in Canada. The 21 year-old stonewalled the Habs on the way to his tenth victory this season.

The Capitals dominated the play during the first period of play, outshooting the Canadiens 12 to three and scoring the only tally of the frame. The goal came just 84 seconds into the contest when Marco Sturm knocked in a rebound off a Nicklas Backstrom wrist shot.

Washington continued their strong play in the second stanza, outshooting the Habs once again while Braden Holtby held the fort in net.

In the third both teams managed good opportunities, but it would be the Caps who would convert. After, guess who, Marco Sturm poke-checked the puck away at center-ice, Backstrom started a three-on-one break before Alexander Semin finished the play off by flicking the Swede’s pass past Montreal goalie Carey Price. SHUTOUT FOR BRADEN! Caps stonewall Habs, 2-0.

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Colin Greening scores on Semyon Varlamov

Colin Greening celebrates his goal; Varly is not pleased. (Photo credit: Phillip MacCallum)

Well, where do even begin? Poor effort, non-existent offense, a goalie playing in his first game since the 20th of February and some, let’s just say, interesting officiating. Those four things combined make the blueprint for how you find a way to lose to the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

Nothing of interest happened in the first period, but there was another meaningless D.J. King fight just under three minutes into the game.

The Senators’ Colin Greening opening the scoring at 13:25 in the second frame. After a scramble in front of the net, Greening appeared to kick not only the puck, but Capitals ‘keeper Semyon Varlamov’s whole pad past the goal-line. The big wigs in Toronto took a look at it, but the play stood. 1-0 Sens.

Both teams registered eight shots on goal in the second period — with the Capitals having the best chance on an Alexander Semin breakaway — yet no one would tally.

Just over two minutes into the third stanza, Erik Condra pushed the Senators’ lead to two. After a Karl Alzner giveaway, Condra picked up Milan Michalek’s backhand no-look feed and wristed it pass Varlamov.

The real action, however, would happen just under 13 minutes into the period when Matt Bradley laid-out Patrick Wiercioch at the goal-line. Though the hit appeared to be a legal shoulder to chest hit, the Sens and referees took exception. First Ottawa’s Zach Smith jumped Bradley, forcing him to duel. Smith got the win in the ’bout, but correctly received an instigator penalty for his instigating. However, the refs called Bradley boarding, one thing the hit almost certainly was not as Bradley and Wiercioch were 12 feet from the dashers when the hit occurred. That would be it. Ho-hum. Sens blank Caps, 2-0.

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Don’t Mess with Karl: Caps beat Sens 3-1


Jason Chimera’s bank shot off Bryan Elliott merits celebration. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

The Washington Capitals came back to earn a crucial win over the Ottawa Senators on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. The worst first period team in hockey, the Caps did nothing to shake off that label today. But a late-game effort kicked off by the team’s morale leader woke them up to snatch two much-needed standings points.

Only 72 seconds into the bout, Mike Fisher scored Ottawa’s only goal while Jeff Schultz wandered aimlessly behind the net. Forty six minutes later, forechecking Brooks Laich snatched a turnover from the slot, tying the game and rousing his team in the process. Forty five seconds later and just two ticks into a power play, John Carlson bombed Bryan Elliott for the go-ahead goal. And then Jason Chimera banked one off the goalie’s back for some insurance. Caps beat Sens 3-1.

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TRUE BELIEVERS! Caps beat Sens 3-2

Group hug for Fehrsie! (Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)

The Capitals have ended their eight-game losing streak. Just take a moment to process that. Go ahead, put that dumb old grin on your face. We’ll wait.

There you go. Feel better? Me too!

The Sunday night tussle between the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals had no shortage of extra meaning. The team’s mental state and possibly even careers hung in the balance. Game on.

Ottawa’s Ryan Shannon delivered a bang-bang puck over Neuvy’s left side to make it 1-0. Chris Kelly plopped in a pass from Chris Neil to give the Senators a two-goal lead in the first period. The Capitals could have deflated at that first intermission like usual, but they returned for the second ready to do work, son. Mathieu Perreault waited all of 34 seconds to score the Caps’ first goal, an ugly one. Eric Fehr allowed almost an entire minute to elapse before recording the second, also ugly. A powerplay opportunity found Perreault scoring again with another homely tally. The Caps held off a late-game man advantage to snap the slump: Caps beat Sens 3-2.

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Narrowly Escaping Defeat, Caps beat Sens 3-2 (OT)

Alex Ovechkin scores the OT Game-Winner Against the Sens. Verizon Center Erupts in Joy.

Your new desktop background: Ovi’s  OTGWG. Click to enlarge. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

Well, you could argue that the Washington Capitals did not deserve tonight’s win over the Ottawa Senators. You’d probably be right. If not for the superdeluxe hockey of the Great Eight, the Senators would take a matching pair of points with them as they leave D.C.  Despite a dominating performance for the entire game, the Senators trailed 2-1 until Ryan Shannon‘s beautiful wrister beat Michal Neuvirth. But it was Alex Ovechkin who, in overtime, displayed some future highlight reel material to beat Chris Phillips and Pascal LeClaire for the game winner. Mocking expectation, the Caps picked up the win, and they’ve also got a ton of new injuries to show for it. Oh well. Caps beat Sens 3-2!

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The Curse! Sens Beat Caps 5-4 (OT)

Our view of tonight's disaster

Our view of tonight's disaster

Tonight the Capitals played one of their worst games all year.  Miserable on offense and defense alike; at least they’re consistent.  We had some bright spots from Alex Semin and Mathieu Perreault, but a systemic problem cannot have an exceptional solution.  The Senators beat the Capitals with 18.9 seconds left in overtime– 5-4.

Unfortunately, attending tonight’s game precludes us from writing a full recap, so we’ll try to sate you with some tweeple giving us a hard time for being unlucky.

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An Albatross Around the Capitals’ Neck


What have we done to earn the ire of the hockey fates?

Here’s a sobering thought: I’ve never seen the Caps win in person. Not against the Flyers in 1996. Not against the Kings at the home opener in ’00. Not when they lost in round 1 of the playoffs to the Penguins in ’01. Never.

It’s a fact: Russian Machine Never Breaks is bad luck for the Washington Capitals.   We’ve tortured ourselves over whether to disclose these sad facts to you, but in light of our attending tonight’s game with the Ottawa Senators, we feel we must let you know: We are cursed.

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