Johansson Scores

A game-altering fight? Matt Bradley fights Paul Mara immediately after Travis Moen's fluky goal. (Photo credit: Richard Wolowic)

A game-changing fight? Matt Bradley fights Paul Mara immediately after Travis Moen's fluky goal. (Photo credit: Richard Wolowic)

#Winning (Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz)

Returning to the Bell Center for the first time since the ill-fated 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Washington Capitals got a little bit of revenge Tuesday night, extending their winning streak to nine games in the process.

The game got off to a positively wild start with two goals and a fight in the first 1:48 of play. After Tomas Plekanec was called for a hooking penalty the Caps headed to an early power play. With a  lot help from the end boards, Marcus Johansson put the Caps up 1-nil as the dump-in from Dennis Wideman bounced right in front to the waiting Swede. Just 26 seconds later, however, Travis Moen tied things up on another odd play behind the net. Washington netminder Braden Holtby attempted to rim the puck along the boards but instead passed it right to Moen in the corner who fired the biscuit into the wide open net. Just over 20 seconds later the action continued with Matt Bradley and Paul Mara dropping the gloves right off the face-off in a bout that ended in a draw. At 13:23, Brooks Laich put the Caps on top 2-1 after picking up the perfect outlet pass from Karl Alzner, who was on the ice for nine more scoring chances and just one against. Whew. Another calm night in Montreal, I see.

Andrei Kostitsyn continued the back-and-forth play 3:28 into the second period, firing a wicked wrist-shot pass Holtby’s catching glove. Washington put forth a fury of shots in the remainder of the frame, racking up 19 for the period. It would be to no avail, however, and the teams would head to the third knotted up.

Johansson would strike once again at 6:43 in the final period, putting home a perfect backhand pass from Alex Ovechkin to give the Caps the lead. Just over ten minutes later, Mike Knuble would seal the deal converting on a two-on-one with Marco Sturm after Sturm delivered a perfect pass to the veteran winger. Take that, Frenchies. Caps top Habs, 4-2.

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Coffee’s for Closers: Habs beat Caps 3-2 (SO)

Ovechkin Sign

Aww (Photo credit: our own Chris Gordon)

The quintessential 2010-2011 Washington Capitals game includes a worthless first period, so the opening frame of tonight’s date with the Montreal Canadiens was surprisingly invigorating. If only the rest of the game could have followed suit.

Mathieu Perreault capped off an extended shift in the offensive zone with a takeaway and five-hole goal on Carey Price. On the powerplay, Mike Knuble filed some paperwork in his office to give the Caps an early and pleasant 2-0 lead. In the second period, Brian Gionta launched a rocket on a 2-on-1 breakaway to put the Habs on the board. Then John Carlson’s failed drop pass led to another breakaway and another goal for Gionta. OT was exciting but scoreless, and we found our way to that old standby: the shootout.

Nick Backstrom led off, beating Carey Price but ringing iron. Brian Gionta, the bastard, scored top-shelf on Varlamov. Matt Hendricks pulled that same darn move again, but Price saw it coming. James Wisniewski’s attempt was covered by Varly. Alex Ovechkin, in a must-score situation, didn’t. Game over. Habs beat Caps 3-2 (SO).

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Varly Triumphs, Caps beat Habs 3-0

beaglecelebrates

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

The Washington Capitals finally met their playoff pals, the Montreal Canadiens, for the first time since that awful, awful night. Recently de-Halak‘d, the Habs remain a formidable team and one that the Caps had no trouble getting amped up to face.

Hershey import Jay Beagle got on the big board first with a stunning no-look, behind-the-back, knick-knack, paddywack shot over Carey Price’s shoulder. Mike Green took a  freight train into a timing play to make it 2-0 off a Nicky Backstrom pass. The score was unchanged until Price abdicated his throne, which is like chumming the water to a shark like Alex Ovechkin. His empty netter finalized the score. Caps beat Habs 3-0.

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The 2010 Calder Cup Finals Are Set. Hershey Will Play Texas.

hershey-bears-dallas-stars-calder-cup-2010

Tonight, the Texas Stars upset the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-2 in Game 7 of the AHL’s Western Conference Finals. Yes, even after the Canadiens reassigned top prospects P.K. Subban and Ben Maxwell down to Hamilton for the deciding game, the Bulldogs still somehow managed to lose. After Hamilton took a 2-0 lead into the third period, Texas scored 4 unanswered goals and will now get the right to play the Hershey Bears in the 2010 Calder Cup Finals. RMNB has your schedule first and a gentle reminder to buy Game 1 or 2 tickets at Hershey NOW!

H.A.G.S. P.K. Subban

H.A.G.S. P.K. Subban

Game 1: Thursday, June 3 at HERSHEY 7:00 p.m.
GIANT Center

Game 2: Saturday, June 5 at HERSHEY 7:00 p.m.
GIANT Center

Game 3: Monday, June 7 at Texas 8:30 p.m.
Cedar Park Center

Game 4: Wednesday, June 9, at Texas 8:30 p.m.
Cedar Park Center

*Game 5: Friday, June 11 at Texas 8:30 p.m.
Cedar Park Center

*Game 6: Monday, June 14 at HERSHEY 7:00 p.m.
GIANT Center

*Game 7: Wednesday, June 16 at HERSHEY 7:00 p.m.
GIANT Center

*if necessary

Tickets for Game 1 and Game 2 of the 2010 Calder Cup Finals at GIANT Center are on sale now at the GIANT Center box office or by phone at (717) 534-3911. HERSHEY will look to become the first team since the 1991 Springfield Indians to win back-to-back Calder Cup titles.