The Washington Capitals are currently on a four-game win streak and have a record of 17-7-3. You might expect them to be jumping out to a mondo Metropolitan Division lead just like they did last year. But as NHL.com reported Monday morning, the Metro division cumulatively went 17-1-0 last week, and the Caps gained no ground despite their win streak. They sit in fifth place in the division despite their solid record, although they have games in hand on everyone other than the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Philadelphia Flyers are on a nine-game win streak. The Penguins are 7-3-0 in their last ten and feature the league’s current leading goal-scorer in Sidney Crosby (20 goals in 22 games). The New York Rangers have a plus-35 goal differential, and the Blue Jackets are somehow plus-31. This is not last year’s Metro division.
With 9:34 left in the third period, Alex Ovechkin scored on a breakaway to give the Capitals an emphatic 6-0 lead. After the Caps goal horn sounded, the song The Wicker Man by Iron Maiden was supposed to play.
Instead, the Caps game entertainment crew ran an audible and thew on the Penguins’ goal song.
Tonight, the Caps came out roaring against the Penguins. The Caps played one of their best games this season: smart, fast, aggressive hockey. They scored left and right, up and down, and in every way imaginable.
Instead of sputtering, the offense was ferocious. The first period showcased some serious offensive firepower, as the Caps scored while shorthanded, at even strength, and on the power play. Two of the three goals scored in the first were courtesy of T.J. Oshie.
In the second, resident golden god Marcus Johansson casually passed the puck to Dmitry Orlov. One Scoarlov later, the Caps were leading 4-0.
By the third period, it was beyond obvious that the Penguins were putty in the Caps’ hands. I like to think that the mysterious killer instinct Barry Trotz has been pushing for finally reared its head. Justin Williams tallied his second of the season, Alex Ovechkin got on the scoresheet, and Nicklas Backstrom capped off the evening with his second goal of the night. The Caps were utterly dominant.
Caps destroy Penguins 7-1. ¡BAILAMOS!
After a disappointing road trip, the Caps are back home at Verizon Center for five straight games. Tonight they’re matched up against salty Twitter user/long time rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Heading into tonight’s matchup, Coach Trotz has several lineup tweaks – though there’s no word yet on if #TopLineBeagle is back to being a #BottomLineBeagle. We can only hope.
Meanwhile, the Penguins come into tonight’s affair on three days rest after beating the tar out of the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 last Saturday. In contrast, this is the second game of another Caps’ back-to-back series. The flightless birds from Pittsburgh currently sit second in the Metropolitan division, two points above your Caps, and did some of that damage without Sidney Crosby to start the year. Sid The Kid is back though and has ten goals in 9 games. Tonight should be a barnburner.
Puck drop is at 7:30 on NBCSN. Pierre!
|Team||Record||Possession||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
So… that was a pretty banner. K, got that out of the way.
The game got off to a furious start. Within the first minute, Chris Kunitz got sprung for a breakaway, which was brilliantly broken up by Dmitry Orlov. The Pens came on too hot and puck went the other way. Nicklas Backstrom delivered a tasty saucer pass over Trevor Daley’s stick and sweet sweet Andre Burakovsky fired a wrist shot into the back of the net. One paragraph for fifty-nine seconds
Later into the period Tom Kuhnhackl did a bad thing, which led to some pushing and then Tom Wilson got punched in the shoulder because I don’t know.
The second period was boring until the Caps got hit with an unlucky too many men penalty and Patric Hornqvist deflected it past Braden Holtby.
Late in the frame Evgeny Malkin took advantage of so effuppery by Orlov and TJ Oshie in their own zone. Geno was in all alone and Braden kicked the puck in with the back of his leg.
But Backstrom was at it again. In the third, he made a drop pass of the dead gorgeous vanity, once against to Burakovsky, who tired the game at two.
The game went to a heart-stopping overtime, but that led to nothing.
TJ did his thing in the shootout. Malkin responded. So did Letang. Nicky put the shootout into extra frames. Phil the Thrill won it. Pens beat Caps 3-2 (SO)
At 7:55pm, the Pittsburgh Penguins began their Stanley Cup banner ceremony. It took 22 minutes to conclude.
“Only two teams have won more cups than the Penguins in the last 50 years,” the Penguins narrator said as I contemplated the meaning of life. “Four cups, 15 scoring championships. In the city of champions, this is the franchise of champions.
There were player and owner introductions. There was a speech. There was a tribute video. There were glow sticks. There were fog machines.
The Capitals head to PPG Paints Arena Thursday night to begin another meaningless 82 game slog. They’ll be playing in the same place that used to be called CONSOL Energy Center, which was a stupid name, before the bottom dropped out of the coal market. Now the Uptown Pittsburgh rink has new a corporate-backed tongue twister emblazoned on the side so you be super super aware that PPG ain’t no glass company. They also make sniffable goods.
Before the game, the Penguins will raise a banner honoring their 2016 Stanley Cup championship. For the benefit of Caps fans, the Stanley Cup, also known as just “the Cup,” is a trophy awarded annually to the winner on the National Hockey League’s postseason.
The Caps roster is largely intact from last year’s squad which dominated the regular season and younger players like Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, and Dmitry Orlov look poised to improve. Let’s see what happens. The puck drops on NBCSN at 8:20. Liveblog and recap the night away with us.
|Team (2015-16)||Record||Possession||PDO||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Washington Capitals||56-18-8||52.0%||101.1||21.9% (5th)||85.2% (2nd)|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||48-26-8||53.0%||100.6||18.4% (16th)||84.4 % (5th)|
The Pittsburgh Penguins will be raising their 2016 Stanley Cup championship banner on Thursday against the Capitals. And now they’re rubbing it in.
According to the Penguins Twitter account, all four of their Stanley Cup banners have been redesigned and reprinted. They are larger and, I’m assuming, more ostentatious than ever. Three of the banners have already been raised to the rafters while the fourth will be raised in front of the Caps on opening night.
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