“Perry, we did it! We actually score on power play!” (Photo credit: Rick Stewart)
After going 1-4 in their last five games — all against Western Conference foes — the Caps headed back to the friendly confines of the east coast on Sunday, hoping to right the ship versus Buffalo. Facing a hungry Sabres team in a nationally televised matchup, Washington was certainly up to the task.
The first period may have been scoreless but it certainly wasn’t uneventful. The Capitals managed 16 shots but Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was fantastic, making big saves throughout the frame. Washington also had four power play chances in the period, including over a minute and a half on the two man advantage. However, the Caps PP continued their struggles, failing to convert as Miller remained strong.
Mathieu Perreault would finally break Miller’s streak in the second stanza. After an odd bounce in the corner, the puck kicked out to the front of the net. Perreault took advantage, putting the Caps up 1-0. However, after Brooks Laich was called for goalie interference, the Sabres would head to the power play. At 8:20 Jason Pominville converted on the man advantage, getting the puck past a screened Semyon Varlamov to knot the score at one.
Midway through the third, former Cap Shaone Morrisonn was whistled for interference, once again putting Washington on the power play. But this time, it actually worked. Alex Ovechkin skated the puck into zone before firing a shot on Miller who made the stop. However, the biscuit went to waiting Perreault. With a little help from Marcus Johansson — whose deflection awarded him the marker — Perreault put the puck in the back of net, giving the Capitals the lead. Buffalo attempted a rally but Varlamov stayed strong. Caps beat Sabres, 2-1.
[UPDATED YET AGAIN]
Our favorite beat reporters, Tarik El-Bashier (The Washington Post) and Corey Masisak (hired gun), are on the scene in Montreal, confirming what we feared last night: Joe Corvo and Shaone Morrisonn are not practicing with the team today.
I haven’t gotten a clear message on Corvo’s exit, but Shaone took a nasty swipe to his wrist/hand area in the second period and did not return. Corvo had a goal in game one, and ShaMo had been playing great hockey so far. Both will be missed.
Will we see John Erskine and Tyler Sloan tomorrow night? Can anyone in Hershey catch the red-eye up to Canada? Please? Pretty please?
RMNB will keep you posted.
(And by that, we mean we’ll just repeat what someone else said and then put a joke in there.)
Update 12:18 pm Corey Masisak has the scoop on Corvo’s absence:
Looks like the pirate faction of the Washington Capitals will be represented tomorrow night after all!
Update 2:27 pm Via Tarik we learn that Shaone Morrisonn is expected to play tomorrow as well. Somewhere, John Erskine and Tyler Sloan are weeping.
After spending the last few days discussing if the Capitals are coasting to the playoffs or not, one thing was certain: Washington needed a win in a bad kind of way tonight. With three straight losses under it’s belt and a Capitals Blogosphere filling with doubt for the first time all year, somebody had to step up and yell “Пора взять быка за рога” (It’s time to take the bull by the horns) . And lucky for the Caps,
Alex Ovechkin Matt Bradley was equal to the task. Caps THRASH Atlanta 2-1.
Me so punny:
Wow. Before we begin, I need a cup of apple juice and a good cry.
Okay. Better now.
The debate prefacing tonight’s game between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins was whether or not this was “just another game”, but that’s just silly. In hindsight we know that any time these two forces meet, something remarkable will happen.
Tonight we rode an emotional rollercoaster through 60 minutes of regulation hockey, another five of overtime, and four shootout rounds before the decision was made. We saw the best and worst of Capitals hockey tonight. But thanks to Old Man Mike Knuble and the Macedonian monster Jose Theodore, the Caps were victorious. Caps beat Pens 4-3 (OT).
I’ll admit it– wearing my undefeated Mean, Mean Russian Machine t-shirt tonight, I was a little worried about tonight’s game. It’s not as if the Ducks are a west coast powerhouse or that the Caps are missing players; it’s just that the streak has to break sometime. Why not tonight and against a lesser opponent, the kind the Capitals used to play down against.
It only took forty some minutes for the Capitals to wake up. The home team dominated the first period, but had only a 1-0 game to show for it. The second period was a sleepy affair, and gave the Ducks a chance to tie it up. But early in third period, the Caps reached deep into their bag of tricks and pulled out a game-winning goal from Shaone Morrisonn. Let me state that again: Shaone Morrisonn (0 goals in the last whole-bunch-of games) scored the go-ahead goal tonight. And that’s when the flood gates opened. Within less than three minutes, the Caps delivered two more notches. The Ducks tried to muster up some bluster with some good, old-fashioned hockey violence, but to no avail. Caps beat Ducks 5-1.
The last two Caps games have had us reeling. We suffered a wild beatdown from the Lightning on Tuesday, replete with spats and brawls, and then a soaring come-from-behind win over the Panthers, also punctuated with fights. Returning back to the Verizon Center for a game against Maple Leafs, you’d think the Caps would offer us a reserved performance of surgical offense and careful defense. Instead we got a bronco-busting, goal-splattered free-for-all. We’re not complaining. Before the third period could end, The Caps and Leafs showed us a series of spats that could tide us over for weeks. The final frame of this heavyweight bout devolved into a fight of Greene Turtlian proportions. If our boys weren’t ahead by five goals, we might have been a bit sour on how it played out.
Let’s dissect the
fight hockey game:
This week we’ve got a great example of goalie analysis, the difference in salary a player can expect depending on whether he is a restricted or unrestricted free agent, what might explain the difference in predictability and parity between the NHL and other sports (namely, the NBA), and a nice profile of the Capitals.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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