Bravo, Braden: Caps Beat Blues 5-1!

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Photo: Scott Rovak

The 2015-16 regular season is about to draw to a close, and the Caps gave us plenty to look forward to as the playoffs rapidly approach. Tonight was also #RMNB9, during which many of you gathered at RFD to drink, cheer, and generally be merry. On behalf of everyone who couldn’t make it (because you live in Siberia or just celebrated your twelfth birthday), I hope you had a fabulous time. I will live vicariously through your Instagram photos (and Chris’s groovy live blog.)

With a three-game win streak under their belt (and the Western Conference title at stake), the Blues were fierce in the first, at first. The first period was a hoppin’ twenty minutes of Russian-sanctioned offense. Despite surrendering the first goal to Vladimir Tarasenko, the Caps rebounded nicely via two fantabulous, consecutive Alex Ovechkin goals.

The resurgence didn’t end there, as the second period was hardly devoid of offense. We witnessed the continued resurrection of John Carlson, as well as Jason Chimera proving that scoring goals is a better antidote to aging than Botox.

The Caps didn’t play a hard, grinding sixty minutes. They didn’t need to. Cruising into the third period with a 4-1 lead speaks for itself, especially when coupled with the Blues’ lackadaisical play. And lest we forget, the Caps have a grueling, bone-crushing series against the Flyers in the not-too-distant future. Although, the pace picked up in the third period, and the Caps began to make Braden Holtby work–just a little bit–for his milestone, record-tying win.

Caps beat Blues, 5-1!

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Game 81 Live Blog: Caps at Blues

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Photo: Jared Silber

Timothy Leif is making his first appearance back in St. Louis after the July trade that sent him to Washington and the Caps are playing in their last regular season road game. The Blues are a good hockey team as we were first hand witness to a few weeks ago in a 4-0 shutout at the Verizon Center. The same main storylines from the previous few games are still relevant tonight as Braden Holtby still looks to chase down Martin Brodeur for the single season wins record, Alex Ovechkin looks to hit 50 goals for the 7th time in his career and this is yet another game that will change nothing heading into the postseason. Just stay healthy.

The majority of RMNB is partying it up at RFD tonight, but don’t fret if you cant make it, because that just means you get to hang out with me!

I’m Chris From The Comments. Join me below for another Live Blog.

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Caps at Blues Pregame: #RMNB9 is Tonight!

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There are basically no stakes for tonight’s hockey game, the 81st in the Caps’ 82-game regular-season campaign. No stakes save one: Braden Holtby’s last chance at tying Martin Brodeur’s record for most wins in a single season.

Oh and also this: It’s #RMNB9! If you’re in the area, come to RFD and watch the game with us!

Puck drop for Caps at Blues is at 8 PM. Let’s dance.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 55-17-8 51.8% 102.0 22.4% (4th) 84.8% (4th)
St. Louis Blues 49-23-9 52.7% 101.0 21.8% (6th) 85.0% (3rd)

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Unpresidential: Blues Blank Caps 4-0

PatrickMcDermott:NHLI via Getty Images

Photo: Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

Friday night, the Capitals headed up to Newark. Absolutely nothing happened. Someone finally dented the twine when John Carlson, fresh off the injured list, unleashed a deadly slapped for the game-winner. Or so I’m told. I conked out in a clonidine-induced stupor with like four minutes left in the third. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to tangerine popsicles — thankfully wrapped — strewn around me as the Caps headed home with a 1-0 victory.

On Saturday night, however, the Capitals played an interesting hockey game. Unlike the Devils game, there were such pastimes as shots on goal — the Caps were the better team than the St. Louis Blues in the first too.

In the second, the Blues, in a fight with the Dallas Stars for the best record in the West, started to apply the heat on a team with little to play for. And guess what, the Caps allowed the first goal. Dmitry Orlov bumped the puck behind the puck after being pressured on the forecheck before Kyle Brodziak tapped a rebound into an empty net.

The second period carnage continued just from there when Colton Parayko beat Philipp Grubauer with a shot akin to a light breeze. One hundred seconds later Vladimir Tarasenko, now the NHL’s fourth leading goal scorer, made it a three goal game after Matt Niskanen left him unattended in the far circle.

YAWN. Somebody scored late in the third but I wasn’t paying attention. Blues blank Caps 4-0.

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Caps vs Blues Pregame: Nearing the End of the Road

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

The Caps return home to face the Blues. Tonight’s game is the second half of a back-to-back for both teams. Last night, the Caps (and John Carlson!) trumped the Devils in OT, while the Blues clinched a playoff spot via their 4-0 drubbing of the Canucks.

Hopefully you’re well rested because last night’s game was a real snoozer. Tonight should be a different story, as the Blues look to be a force in the playoffs. They boast a strong defense and elite special teams. Plus, it’s TJ Oshie vs Troy Brouwer, assuming the former is healthy.

Puck drop at 7 PM on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 53-15-5 51.4% 100.1 23.0% (2nd) 84.6% (4th)
St. Louis Blues 44-22-9 52.5% 101.2 21.4% (6th) 84.9% (3rd)

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Photo: @truebluesstore

For those of you who thought Mike Green in a #25 Red Wings jersey was weird, take a look at Troy Brouwer‘s new Blues sweater. The Big Lebrowski will wear #36 in St. Louis with assistant captain Alexander Steen already wearing #20.

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Clash of the Alexes: Blues beat Caps 4-3

Alex Brandon

Photo: Alex Brandon

Per tradition, we begin every Super Bowl Sunday with a Capitals game packed with all the intensity you’d expect from a rivalry matchup. Except this was the Blues, for whom the Caps have no special animosity as far as I can remember. Yet, there we were, watching the hits pile up in an ugly but mostly entertaining hour of hockey– except for the whole losing part.

Steen got it first, beating Peters on a rebound during a first-period power play. Ovechkin did the same with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot seven minutes later. Steen got his second on the rush during a bad change, which Ovi responded to by harrying the Blues during 4v4.

Dmitrij Jaskin interrupted the Alexes to score on one of Justin Peters’ many rebounds, giving the Blues the lead after forty. Vladimir Tarasenko broke the Caps back with a rush goal six minutes into the third period.

Karl Alzner brought the Caps back within one goal in the third period as the top line did the net-front presence thing.

Blues beat Caps 4-3.

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Lost Weekend: Blues beat Caps 4-1

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Orlov and Tarasenko: BFFs.

The St. Louis Blues are really good. I don’t know if the Capitals are having a bad weekend, or if it’s that their opponents have just been really good. I’m not sure how much it matters: another loss. Zero points on the weekend. Major bummer.

Jori Lehtera scored first, exploiting some distracted defense. Joel Ward tied it up with a lucky long bomb that trickled past Brian Elliott. Before the second period was up, Jaden Schwartz outlasted Karl Alzner in the paint to restore the Blues’ lead. Justin Peters misplayed a puck behind his net (sound familiar?) to give David Backes a lay-up just twelve seconds in the third period. Patrik Berglund made it 4-1 with a lovely, unchallenged passing play late in the game.

Blues beat Caps 4-1.

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Caps at Blues Pregame: Last Night Never Happened

From tumblr, obviously

Let’s shake it off. Let’s pretend that game didn’t happen.

The Caps will play their first game… since Tuesday… tonight in St Louis. It’ll be on CSN Plus, which stinks, but at least it’s not against the Devils. Of course, the Blues are an even better team. Gonna need to crash the net. 8 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 7-6-3 52.84% 99.23 25.9% 80.0%
St. Louis Blues 11-4-1 53.06% 101.78 27.1% 78.6%

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The Interesting Case of Vladimir Sobotka

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka has signed a three-year contract with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk. It’s been reported by iSport.cz and translated to Russian by Sports.ru that Sobotka has a clause in his contract that would allow him to return to the NHL during any offseason. Reports of his salary have varied: the initial report by iSport had Sobotka’s salary at $4 million per year. Andy Strickland of CBS Sports Radio St. Louis tweeted that according to his sources Sobotka will be making $4.3 million average throughout the life of the deal. Sobotka’s agent Darryl Wolski tweeted that his client will be making just $2.8 million per year.

There’s even more confusion as to whether he could return to St. Louis or any other NHL team.

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