New York Rangers Pregame: Smell You Later

Doug Johnson is a Puck Buddy. This is his pregamer. This is teh twitterz.

The Pregame: Fun! Today’s installment of “Places That Smell” has us visiting the big macher of smells, New York City! Boo-yah!

This is fun because it’s true. The entire place is one massive reek… or, more accurately, hundreds of smaller little reeks. Did you know, for instance, that the five boroughs of New York City were formed not for political reasons, but as a way of keeping one smelly New Yorker from having to endure his pungent neighbors? The subway pretty much put an end to that, and now the whole place stinks like the laundry room in a European hostel. Anyone who’s been in either knows this to be gospel truth.

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Goalie Drama: Jets beat Caps 3-2 (SO)

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

Joel Ward screens Ondrej Pavelec (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

The Washington Capitals summoned the Winnipeg Jets to end their residency at Verizon Center. It was supposed to be a pitched battle for alphabetical inferiority, another explosive game that Dale Hunter would compare to the playoffs. Instead we got a flurry of neutral-zone skirmishes and perfect moments by both goaltenders for 50 minutes and sheer insanity for 10.

The game’s first period was sleepy and scoreless, the second the same. But 10 minutes into the third, Alex Ovechkin sent a puck acutely netward during 5-on-4 play. Ovechkin hooked up Semin for another PP tally a few minutes later. Somebody on the other team scored, and we didn’t care. Then Dustin Byfuglien got a weird bounce to knot the game 12 seconds later.  Overtime came and went. Jets beat Caps 3-2 (Shootout)

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Photo: Greg Fiume

The Washington Capitals reclaimed the Southeast Division lead with a thunderous victory over the Florida Panthers, who kind of sucked. It’s possible that the Panthers expected to play the doughy 2011-2012 Capitals. When the Caps came out all tumescent instead, the Cats were probably bewildered. Great game.

Mathieu Perreault scored on the games first shot, a plucky shut set up by Jason Chimera just 13 seconds into the game. Alex Ovechkin zipped past the Florida D to convert on the power play. Jason Chimera opened the second period with a shorthanded goal, his second of the year. 10 minutes later, Alex Ovechkin’s blazing fast wrister surprised Scott Clemmensen. No goals in the third period. Caps beat Cats 4-0.

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Video: Tomas Vokoun’s Save of the Year Candidate

While his teammates in front of him were having a bit of a vacation hangover, Tomas Vokoun was brilliant in net during the Capitals’ 4-3 (OT) loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday. Vokoun made 27 saves, including stoning Steven Stamkos on a breakaway in regulation. The Czech netminder’s best stop however came in overtime, when — down on the ice and out of position — he stretched out and caught Vincent Lecavalier’s shot from the crease with his glove. Check out the video below the jump.

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So much almost. (Photo credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Whew, what a relief that the All-Star Weekend is over! We’re all so sick of watching haphazard, sloppy, firewagon hockey that turns over pucks and gives up chances every few seconds, it’s such a relief to get back to the responsible, disciplined team we all missed so much.

Hahaha! Let’s all have a good laugh at that one for a minute, and then to the recap. I am pleased to inform you that the curse of my recaps was broken tonight. Actual goals were scored.

Matt Hendricks opened the scoring with the ol’ Brooks-Laich-diving-poke-check-pass, fan-on-the-initial-and-then-wildly-backhand-it move. Classic. Teddy Purcell scored two shifts later on a feed from Steve Downie, who mysteriously hadn’t had his face punched in yet at this point. All Martin St. Louis had to do was skate past Hamrlik lying face-down on the ice to make it 2-1. Nate Thompson banged one in on a good cycle from Tampa in front of the net. Mathieu Perreault was in the right place at the right time to take credit for a hilarious own goal off Thompson’s stick. Good pressure from Laich forced a puck loose for Troy Brouwer, who put it in the back of the net. The game went to overtime, and Steven Stamkos scored on a defensive breakdown from John Carlson. Caps lose, 4-3.

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The Score’s Top 10 Goals Features the Caps Not in a Good Way

Justin Bourne of The Score published a video on Tuesday capturing his top 10 goals of the 2011-12 season (so far). It’s a good list with a ton of action, but it might stir up some bad memories for you. Not only are no Washington Capitals players on the list, but three of the ten goals happened against D.C. goalies.

Enjoy the video and follow me past the jump:

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Falling down in the same general area as someone is almost the same as hitting. (Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck)

The Caps have not scored a single goal yet in a game that I have recapped. I am placing a phone call to the Capitals organization tomorrow to ask why they hate me personally.

I’m sorry you had to watch that game. I’m sorry I had to watch that game. Here’s how it happened.

Eric Staal stripped a puck from Carlson and sent it to Jussi Jokinen for an easy shorthanded goal. In the second period, Jokinen made it 2-0 on a rebound and officially became our least favorite Cane of the night. Jiri Tlusty scored an absolutely ridiculous falling-down goal that we are all so excited to see on every highlight reel for the next week. Caps lose, 3-0.

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RMNB Week in Review; Alzner Fights, Ovechkin Raps

Photo credit: paparazzi.ru

This week, the Caps went 3-1-0 against the Lightning, Hurricanes, Islanders, and Habs, and if you asked someone who they thought was the only team to beat us, they would probably be surprised by the answer. Despite being outshot 77-136, the Caps still managed to outscore opponents 9-7 and take 6 of 8 points. Especially if you blindly ignore that Tuesday ever happened, it was a pretty good week.

Elsewhere in the NHL, a compelling case was made for wearing helmets in warmups, Mrs. Pronger made us sad about Chris Pronger again, Brian Elliott was re-signed in St. Louis, Chara and Alfredsson were named captains of the All-Star Game, Rangers owner James Dolan apparently has no idea the Stanley Cup is not awarded in January, and Ryan Kesler and Alain Vigneault had a lovers’ quarrel.

In case you were wondering the most important question–how does everything in the world apply to the Washington Capitals?–here’s a helpful guide to what’s terrible this week.

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Flatlining Caps Get Shutout By Islanders, 3-0

Stop showing off, Nabokov. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

Ed. Note: In our continuing quest to bring you the least crappy product possible, we’d like to welcome Ana Hansen of the blog Hockey Yelling to the RMNB team. Ana, a 22-year-old English major at William & Mary, is witty, creative, and mentally unstable. So uhh you better give her a warm welcome in the comments below or else. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Hello Caps world! In the place of your regularly scheduled coverage you’ve got me tonight. My condolences, but not too many of them, because a hockey game happened, and that’s more important than anything else.

We lost this game, which I hope does not mean that I’m bad luck. I will be carefully monitoring this issue from here on out.

To the game, somewhat reluctantly I guess. We were supposed to win this one. The Islanders are not a particularly lethal team, but when they’re given this much space, even they can stumble into a few goals.

Tavares opened the scoring with a redirection on the PP, and the first person to mention his scoring streak gets a punch in the kisser. Parenteau made it 2-0 on a joint effort from Carlzner, Alzner with the giveaway and Carlson screening his own goalie. You’re welcome, Pareteau. Parenteau converted on the PP for his second of the night but luckily by that point, you were probably too numb to feel it. Caps lose, 3-0. Gross.

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Vokoun isn’t sure when this hug is going to end. (Via carrotbazooka.tumblr.com)

Coming into tonight’s game, the Capitals have won six straight at home. During that stretch, they’ve outscored their opponents 19-7 and have never trailed. Their recent dominance in front of their home fans has put the Caps back into contention for *gasp* — not only a playoff spot — but the Southeast Division lead as well. In fact, with a win tonight, the Capitals overtake world-beating Florida.

After a scoreless first period, Brooks Laich Alex Semin started the scoring off in the second period with a high, short-side blast by Cam Ward. 2:46 later, Jussi Jokienen knocked in a pinballing puck on the power play. Dmitry SCOARlov scored his first NHL goal in the third period. And that, my friends, would be the game-winner. Caps beat Canes 2-1.

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