February 7, 2016

Washington Capitals Game 44 Recap: Nobody’s perfect, Caps fall to Sabres

HOLTBY’S POINT STREAK ENDS AT 22, CAPS WIN STREAK ENDS AT FIVE

(Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Vezina Trophy front-runner Braden Holtby was pulled in the second period, but it wasn’t enough to turn around an uncharacteristically lackluster performance from the Washington Capitals, who lost 4-1 to the Buffalo Sabres.

Dimitri Orlov and Braden Holtby may want a redo on tonight’s game. Buffalo’s first and second goals came off of Orlov mistakes, and Holtby was pulled in the second after letting in three goals on 16 shots.

The first Sabres’ goal came off a rebound shot that Phillip Varone picked up and put behind Holtby after the Sabres caught Orlov drifting and Holtby failed to prevent a rebound. It was Orlov’s next mistake, however, that was a dagger. On the Caps’ second power play, Orlov failed to hold down the blue line, and as the puck slid past him — and so did Tim Schaller of the Sabres. An excellent breakaway chance led to the second goal of the night. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 43 Recap: Kuznetsov brings magic to Caps win over Canucks

CAPITALS EXTEND HOME WIN STREAK TO 11; OVECHKIN HONORED FOR 500

Phonto Courtesy of Monumental Network

Phonto Courtesy of Monumental Network

This may have been a night to honor Alex Ovechkin, but it was another Russian star that stole the show.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored two goals with an assist to pace the Washington Capitals over the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 at Verizon Center.

Before the game, the organization presented Ovechkin with a gold hockey stick to memorialize his 500th career goal, scored on Monday against Ottawa.

But it was Kuznetsov that did the damage in this one, scoring his 15th and 16th of the season — starting and ending the scoring as the Caps generally had their way with their Western Conference opponent. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 26 Recap: Caps slip past Red Wings in shootout

OVECHKIN SCORES EQUALIZER IN THIRD; WILLIAMS REGISTERS 600th CAREER POINT

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

For the second time in two games, the Washington Capitals had to use extra time to decide the game.  Same story, different outcome though as the Caps got shootout goals by T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 at Verizon Center.

The Caps, 8-1-2 in their last 11 games, have taken points in eight straight. The Capitals improved to 19-5-2 (40 points) this season, marking the team’s best start (in terms of points and wins) in franchise history.

Justin Williams has been working for four games to get his NHL 600th career point. He finally got it with the opening goal and gave Marcus Johansson his 200th on the assist as well.

These accomplishments may have been overshadowed, however, with Mike Green making his return to the Verizon Center for the first time since signing with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent this past off season. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 21 Recap: Caps score early, often to ground Jets

ORLOV SCORES IN THIRD STRAIGHT, GIVES CAPS LEAD FOR GOOD

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals are starting to get on a little bit of a roll.

Five players scored, including defenseman Dmitry Orlov for the third straight game, and the Caps grounded the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 before a packed house at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

Orlov’s goal, his third of the week (and year) came less than three minutes after former Cap Mathieu Perreault tied it at three in the second period with a power play goal. Evgeny Kuznetsov circled with the puck through the offensive zone and left it for Orlov at the center point, then flashed through the slot, which surely had to be a distraction to Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson.

Orlov’s blast beat Hutchinson low stick-side, with Justin Williams also providing a screen at the top of the crease. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 20 Recap: Holtby, Orlov lead Caps over Oilers

HOLTBY MAKES 33 SAVES, MANY IN SPECTACULAR FASHION, FOR SHUTOUT

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Braden Holtby was the best player on the ice, Dmitry Orlov came up with a third period goal and the Washington Capitals won for the second time on their current five-game homestand, the longest of the season, beating the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 at Verizon Center on Monday.

The Capitals improved to 14-5-1 (29 points) this season, tying the team’s second best start (in terms of points and wins) in franchise history.

Orlov’s goal, his second in as many games, came with just 6:32 left in regulation, as it seemed the teams would play to a scoreless resolution and need overtime or beyond to settle it.

“We didn’t have much going on all night,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “[Orlov’s goal] was huge, guys stepped up. I thought we managed it [the game] really well once we got the lead. We managed it much better than we managed the game in total.” [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 13 Recap: Call it anything but easy, Caps beat Maple Leafs in shootout

BACKSTROM SCORES LAST-SECOND GOAL TO FORCE OVERTIME

ALEX OVECHKIN TIES SERGEI FEDOROV FOR MOST GOALS BY RUSSIAN-BORN PLAYER

Alex Ovechkin scored in regulation, tying Sergei Fedorov at the top Russian-born NHL scorer of all-time, and netted the eventual winner in the shootout and the Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 at Verizon Center.

With a 2-8-3 record this season and an overtime loss to Detroit the previous night, the Toronto Maple Leafs came to Verizon Center hungry for a win. With a snapped stick, bad bounces, and a less than stellar defense, the Capitals were handing them all the opportunities they could.

The Maple Leafs struck first. Daniel Winnick was able to corral a bouncing puck in the neutral zone to go one-on-one against Dmitry Orlov and catch Holtby cheating by going top shelf to his glove side. The breakout followed a nifty passing sequence between Ovechkin and Kuznetsov that resulted in Ovechkin snapping his stick and retreating to the bench. With the Caps unable to move the puck through the neutral zone, Toronto took a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission for only the second time this year.

[Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 12 Recap: Caps besiege the Bruins

FIRST GOALS FOR BROOKS LAICH AND KARL ALZNER HELP CAPS TOP BRUINS

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 05: Brooks Laich #21 of the Washington Capitals celebrates scoring a second period goal against the Boston Bruins at Verizon Center on November 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Last week Karl Alzner and Justin Williams mentioned a lofty hope for the season; do not lose back-to-back games. A simple proposition, much more difficult to execute. After an ugly loss to the New York Rangers on the road Tuesday, the Washington Capitals returned to Verizon Center looking to keep that hope alive.

Alex Ovechkin scored his seventh goal of the season and the Caps indeed avoided losing consecutive games, knocking off the Boston Bruins 4-1.

It took 193 minutes and a handful of seconds, and an entire season of head-to head-games, until Braden Holtby finally gave up a goal to the Bruins.

With the win, Washington improved to 9-3-0 this season, tying the best start in franchise history. The Capitals also registered a 9-3-0 record through 12 games in 1991-92 and 2011-12. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 3 Recap: Caps dominate defending Cup champs

TEAM AMERICA ROCKS THE RED

After a thumping from the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, the Washington Capitals came out flying Thursday night for a red, white, and blue 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Good ol’ American boys John Carlson, T.J. Oshie and Matt Niskanen put up a combined five points on the night.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Caps win without a contribution from the captain, who completed a dazzling passing sequence with his second goal of the season in the third period. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 2 Recap: Sharks dominate Ovechkin-less Caps

OVECHKIN MISSES GAME DUE TO “PERSONAL REASONS”

If you ever wondered how the Washington Capitals would play without both Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom, you have your answer now.

Not good.

The San Jose Sharks came into D.C. and completely dominated the home team, beating the Caps 5-0 and owning play from the very get-go. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals 2015-16 Season Preview: Defense

When looking at the Washington Capitals’ defensive unit for the 2015-16 season, longtime fans will be quick to notice one name missing, rather than any new names on the roster.

[Read more…]

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