December 2, 2020

Washington Capitals Game 38 Recap: Caps lose sloppy game in Columbus

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals have found many ways to win games this season. In Columbus on Saturday night, try as they might, they couldn’t find the solution.

Brandon Saad tied it with the goalie pulled with 1:08 left to force overtime, then after a wild extra session, the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled it out in a shootout to beat the Caps 5-4.

The Caps (28-7-3) suffer their second loss in a row, albeit with the benefit of taking home a point in a sloppy, but entertaining affair.  [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 36 Recap: Kuznetsov shines as Caps beat Sabres

CAPITALS WIN NINTH IN A ROW; BACKSTROM, BEAGLE INJURED

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

After a physical game on Monday in Buffalo, everyone expected more of the same Wednesday night at Verizon Center in the rematch. Those looking for physicality weren’t disappointed, but Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jack Eichel showed the potential for the next generation of skill players, as both players registered a pair of assists.

In the end, Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of goals, Marcus Johansson added a goal and assist, and Braden Holtby made 25 saves as the Washington Capitals dispatched the Buffalo Sabres for the second game in a row, this one by a 5-2 margin.

The biggest story line, though, could turn out to be undisclosed injuries to Nick Backstrom and Jay Beagle, who both left the game to not return, and the status of John Carlson, who missed his second game in a row. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 28 Recap: Capitals hold off Tampa Bay 2-1

HOLTBY SPECTACULAR, KUZNETSOV MAGICAL TO EXTEND BEST START IN FRANCHISE HISTORY

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

After an ugly loss Thursday night to the Florida Panthers, the Capitals (20-6-2) traveled to Tampa Bay (14-13-3) on Saturday night and looked to prevent losing the title of the only Eastern Conference team not to lose back-to-back games. The Caps built a lead, then nervously held on to go 8-0-0 following a loss this season, beating Tampa Bay 2-1.

Holtby was his spectacular self again, earning his league-leading 18th win of the year. With a glorious breakaway one-on-one stop and numerous clutch saves on the penalty kill, he finished with 35 stops on the night.

Although Tampa Bay spent the better part of the first five minutes in the Caps’ zone, Holtby showed no rust and the Caps struck first. Jay Beagle carried the puck down ice and dropped it in the circle where Stanislav Galiev picked it up then sent it right back to Beagle behind the goal. From there it was a simple stuff behind Lightning goalie Ben Bishop to give the Caps a 1-0 lead.

[Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 23 Recap: It’s Chimera’s ice, the rest of the Caps just skated on it; Caps down Leafs 4-2

CHIMERA PROVIDES “X FACTOR” IN SLOPPY WIN IN TORONTO ON “HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA”

 (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

With two New York Rangers losses in two days, the Washington Capitals came into tonight’s game looking to take the lead in the Metropolitan Division. It was a struggle to say the least and appeared the the grueling schedule of seven games in eleven days caught up to the players. But the Caps found a way to improve to 17-5-1 and prove that a win is a win, no matter how ugly.

A 1-1 tie after the first period did not reflect how lopsided the period actually was. The Leafs dominated possession and shots (16-4). It was only early on, after two great saves from Braden Holtby,  that Jason Chimera sped up ice winning a footrace on the counterattack, and took a wrist shot that whizzed into the net.

A Brooks Laich turnover in the neutral zone led to a goal from Toronto’s Peter Holland less than three minutes later. As has often been the case after the first period this year, Holtby had kept them in the game. [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 17 Recap: Caps beat Red Wings 2-1 in overtime

GOALIE BATTLE LEADS TO OVERTIME GOAL BY KUZNETSOV FOR VICTORY

2015.11.16 winner

(Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

It was Matt Niskanen, Justin Williams and Evgeny Kuznetsov who stole the show on a night that saw Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom reunited on the same line for the first time this season. Williams’ goal in regulation — and Kuzntesov’s in overtime — led the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

After four days off, the Caps (12-4-1) struggled to shake off the rust against the same Detroit team (9-9-1) that shut them out on 38 shots eight days ago.

Hero of the night Kuznetsov made his mark in overtime. While the Red Wings were stuck in a line change Kuznetsov beat Mzarek to the far side and slipped one into the goal less than a minute into 3-on-3.

Although the Caps managed to put up 10 shots (eight on the power play) in the first frame, their passes and shots frequently sailed wide of target. And in what has become a bothersome sight in recent contests, shaky neutral zone play allowed their opponent, in this case Dylan Larkin, to exploit a one-on-one matchup down the boards and then beat Braden Holtby high far-side.

[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 10 Recap: Caps win in OT on Kuznetsov goal

GRUBAUER MAKES 27 SAVES TO KEEP CAPS COMPETITIVE UNTIL OVERTIME

(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

After beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 at Verizon Center on Friday night, the Washington Capitals played their second game in as many days as they headed to Sunrise, Florida to take on the Florida Panthers.  In the first overtime game of the season, with 3-on-3, the Caps pulled off the road win with a goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov.

The action was sparse in the first period.  The Capitals were put on the penalty a minute and a half into the game when Jay Beagle was called for tripping, and had to kill another later when Karl Alzner was called for hooking.  Despite the Panthers having two man-advantages, they couldn’t get any shots past Philipp Grubauer.  It was scoreless at the end of the first period. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 8 Recap: Fleury stifles Caps as Penguins win

 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

After a western Canadian trip that saw a powerhouse of offense, the Washington Capitals failed to topple Marc Andre Fleury and fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1.

Although the first period did not start with a barrage of shots and goals as the previous few games have, the Caps proved they are no one-trick pony with their defense and Braden Holtby showing up tough.

The Penguins were given a golden opportunity with 13:36 in the first when Brooks Orpik received a boarding call. Chandler Stephenson (on a  questionable elbowing) was already in the box. The 5-on-3 chance was for 1:45 and the penalty kill was a hero. The Caps had the puck out of the zone and disrupted the Penguins at every turn. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov named NHL “First Star” of the week

Evgeny Kuznetsov - Caps introductions before Washington Capitals home opener against Montreal featuring 40th Anniversary cermony, 10/09/2014 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Evgeny Kuznetsov  (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

FIRST CAP OTHER THAN OVI FOR WEEKLY AWARD SINCE 2011

After a marvelous three game effort in Canada this week, Evgeny Kuznetsov was bestowed the NHL’s “first star” award. Racking up 3 goals and 6 assists for a total of nine points. With those numbers there may of been  a small uproar had Kuznetsov not received the award.

The first points came against the Calgary Flames Tuesday night when Kuznetsov played set up man to 3 goals in the Caps 6-2 win. He followed that performance with the game winning assist to Alex Ovechkin on Friday in the 3-2 victory over the Canucks. Kuznetsov capped his road trip with his first NHL hat trick on Saturday night scoring in prodigious fashion and adding on 2 assists for a five point achievement that lifted the Caps to a 7-4 win vs the Oilers. [Read more…]

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