February 8, 2016

Washington Capitals Game 46 Recap: Caps shrug off slow start, pound Blue Jackets

KUZNTESOV WITH 4 ASSISTS, ALZNER TIES TEAM GAMES STREAK

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

If there are any concerns about how the Washington Capitals go about their business, it might be how they seem to have developed a knack for starting games slowly. It happened again Tuesday in Columbus, where the Caps were thoroughly outplayed through the first eight or so minutes of the game.

But as they have so many times in the past, they got going. And once they got going, man, they were tough to stop.

Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, Evgeny Kuznetsov had four assists, and the Caps pasted the Blue Jackets 6-3 at Nationwide Arena.

Braden Holtby became the first goalie to 30 wins, with 32 saves. [Read more…]

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 40 Recap: Caps extend division lead with win over Islanders

OVECHKIN REGISTERS 497TH GOAL OF ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER

(Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nate Schmidt scored his second goal of the season, and Braden Holtby made 34 saves as the Capitals extended their lead in the Metropolitan Division with a 4-1 win over the second-place New York Islanders on Thursday night in Brooklyn.

A strong forecheck was the name of the game in the first period for Washington, whose 63 standings points are good enough for a league-best, one game shy of the season’s midway point. Nine of their 10 first-period shots came from their forwards, two of which found their way past Jaroslav Halak. Alex Ovechkin’s 22nd of the season was the 497th of his career, as he approaches the coveted 500 goal mark with his career barely a decade old.

Marcus Johansson was sent to the penalty box 8:42 into the game for an illegal check to Thomas Hickey’s head, a play which will more likely than not garner further attention from the league’s disciplinary office.

[Read more…]

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 33 Recap: Grubauer solid, Caps enter break with gritty win over Canes

CAPS ENTER BREAK TIED FOR MOST WINS, POINTS IN THE LEAGUE AND NINE-POINT LEAD IN METRO

(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals are proving adept a winning hockey games in lots of different ways. The league should take notice.

On Monday, backup goalie Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves — and defenders blocked 27 more shots — as the Caps won their sixth in a row, a 2-1 decision over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Caps enter the Christmas break at 25-6-2 as they extended their franchise-best start of the season. Washington leads the Metro Division over the New York Islanders by nine points — with two games in hand — at the break. The Caps are 13-1-1 in their past 15 games. [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 15 Recap: Caps recover from sluggishness against Detroit to take down Philly

CHIMERA SCORES TWICE AS CAPS BEAT DIVISION RIVALS ON ROAD; OVECHKIN STUCK AT 483 GOALS

Three goals in the second period and a three-point (2g, 1a) night from Jason Chimera helped the Washington Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center, moving Washington’s record to 11-4-0 on the year.

[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…]

Washington Capitals Game 6 Review: Two 3rd period goals lift Caps over Canucks

OVECHKIN NOTCHES FIFTH GOAL IN AS MANY GAMES

(Photo by @PR_NHL)

(Photo by @PR_NHL)

The Washington Capitals scored two third period goals — from an unlikely source and a highly-likely one — to beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 at Rogers Arena, sending the home team to its fourth consecutive loss in its own building.

Jay Beagle tied the game at 2 not quite 6 minutes into the final stanza, and Alex Ovechkin, the Great 8, scored his fifth of the season with just under 5 minutes to play to give the Caps (5-1-0, 10) their first win in Vancouver since March 28, 1998. [Read more…]

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