January 27, 2015

Three stars: Washington Capitals 4, Edmonton Oilers 5 (SO)

The Washington Capitals had a two-goal lead three different times, but lost their 4-2 lead in the final five minutes of the third period and ultimately fell to the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 in a shootout on Tuesday night at Verizon Center. Their third loss in a row, the Capitals will have some time to think about the collapse, as they’re off for the next week thanks to the All-Star break.

First star: Alex Ovechkin’s two goals in the first 14 minutes looked to be harbingers of another hat trick to add to the concourse display at the Phone Booth, and his effort was strong overall. And oh, by the way, he’s scored 11 goals in his last 11 games.

Second star: John Carlson had two assists, one of which looked like it may have been a goal at first, and a plus-one on the night. Add three blocked shots onto that and you have a recipe for a good night.

Third star: Jay Beagle was also a plus-one, and scored his seventh goal of the season on his only shot on net. He’s off to the best year, scoring-wise at least, that’s he’s ever had.

Three Stars: Washington Capitals 2, Colorado Avalanche 1

The Washington Capitals won their sixth in a row at home, Alex Ovechkin became the franchise’s all-time leader in game-winning goals — eclipsing Peter Bondra — and they got another goal from Jay Beagle (good boy). The Caps are now 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, sit alone in third place in the division and are three points behind the Islanders in first and two behind second-place Pittsburgh.

First Star: Hard to not mention Braden Holtby here in this space again. He saw 32 shots against (18 of which came in an exhausting third period), and saved seven out of eight on the penalty kill — the only goal coming off a rebound into a vacant slot. If playing in a franchise-record 24th game in a row and 19th consecutive start is bothering him or tiring him out, he’s not showing it.

Second Star: Alex Ovechkin. C’mon. Power play goal (off a couple of particularly nice backhand passes from 19 and 20). Earlier, beat old buddy Semyon Varlamov through the five-hole but hit the post on another attempt. Has 22 goals and just keeps plugging away.

Third Star: Jay Beagle. Scored his personal-best sixth goal, and they’re all coming from hard work and willingness to crash the net. This one came on a rebound in the slot, and a nifty backhander to boot.

Goat of the night: Varlamov. Was issued a roughing penalty by face-washing Tom Wilson with his goalie gear. Poor form.

Washington Capitals Game 42 Recap: Caps tough out solid win over Avalanche

OVECHKIN’S GAME-WINNER MOVES HIM PAST BONDRA FOR FIRST ON ALL-TIME TEAM LIST

Make it six straight wins at Verizon Center for the Washington Capitals. Braden Holtby had 18 of his 31 saves in the third period, and Alex Ovechkin scored his 22nd goal of the year as the Capitals beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Monday night.

Jay Beagle opened the scoring at 7:34 of the first period. After winning an offensive zone faceoff, Tom Wilson directed a shot toward the net from the point. Beagle found the rebound left by former Capital Semyon Varlamov on the backhand and put it home. [Read more…]

Three stars: Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils 12/16/14

Two wins isn’t necessarily a streak, but the Capitals have that many in their pocket as they head to Tampa, fresh off a 4-1 win in New Jersey. Goals from Jay Beagle, Karl Alzner, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Brooks Laich, plus a strong performance from Braden Holtby pushed the Caps past the Devils in the second game of their three-game road trip.

First star: Braden Holtby. Holtby was stellar in the Caps’ win, stopping 33 of 34 shots. The only goal he allowed was a puck that leaked over his shoulder, but Holtby logged his strongest performance this season to date, finishing with a SV% of .971. His empty-net goal attempt didn’t work out, but he’ll probably try to get one whenever he has a chance.

Second star: Jay Beagle. The fourth-liner did his best Alex Ovechkin impression and it paid off with his fourth goal of the season, tying his career-high goal total.

Third star: Evgeny Kuznetsov. After being healthy-scratched in Carolina, Kuznetsov rebounded with a goal. He led the team in shots on goal with four, and skated 10:26, including some time on the power play.

 

 

Washington Capitals Game 26 Recap: Holtby, Secondary scoring leads Caps over Devils on road

Karl Alzner, Jay Beagle, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Brooks Laich all scored, and Braden Holtby was often spectacular, as the Washington Capitals took care of the New Jersey Devils on the road, 4-1.

It’s the first time the Caps (12-10-4) have won back-to-back games in regulation this season. The win allows the Caps to slide into third place in the Metropolitan Division with the New York Rangers loss.

Holtby made 34 saves in the effort, including an impressive effort again Marin Gelinas while short-handed when it was still close. Then in the third he made 15 saves, including robbing Jaromir Jagr twice as the Devils peppered him with shots in attempt to get back into the contest. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 25 Recap: Caps scratch out win over Canes

Eric Fehr converted a turnover into a goal with just over four minutes left and the Washington Capitals defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Thursday.

Fehr intercepted a poor pass by Reilly Nash at the Carolina blue line and calmly lifted a wrister past Anton Khudobin for his fourth of the season and the Caps held on down the stretch, including playing most of the last three minutes 6-on-5.

Braden Holtby made 28 saves, including a toe save late in the third that preserved the lead at the time.

Jay Beagle scored first, a mere 2:19 in. Jason Chimera took advantage of Michal Jordan’s misplay at the point and raced down the ice to get a shot off. Khudobin couldn’t handle the rebound and Beagle followed up and dumped the puck into the gaping net for his third goal of the season.

Old friend Alexander Semin scored the Hurricanes only goal. It was Semin’s first of the season and represented his 500th NHL point. Semin took a cross-ice pass from the point by Jay Harrison, beat Andre Burakovsky to the slot and roofed a backhander past Holtby.

The Caps travel to New Jersey to face the Devils Saturday night at 7:00 pm.

Observations:

  • This team really misses Mike Green, especially on the power play. Green missed his fifth game with an “upper body” injury and the power play has been out of sorts the entire time. Neither Matt Niskanen or John Carlson have the same play-making skills as Green can bring.
  • Alex Ovechkin had three shots on goal, one blocked and one miss wit four hits.
  • Coach Barry Trotz spent much of the night matching lines, with the defensive pair of Carlson and Brooks Orpik on the ice any time Jeff Skinner was. The duo kept Skinner off the scoresheet and Orpik blocked a whopping seven shots and registered seven hits. All that is to say is when Orpik was on the ice rarely did the Caps have the puck. Caps fans are going to have to get used to the idea that Orpik is going to continue to be a black hole of offense for the Caps while playing against the opposition’s top line.
  • While Holtby allowed just one goal and did make several key saves, he also puck-handled into two golden scoring chances for Carolina. He continues to make poor plays with his stick when he should be more conservative. In this, he was fortunately it didn’t come back to bite him.
  • Jason Chimera probably played his most effective game of the season. He utilized his speed on the fourth line all night to cause disruption and his play on the first goal is what the Caps hope to see more of. He had five shots on goal with one blocked and a miss.

Three Stars: Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes 12/4/14

Eric Fehr scored with just over four minutes left to give Caps a win over Carolina. Jay Beagle scored (good boy). Alexander Semin waiting until game 25 to score his first of the season. Regulation win on the road!

First star: Eric Fehr. Fehr scored the game-winning goal against the Hurricanes, saving the Capitals from overtime. He played 15:10 and had 3 SOG and 3 hits in the game.

Second star: Jason Chimera. Jay Beagle’s first period goal would not have been possible without Chimera’s speed on the rush. Beagle tapped in the rebound from Chimera’s shot for the Caps first goal. Chimera finished the night with 5 shots on goal and 13:09 TOI.

Third star: Jay Beagle. Beagle is here because he actually scored a goal on an rebound, which the rest of the team seems to have trouble with. Good on you, dude.

Three Stars: Washington Capitals at New York Islanders, Nov. 26

Alex Ovechkin did Alex Ovechkin things despite nursing an injury, but an overtime power play goal went the other way and the Washington Capitals fell for the fourth time in six games, 3-2, to the New York Islanders, increasingly looking like one of the best teams in the conference, if not the whole stinking league.

First Star: Alex Ovechkin. Two power play goals, four shots, two blocked and two missed and three hits. Injured or not, this guy is bringing it every single night for the Caps.

Second Star: Matt Niskanen. Ovechkin can make anyone look good running the power play point, but Niskanen needs to exert himself while Green is out (again) and he had two shots on goal, another one blocked and four hits to go along with his apple.

Third Star: Jay Beagle? Three shots on goal and 10 of 15 at the dot, with 17:33 of non-scored upon ice time. Good boy.

Goat of the night: Nick Backstrom. Despite his two power play helpers, Backstrom is veteran enough that he knows he can’t take a holding-the-stick call with two minutes to go in overtime.

Washington Capitals Game 18 Recap: Capitals down Coyotes with Fehr’s overtime winner

The Washington Capitals needed an extra inning to decide their game against the Arizona Coyotes, where Eric Fehr scored the winning goal. Caps win 2-1.

After a rough weekend with losses to St. Louis and New Jersey, the win was a good bounce back from two straight losses. With the victory, the Caps now stand in 3rd in the Metropolitan Division with 19 points.

Jay Beagle scored his second of the season in the first period, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson evened it up for the Coyotes. In overtime, Fehr netted his third of the season for the game-winner.

A few notes:

  • Braden Holtby stopped 23 of 24 shots for a SV% of .958. Holtby, like his beard, was majestic. He’s finally bouncing back.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov skated 7:32, the second lowest TOI next to Chris Brown, who skated 6:36. Barry Trotz says he’s trying to find minutes for everybody, but burying Kuznetsov on the fourth line clearly isn’t working.
  • The Capitals had 24 shots on goal, including 4 in OT. They had just 2 SOG in the second period.
  • Shot attempts were tied at 50 for both teams.
  • The Capitals were 0/3 on the PP, but were perfect on the penalty kill, killing all 4 Coyotes power plays.
  • Tom Wilson had another strong showing. He led the team with 6 hits, had 2 shots on goal, and played 13:55. Good look for him.

The Colorado Avalanche are up next for the Caps on Thursday at 9 PM eastern time. Since it’s not a back-to-back, expect Holtby to get the start in net. Ride the wave, Trotz, ride the wave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAPS: 2015 Caps Canine Calendar

Members of the Washington Capitals players participated in the 2015 Capitals Canine Calendar photo shoot to benefit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue at Potomac Regional Overlook Park in Arlington, Virginia.

A limited number of 2015 Caps Canine Calendars will be available for $20 beginning Tuesday, Dec. 2, when the Capitals host the Vancouver Canucks. The Caps Better Halves will help sell the calendars during the month of December at the MSE Foundation table located at section 104 on the main concourse. In addition the calendar will be available for purchase at the team stores at Verizon Center and Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The online sales are closed.

Players being photographed include Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, John Carlson, Jack Hillen, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Justin Peters, Aaron Volpatti, and Joel Ward with their dogs and Braden Holtby, Michael Latta, Alex Ovechkin, Dmitri Orlov and Tom Wilson with shelter dogs.

Last season $34,044.99 was donated to Homeward Trails through the sale of the 2014 Capitals Canine Calendar.

How could you resist a calendar with your favorite hockey players and adorable dogs? Here are a few of the photos posted on Twitter and Instragram.

 

@backstrom19 gets some puppy kisses after his shoot. #capscaninecalendar

A photo posted by MSE Foundation (@msefoundation) on

#CapsCanineCalendar shoot with Braden Holtby and Hogan from Homeward Trails Animal Rescue

A photo posted by MSE Foundation (@msefoundation) on

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