August 22, 2018

Washington Capitals Game 41 Recap: Never say never; Caps win in OT against Rangers

BACKSTROM TIES IT WITH 5 SECONDS LEFT, OVECHKIN WINS IT IN OT WITH NO. 499

Career goal No. 499 could not have come at a better time for Alexander Ovechkin. Heading into an unexpected overtime, Ovechkin grabbed the puck after a fantastic save sequence by Braden Holtby and Nate Schmidt in the defensive end. Ovechkin skated the length of the ice with a head of steam to fire a snapshot right past Henrik Lundqvist for the game-winner, a 4-3 decision over the New York Rangers, in a wild one.

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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.

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Washington Capitals Game 39 Recap: Caps get back into win column, edge Bruins

HOLTBY EXTENDS PERSONAL POINT STREAK TO 19 GAMES

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals stemmed a very modest two-game losing streak — their first of the season — edging the Boston Bruins on the road, 3-2.

Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson all scored goals, and Braden Holtby made 25 saves to top the struggling Bruins, who have lost two in a row and are 4-5-1 in their past 10 games.

The Caps (29-7-3-61) are 8-1-1 in their past 10.

Holtby extended his personal point streak to 19 consecutive decisions (17-0-2), the longest such run in the NHL since 2010-11

Kuznetsov was once again the star of this game, non-Holtby edition. He had a goal and an assist, has nine points over his last eight games and has 37 points on the season — matching his total from last season. [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 32 Recap: Four goals in second period propel Caps in comeback over Rangers

JUSTIN WILLIAMS SCORES TWICE, CAPS SCORE SIX UNANSWERED GOALS

(Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

Down and seemingly out, having given up three unanswered goals and trailing the New York Rangers on the road 3-1 in the first intermission, the Washington Capitals displayed hallmark resiliency.

The Caps put up four goals of their own in a row, washing out a 3-1 deficit for the second straight game in the process. Washington added two more in the third for good measure to beat the Rangers 7-3 on Sunday night in Manhattan.

It’s the fifth win in a row for the Caps (24-6-2), who are 8-1-1 in their last 10 and continue to extend their franchise-best start of the season. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 31 Recap: Caps rally from 3 goals down to beat Lightning

OVECHKIN, OSHIE SCORE TWICE APIECE, JOHANSSON NETS EVENTUAL GAME-WINNER

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Yeah, that happened.

The Washington Capitals dug themselves a 3-goal hole and watched goalie stalwart Braden Holtby get yanked. As it happens some times, the goalie getting pulled provided the needed spark.

Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie scored two goals apiece, and Marcus Johansson provided the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Caps rallied to beat Tampa Bay 5-3 before a stunned capacity crowd at Verizon Center.

It’s the first time the Capitals (23-6-2-48) have erased a three-goal deficit to win in regulation since Oct. 16, 2008 at Pittsburgh.

Holtby allowed three goals on 12 shots not quite halfway through the contest. Philipp Grubauer relieved and saved all seven shots he faced. [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 25 Recap: Caps and Holtby win streaks end as Caps fall to Jets in OT

GAMES ENDS ON CONTROVERSIAL OVERTIME GOAL AFTER LENGTHY REVIEW

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mark Scheifele scored with 19.9 seconds left in overtime — but not before an almost interminable review of a potential offsides play — and the Winnipeg Jets ended the Washington Capitals six-game winning streak 2-1 at the MTS Center in Winnipeg.

Caps head coach Barry Trotz asked for the review, hoping that Jacob Trouba would be ruled offsides before receiving an entry pass from Blake Wheeler as time was winding down. But after several minutes of the referees huddled around a tablet computer at the scorer’s desk, the play was ruled inconclusive and allowed to stand.

Long before that, it was Braden Holtby, once again, saving the Caps’ (Canadian) bacon. [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 9 Recap: Caps take gritty win over Columbus

NEWCOMERS OSHIE, WILLIAMS SCORE FOR CAPITALS

New team, same ego, as John Tortorella returned to the Verizon Center as newly-appointed coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. In a messy affair devoid of much offensive cohesiveness, the Washington Capitals were able to scratch out a 2-1 win over Tort’s troops.

Maybe the ghosts of Halloween came out a bit early to haunt the Caps. Looking slow, sloppy, and even a bit tired for the first half of the game, the Caps played a less than stellar outing against the struggling Blue Jackets. [Read more…]

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