December 9, 2019

Washington Capitals Game 18 Recap: Ovechkin breaks record but Caps fall to Stars

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

ALEX OVECHKIN BECOMES ALL-TIME LEADING RUSSIAN-BORN GOAL SCORER

Alex Ovechkin finally broke Sergei Fedorov’s record for goals scored by a Russian-born player, tying the game at two in the third period. But moments later, Jason Chimera’s turnover, on a play where he said, “I [effed] up,” put the puck on Jason Spezza’s stick for a point-blank shot, and the Washington Capitals fell to the Dallas Stars 3-2 at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin’s ninth of the season marks his 484th career NHL goal, eclipsing one-time teammate and Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 12 Recap: Despite strong effort, a Flame-out

OVECHKIN PASSES BONDRA AS CAPS’ ALL-TIME SCORING LEADER WITH ASSIST

The last three players to touch the Calgary Flames’ overtime-forcing goal in the third period wore a Washington Capitals sweater. So of course, after the Caps fairly dominated overtime the Flames scored with just 43 seconds remaining, sending the Caps to their fifth straight loss, a 4-3 decision that should have had a better result based on the play on the ice.

The Caps (4-5-3) played their best game in two weeks, but lucky bounces and fluky goals were the rule in this one, and the losing streak continues.

Lance Bouma got the Flames on the board first. a shot from the point by Kris Russell was knocked down by a mass of bodies, but Bouma had position on Mike Green — at the end of a long shift — in the crease, and tapped the rebound past Braden Holtby.

Just 1:19 later, though, the top line came together to tie it up. Tom Wilson dug the puck out of the corner and sent to Alex Ovechkin at the point. Ovi wristed a shot toward net that Nick Backstrom tipped past Jonas Hiller to tie the game.

The assist marked Ovechkin’s 826th career point, moving the Great Eight past Peter Bondra as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.

Midway through the second period, defenseman Mark Giordano faked out Tom Wilson at the point, carried into the slot, and lifted a backhand past Holtby (21 saves) to make it 2-1 Flames.

As with the first goal though, the Caps came right back moments later. Marcus Johansson’s long shot off the end boards bounced off Hiller’s leg pad and into the net. It was Johansson’s fifth goal of the campaign.

Washington took advantage of a five-on-three situation a couple of minutes later. Backstrom, on the goalie’s left post, passed across the crease to Joel Ward, who banged one off the inside of Hiller’s pads and into the net to put the Caps up 3-2.

It stayed that way until 5:10 left. Mike Green was beaten to a puck in the corner, but it went straight to Marcus Johansson in the slot. Johansson tried to clear the puck to the boards. but it ricocheted off Troy Brouwer’s skate and past the surprised Holtby to even it at 3 goals apiece.

The Caps had a chance at the buzzer to avoid overtime. Ovechkin blocked a shot and beat the Calgary defender to the puck. He fed Backstrom on the far wing, who found Wilson on the doorstep. But Wilson’s shot was denied by Hiller as time expired, prompting overtime.

Then, after having the advantage at play most of the extra session, Sean Monahan beat Holtby with 43 seconds left to end the game unceremoniously.

  • The Caps outshot the Flames 34-23.
  • Bondra, on Ovechkin: “It has been a thrill to watch Alex play for the Capitals during his young, illustrious career. He is an extremely talented player and I couldn’t be happier for him on achieving this great milestone.”
  • Liam O’Brien fought Derek Engelland, pretty much to a draw, despite giving up quite a bit of size and weight.
  • Tom Wilson continues to shine on the top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom. On several occasions, he made room in the crease and constantly gives the top a line a physical presence with opposition defenders.
  • Speaking of physical presence, Backstrom came to Ovechkin’s defense on a check in the second. Ovi was dumped by Curtis Glencross and Backstrom clobbered him before Wilson joined the fray. Glencross received a roughing minor and the Caps scored on the ensuing penalty.
  • Johansson’s maturity continues to impress. He played a very solid possession game and had a pair shots, including one in overtime that almost won it were it not for Hiller’s excellent save.

 

Washington Capitals Game 1 Recap: Caps fall to Habs in shootout 2-1

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

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

 

The Washington Capitals opened the 2014-15 season by hosting the Montreal Canadiens in front of a sellout crowd at Verizon Center. The red-rocking crowd was treated to all of the pomp and circumstance of a home opener and excitement until the end with a shootout. After a four round shootout, the Habs took the two points winning 2-1.

The Caps took the ice with energy and dominated the first period, out shooting the Habs 13-2. “We had the puck the whole time in the first period, we had them [Montreal] on the floor, but we couldn’t knock them out,” said Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz after the game.

Andre Burakovsky, making his NHL debut, scored the Caps first and only goal 6:43 into the first period.  “It was a great moment,” said Burakovsky after the game about his first NHL goal. “It would be so much better if we just win this game.”

Trotz smiled when asked about Burakovsky’s play. “I thought he was going to have the winner there for a long time. We were really playing quite well. They weren’t getting too many chances and the chances they were getting were mostly results of some zone time and on the face off.”

The Caps continued to lead 1-0 until Habs Tomas Plekanec scored half-way through the third period to tie it up 1-1. The Caps just couldn’t find the back of the net despite scoring chances and Canadiens had two goals disallowed.

Players from both teams were a little feisty.  Each team had nine penalties, serving nineteen minutes and neither team scored during a power play. Caps outshot Habs 30-24 and outhit them 30-29.

Brooks Orpik made his Caps’ debut wearing the “A” on his sweater and immediately showed an impact. Fans on Twitter were professing their love for the new Cap as he showed he can hit and protect his goalie. “I’m just fortunate to have them in front of me. I think we’re going to win a lot of games based just on our defense,” said Braden Holtby. “It wasn’t as uncontrolled in our zone. It felt like all night we knew what was going on with who was supposed to go where at when. Very easy to read off for me. It showed on the scoresheet for our defense. “

See DSP’s Three Stars of the Game and photo gallery of the player introductions and 40th Anniversary ceremonial puck drop.

Capitals magnet schedule was given out to all fans at the  Washington Capitals home opener against Montreal featuring 40th Anniversary cermony, 10/09/2014 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Capitals magnet schedule was given out to all fans at the Washington Capitals home opener against Montreal featuring 40th Anniversary cermony, 10/09/2014 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals Game 35 Recap: Caps finer in Carolina; Ovi’s 400th

Alex Ovechkin poses with puck after his 400th career goal. (courtesy @CapitalsPR)

Alex Ovechkin poses with puck after his 400th career goal. (courtesy @CapitalsPR)

OVECHKIN NOTCHES 400th CAREER GOAL ON EMPTY NET–6th FASTEST IN LEAGUE HISTORY

The Washington Capitals got goals from four different players — including the 400th career goal by their captain Alex Ovechkin — as they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 Friday night.

Philipp Grubauer was strong in goal making 39 saves, many in spectacular fashion as defensive breakdowns — especially in the first two periods — were rampant. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 19 Recap: Caps resilient in overtime win over the Blue Jackets

The Washington Capitals hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets looking for their fifth straight home victory and it took about one and a half minutes of overtime to accomplish that goal. Captain Alex Ovechkin scored the winning goal with the help of Marcus Johansson, giving Ovi a franchise-leading 13th career overtime goal.

“JoJo [Marcus Johansson] did a great job,” stated Ovechkin. “First through it. And after that I have to go to the net and find a rebound. I get a lucky puck, bounce right to my stick, and we go. It’s always nice to score, and [with an] overtime goal you can feel your best.”

Caps Head Coach Adam Oates’ post-game press conference focused on the competitiveness and resiliency of the Caps to come back and win in overtime. “That’s a playoff game, it just happens to be now, but we need these points, and you have to put yourself into position. Hockey is getting that way every night. We’ve been talking about that for two weeks. Every night it’s a grind.”

The first period was scoreless, however, both teams played solid hockey that period.  “We [Capitals] started [game] better than I anticipated after last road trip,” said Oates. “Think we’re a little tired, trip caught up to us a bit.”

Blue Jackets were first on the scoreboard with a shorty by Brendon Dubinsky early in the second period. Caps answered back about eight minutes later with an even strength goal by John Carlson.

Carlson may have played his best game of the season. Oates said, “For the last little bit, he’s [Carlson] been playing great. Him and Alzny [Karl Alzner] have been solid. They’ve been a rock. They’ve started every penalty kill, which has been very solid for us. [They’ve played] a lot of minutes and [Carlson] scored a big goal. He’s playing great hockey.”

The Caps started the third period on a power play, however, were unable to score. Joel Ward scored a short-handed goal and the Caps took the lead 2-1. Columbus scored two quick back-to-back goals to make it 3-2. Blue Jackets third goal was frustrating to the Caps because a bouncing puck got past Mike Green making Greenie look like the bad guy.

“The fact that we went down like that [3-2] I think really upset us and lit enough of a fire for us to get back and build the confidence knowing that we were going to win it,” stated defenseman Karl Alzner.

With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Mikhail Grabovski tied up the game with his 100th NHL career goal and forced game to overtime. Caps are now 10-8-1.

The Capitals travel to Detroit on Friday and then return to Verizon Center for three games next week. The Caps will practice tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Washington Nationals Game 116 Review: Werth keys biggest comeback of season

Hard enough to believe, but the Washington Nationals had failed in the 2013 season to come back to win a game in which they trailed by four runs or more. Until Saturday night.

The Nats busted out for five run in the seventh inning against a pair of Philadelphia Phillies pitchers — including Jayson Werth’s 17th home run — to cap the comeback and walk away with an 8-5 win before 32,676 at Nationals Park.

The big inning made a winner out of rookie reliever Tanner Roark for the first time in his short big league career.

Things looked bleak for the Nats (56-60), trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh. But a series of run-scoring plays — including a poor bunt by Bryce Harper that drove in a run and Werth’s two-run blast a batter later — turned the tide and allowed the Nationals to beat the Phils for the second straight night. The home run was the 1,000th hit of Werth’s big league career.

Roark (W, 1-0, 0.00), making his second appearance since being recalled from AAA-Syracuse, pitched two perfect innings to notch his first career MLB win.

The Phillies jumped on Nats starting pitcher Taylor Jordan in the second inning to start the scoring. Domonic Brown led off with a single to center, followed by Darin Ruf’s sixth home run of the season. It’s just the third home run Jordan has allowed in 45 innings in the bigs. Cody Asche scratched out an infield hit and went to second on Carlos Ruiz’ ground out to third. Michael Martinez then singled to left moving Asche to third. Cliff Lee then laid down a safety sacrifice — Asche scored and all hands were safe. Jimmy Rollins delivered an RBI single to plate Martinez to make it 4-0 with two on.

But Jordan was able to bear down and strike out Michael Young and coax a fly out by Chase Utley to end the inning with no further damage. Jordan ended the night after five innings, in which he gave up four earned runs on seven hits and one walk, striking out three.

The Nats got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman led off with a ground-rule double that bounced off the warning track and into the stands in left field. After Bryce Harper (0-for-3 with two walks) struck out, Zimmerman came around to score on Jayson Werth’s single. Ian Desmond doubled to center with Werth moving to third base, and the veteran right fielder scored on Adam LaRoche’s subsequent ground out to first base.

Two runners were stranded, but the lead was cut in half at 4-2.

The Nats picked up their third run in the sixth. Werth singled with one out and went to second with two outs when LaRoche was hit with a pitch by Phils starter Cliff Lee. Wilson Ramos followed with a run-scoring single to right field.

Steve Lombardozzi led off the pivotal seventh inning with a walk against Phillies reliever Jake Diekman. Denard Span sacrificed Lombardozzi to second, and Lombo promptly stole third. Ryan Zimmerman walked to put runners at the corners. Harper ran the count to 1-1, then popped up a bunt that Chase Utley was able to field on one bounce. Utley didn’t have a play at the plate, so he cut down Zimmerman as second base and the run scored.

Werth homered on the next pitch, an 82-MPH slider that hung in the middle of the plate.

Anthony Rendon added a two-run double later in the frame, after a ground-rule double by Ian Desmond, an intentional walk to LaRoche and another Ramos single.

Tyler Clippard gave up a solo shot to Domonic Brown (26) in the eighth, but Rafael Soriano closed things down with a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 29th save of the season.

THE GOOD: Werth. The grizzly slugger went 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs. He’s been the Nats offensive MVP this season.

THE BAD: Harper. 0-for-3. Lee carved him up.

THE UGLY: Phillies Zach Miner. Four earned runs on three hits and a walk in the seventh inning. He got one out.

THE STATS: 11 hits, 6 BBs, 7 Ks. 4-for-11 with RISP, 8 LOB. E: Werth (2, fielding), 2 DPs.

NEXT GAME: Sunday at 5:05 pm ET against the Phillies. Stephen Strasburg (5-9, 3.01) looks for the sweep against Kyle Kendrick (10-8, 4.36).

NATS: Ryan Zimmerman hits 1000th Career Hit

On September 2, 2005, Washington Nationals Rookie Ryan Zimmerman started in his first game at third base wearing #25 and hit a double as his first MLB hit at RFK against the Philadelphia Phillies and pitcher Vicente Padilla.

In his 903rd career game tonight in Colorado, Zimmerman singled in the 5th inning off of Rockies Guillermo Moscoso for his 1000th hit. All 1000th hits have been with the Washington Nationals. Zimmerman was the very first draft pick for the Washington Nationals and quickly became known as, “The Face of the Franchise.”

Zimmerman hit his 500th RBI earlier this season. Hopefully, these mark the first of many milestones that Zimmerman will reach as National.

Congrats Zim!

Ryan Zimmerman (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Breakdown of career hits:

Singles: 629
Doubles: 226
Triples: 14
Home Runs: 132

Ryan Zimmerman the hit machine (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

 

NATS: Ryan Zimmerman Hits 500th RBI

Washington Nationals Third Baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit his 500th RBI tonight against the New York Mets, becoming the first Nationals player to do so. The milestone RBI came in the top of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly to right fielder Lucas Duda that scored Wilson Ramos. Former Nationals relief pitcher Miguel Batista was pitching for the Mets.

Congratulations Zim!

Ryan Zimmerman at the plate in Sept. 2011 at Nationals Park (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

CAPS: Mike Knuble Reaches Milestone: 1000th NHL Game

Washington Capitals Alternate Captain Mike Knuble played in this 1000th NHL game on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 in front of the home crowd at Verizon Center against the Nashville Predators. It was a special night for Mike Knuble and his family. The Caps 4-1 victory was the icing on the cake.

Knuble, 39 became the 269th player in NHL history to play in 1,000 career games and the fifth player to do so this season (Joe Thornton, Hal Gill, Dainius Zubrus, Vinny Prospal). Only 29 active players have played in 1,000 or more NHL games. Knuble has appeared in 999 career games with Detroit (62 games), the New York Rangers (141 games), Boston (307 games), Philadelphia (310 games) and Washington (179 games). He is one of just eight active players to have collected eight consecutive 20-goal seasons and his 24 goals scored last season were the third-most by a player 35 or older.

One thousand games is a huge milestone in hockey and well deserving of pomp and circumstance. The Capitals put together a nice tribute and pre-game ceremony to honor the winger. Knuble mentioned in his pre-game interview that he many family members and friends in town for the game, including his high school coach.

The evening kicked off by all fans in attendance receiving Mike Knuble commemorative buttons when they entered Verizon Center. The Capitals players themselves were even seen wearing these buttons after the game on their way to the private celebration.

Commemorative pins provided to fans before Dec. 20 game (Photo by @DCxSPORTSxGIRL)

All of the Capitals players wore commemorative “Knuble” jerseys during the pregame warm-up, featuring number “22” on the back. It is always a little strange to see an entire team wearing the same number, however, it is a nice gesture. The MeiGray authenticated jerseys were auctioned off during the game at the MeiGray auction table on the concourse outside of section 109.

Caps wore special "22" jerseys in honor of Knuble's 1000th NHL game for warmups (Photo by @jopierce)

Caps wore special "22" jerseys in honor of Knuble's 1000th NHL game for warmups (Photo by @jlrpuck)

Caps wore special "22" jerseys in honor of Knuble's 1000th NHL game for warmups (Photo by @jlrpuck)

Caps wore special "22" jerseys in honor of Knuble's 1000th NHL game for warmups (Photo by @jopierce)

Caps fans, including Knuble Knights, watching Knuble during warmups (Photo by @jlrpuck)

Caps fans salute Mike Knuble (Photo by @jlrpuck)

Knuble’s wife Megan, their daughter Anna and sons Cam and Cole joined Mike on the ice to honor Knuble. Both the NHL and Capitals organization presented Knuble with special gifts to commemorate his achievement. Knuble received a Tiffany crystal from NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Jim Gregory and a commemorative silver stick from Caps GM George McPhee.

Mike Knuble's teammates proudly watch "Moose" skate out to ice for presentation. (Photo by @jlrpuck)

The Knuble family on ice for presentation (Photo by @jopierce)

Caps GM George McPhee presenting Mike Knuble with silver hockey stick (Photo by @jopierce)

The Capitals players, represented on ice by team captain Alex Ovechkin and alternate captain Nicklas Backstrom, also made a surprise gift presentation – a Sea-Doo for the Knuble family.

Caps Captain Alex Ovechkin and Alternate Captain Nicklas Backstrom presented Mike Knuble and his family with a Sea-Doo on behave of the Caps players (Photo by @jlrpuck)

Caps players congratulating Knuble on his milestone 1000th NHL game (Photo by @jlrpuck)

After the game, the Capitals got together for a private celebration. Knuble was spotted proudly carrying his silver stick to the party and a few fans stopped to ask if he’d pose for a photo, which he graciously obliged. Mike Knuble is a stand up, classy guy and Caps fans are clearly proud to have him as part of the team.

Mike Knuble stopped to pose with a Caps fan on the way to his own party. (iPhone Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Knuble, a veteran of back-to-back Stanley Cup winners with Detroit in his first two years in the league, is one of two current Capitals to have won the Stanley Cup (Troy Brouwer). He has represented the United States in five international events, including the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The 6’3”, 229-pound Knuble has scored more goals after turning 30 (221) than Wayne Gretzky scored in his 30’s (217). His 531 career points rank 49th among active players while his 271 goals rank 27th among active NHLers.

A special thanks to @jlrpuck and @jopierce for submitting their fantastic photos of warmups and pre-game ceremony.

Pre-game Ceremony:

Mike Knuble: Pre-game interview:

Mike Knuble: Post-game interview:

Mike Knuble 1000 Games Tribute: Fellow Caps congratulate Mike Knuble on making this milestone.

GAME 32 RE-CAP: Offense returns in 4-1 drubbing of Nashville

KNUBLE PLAYS IN 1,000th NHL GAME; FETED IN PRE-GAME CEREMONY

After scoring three goals in their last three games, the Washington Capitals needed to see an outburst like last night.  Motivated by the pre-game ceremony celebrating teammate Mike Knuble’s 1,000th career NHL game, the Caps found some offensive motivation while shutting down the Nashville Predators, 4-1, before a capacity crowd at Verizon Center.

The Caps got goals from their three biggest names: Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin, plus a power play redirect from off-season trade acquisition Troy Brouwer, to pace the victory.  Michal Neuvirth started his third game in a row, allowing a single tally to Sergei Kostitsyn early in the third, and made 20 saves to collect the win.

The story of this game was the first period, when the Caps jumped all over the Preds.  Washington played a dominating cycle game for the first half-dozen shifts of the game, wearing down the traveling Nashville squad from the get-go.  Midway through the stanza, Karl Alzner was able to spring Alex Ovechkin along the left wing boards with a stretch pass.  Ovi used his body to shield the Predator defender from the puck, and once Ovi settled the puck on the other side, he was off to the races and buried the breakaway against Nashville backup Anders Lindback (19 saves).

Nick Backstrom added the second goal with just over four minutes remaining, carrying the puck along the end boards and wrapping one around the post to beat Lindback.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz certainly noticed the effort level of the Caps in the opening frame.  “In the first period we lost a couple of one-on-one battles and they scored. They came out with a lot of purpose and a lot of jump and had us on our heels.”

The second period saw the Caps settle into a stifling trap, shutting down any semblance of a Nashville counter.  Adding to the effort, the Caps killed all three penalties called against them in the frame.  With the defensive effort, and penalty kill team on the ice for six minutes, the Caps managed just three shots on goal in the frame, but carried their two-goal advantage to the third.

Kostitsyn was able to halve the lead 4:40 into the third period with a wrist shot from the blue line that Neuvirth would probably like to have back, but Alexander Semin took a drop pass from Marcus Johansson six minutes later at the left wing circle and the right-handed Semin twisted his body and unleashed a wicked wrist shot past a stunned Lindback to stretch the lead again.

Troy Brouwer tacked on an insurance power play marker at 13:46, redirecting a blast from the point from Dennis Wideman.

The offensive fireworks marked the first time the Caps scored as many as four goals since their Dec. 9 win over Toronto.  Brouwer’s power play goal was also their first with the extra-man since that game as well.  That point is probably not a coincidence.

 The win was big for a team struggling to adapt to a new system and maybe trying to establish a new identity, but it was also big to their senior member.  Knuble didn’t factor in the scoring, but there’s no questioning his value to this team in terms of leadership and veteran presence.  He becomes the second oldest player to play in his 1,000th game, behind only Grant Ledyard.  He also becomes the sixth player to play his 1,000th game in a Capitals uniform, joining his coach, Dale Hunter (1993), along with Phil Housely (1996), Adam Oates (1999), Calle Johansson (2001) and Andrew Cassels (2006).

CAPS NOTES:  Marcus Johansson has two assists and played in his 100th NHL game.

Ovechkin led the Caps with seven shots on goal and tied with Dmitry Orlov with three hits.

Backstrom scores his 12th of the season, and has 99 goals in his NHL career.

Semin scored his seventh goal of the season and his second in as many games, marking the first time this season he’s scored in back-to-back games.

The win gives the Caps 35 points this season, seven behind division-leading Florida, though Washington has just one fewer win and two games in hand over the Panthers.  The Caps are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Ottawa Senators, who also have two games in hand over the Caps.

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