September 20, 2019

Washington Capitals Game 60 Recap: Comeback Caps edge Wild

 ORLOV’S THIRD PERIOD GOAL CAPS COMEBACK, CAPS HAVE 45 WINS

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” The current version of the Washington Capitals are heeding Yogi’s sage wisdom and taking full advantage of the full 60 minutes of game play, and sometimes even more.

On Friday at Verizon Center, the Caps got third period goals from Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov and came from behind to beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2, to extend a streak this season of not having lost back-to-back games in regulation.

The Caps move to 45-11-4 for the season.

Ovechkin reached to 40-goal mark for the eighth time in his prodigious career. It’s the sixth time he’s the first player in the league to hit the 40-goal mark. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 53 Recap: Ovechkin’s hat trick leads Caps over Wild on road

OVECHKIN RECORDS 14TH CAREER HAT TRICK, CAPS COLLECT 20TH ROAD WIN

How did that get through? (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

How did that get through? (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Alex Ovechkin recorded his 14th career hat trick — in the second period — and the Washington Capitals registered yet another road win, topping the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

After a scoreless first period, Ovechkin took over, scoring three goals in the frame to give the Caps a 3-1 lead entering the third. It was his first hattie since Dec. 13, 2013.

Ryan Suter’s goal midway through the period made things interesting, but Jason Chimera’s insurance empty net goal with less than a minute remaining sealed the deal. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 66 Recap: Wild score two in third period to top Capitals 2-1

Jason Pominville’s two goal performance led the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals Thursday, their fourth straight win. It was Minnesota’s seventh win in eight games.

Both Pominville’s goals came in the third period, and blew the game wide open after nearly 50 minutes of a stingy defensive game.

Minnesota was forced to play much of the game with five defensemen after a hard hit by Tom Wilson and Brooks Laich knocked defenseman Matt Dumba out of the game in the first period.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk stopped 21 shots to earn his 26th win of the season. Dubnyk has won 13 of 19 games since joining the Wild. Washington goalie Braden Holtby made 30 saves in his 57th start this season.

“It was a close game, like we expected it, “ said Holtby. “We got an early lead, and it was kind of a battle after that. It’s a fortunate bounce, goes their way on the first goal… games go like that sometimes.”

Washington’s only goal came courtesy of Curtis Glencross at 2:51 of the first period. The goal was Glencross’ first with the Capitals after being traded from the Calgary Flames March 1, and his 10th of the season.

Glencross’ goal came on Washington’s only power play opportunity against Minnesota’s second-ranked penalty kill, which was 47 on their last 48 shorthanded situations.

“They’re a team that battles hard and competes hard, and they do a good job blocking shots and getting in lanes,” said Glencross. ”They see the middle of the ice good, and they collapse good in front of the net, so they don’t allow a lot through the middle. That’s the key to a good penalty kill.”

Alex Ovechkin was kept out with an upper body injury against the Wild, and missed his first game of the 2014-15 season. Washington struggled to produce offense without their leading scorer.

“He takes away the eyes of their top players,” said defenseman Karl Alzner. “He makes them think twice. He stretches the zone, he comes in hard, he’s good one-on-one. He really makes defensemen and their forwards play tougher minutes.”

Andre Burakovsky, recalled from the Hershey Bears, took Ovechkin’s place in the lineup, and skated with Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom on Washington’s top line. Burakovsky logged 16:49 TOI, his third highest this season.

Washington was held to just 25 shots in the loss, in a game marked by heavy hits and tight defense.

“It’s sort of like trench warfare. You just have to take your inch-by-inch, and when you make a mistake, they’re going to capitalize on it,” said Washington coach Barry Trotz. “That’s how they are, and I thought we played a pretty solid game overall.”

 

 

 

Washington Capitals Game 42 Recap: Caps blow two-goal lead in 5-3 loss to Wild

RYAN SUTER’S HAT TRICK TRUMPS MIKE GREEN’S PAIR AS CAPS ALLOW 5 GOALS ON 11 SHOTS

The Washington Capitals allowed a two-goal lead slip away on the road — and allowed five goals on just 11 shots to the Minnesota Wild — as they fell to their fourth straight loss, 5-3, at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis.

The Caps allowed three power play goals on five Wild opportunities.

Braden Holtby, who has played twice in three weeks as Philipp Grubauer has had the bulk of playing time of late, made six saves on 11 shots. Several of the goals were hard to blame on the rusty goalie, but it’s hard to endorse said goalie when the number of goals allowed was just one short of the number of saves he registered.

It started out well for the Caps, who did just about everything right in the first period.

With Dany Heatley off for a tripping penalty, the Caps went on an extended passing sequence with the extra man. Finally, Marcus Johansson gathered a rebound of an Alex Ovechkin shot on the left wing post and put it past Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (27 saves) to put the Caps up 1-0 at 12:02. Just 13 seconds later, Mike Green used a nifty toe-drag to go around Matt Cooke, then whipped a wicked wrist shot past Backstrom for a 2-0 lead.

Washington outshot Minnesota 11-1 in the stanza and had 18 total shot attempts to the Wild’s six.

But the Caps allowed the Wild to get under their collective skin, as Troy Brouwer was sent off with Nate Prosser for fighting after Prosser plastered Brouwer to the boards. Then, right before the end of the period, Ovechkin got into a war of words with perennial pest Matt Cooke, and both were sent off for the world’s most innocuous unsportsmanlike conduct penalties

The Caps survived the ensuing four-on-four at the beginning of the second period, but Minnesota halved the lead moments later, as Nino Niederreiter skated right down the slot and deposited a pass from Charlie Coyle from behind the net — Holtby had no chance — on the Wild’s second shot of the game.

Steve Oleksy took a roughing minor and a mere five seconds later Karl Alzner joined him in the box for a delay of game. You know what comes next — Minnesota made good on both penalties, first on a Ryan Suter slapshot, then a Suter wrister that slipped through a maze of bodies from the center point that put the Wild up 3-2, despite having just five shots on goal in the game.

The Caps benefited from a lucky bounce to tie at three. Mike Green sent a puck off the back boards that bounced off Backstrom’s catcher, then his blocker, before escaping behind him for the goal. It was Green’s second of the game and fifth of the season.

Minnesota got it’s own lucky bounce  a bit later. With Mikhail Grabovski in the box (notice a theme) for delay of game, Keith Ballard hammered one from the left point that hit a skate and bounced over Holtby and Jason Zucker was all alone on the far post to jam it in the net to make sure and the Wild went up 4-3 at 17:04 of the period.

The Wild extended the lead 7:37 into the third period. The Caps had been on a power play, but Minnesota cleared as it was ending, sending Clayton Stoner and Ryan Suter, just out of the box, in on Mike Green two-on-one. Green was not able to cut off the pass, but was able to contest Suter’s shot from about 15 feet. Still, the shot beat Holtby stick side and the Wild went up 5-3.

It was a save that Holtby simply must have. He saw the pass the entire way, reacted well and was in position, while Green actually contested the shot. But it shot beat him stick-side, and the game, essentially, ended there.

The Capitals are off until Thursday when they play at Tampa Bay at 7:30 pm ET.

CAPS: Free Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches

During the Wild v. Caps game, it was announced that everyone in attendance at the Sunday, March 25 game won a FREE Chick-Fil-A Sandwich!

Free Chicken Sandwiches! Photo from November 2011. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps in Advance: Week 24

Little in the way of killer instinct has been evidenced by the Washington Capitals of late. In the first three games of a five-game road trip, Washington needed a late comeback to force overtime and eventually win in the shootout against the New York Islanders, and never held a lead in losses to division rival Winnipeg Jets and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Now the Caps have will wrap up their road swing with two games against dominating foes before taking on those same Jets in a rematch. Just 10 games and three weeks remain in the regular season, every point is precious. This team has a history of playing with significant leads in the division race, and seems ill-equipped to take over the race this late in the campaign.

Hampering things may be another injury to goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who has been struggling with a lower-body injury over the past month. Braden Holtby was recalled from the Hershey Bears late last week to serve as a backup for Michal Neuvirth, who will be expected to shoulder the load for the playoff push. [Read more…]

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