August 23, 2017

Washington Capitals Game 54 Recap: Caps break hearts on Valentine’s eve in Dallas

CAPS SCORE THREE IN THIRD, WILSON RINGS PIPE IN LAST MINUTE

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals and the Dallas Stars  faced off with three of the top four goal scorers and five of the top fifteen point producing players on the ice, and the score and pace reflected that.

The Caps (40-10-4, 84 points) spotted Dallas four second period goals and made it interesting at the end. Despite three third period goals, the Caps fell in regulation for just the 10th time this season, a 4-3 decision to the Stars. [Read more…]

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.

[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 28 Recap: Capitals hold off Tampa Bay 2-1

HOLTBY SPECTACULAR, KUZNETSOV MAGICAL TO EXTEND BEST START IN FRANCHISE HISTORY

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

After an ugly loss Thursday night to the Florida Panthers, the Capitals (20-6-2) traveled to Tampa Bay (14-13-3) on Saturday night and looked to prevent losing the title of the only Eastern Conference team not to lose back-to-back games. The Caps built a lead, then nervously held on to go 8-0-0 following a loss this season, beating Tampa Bay 2-1.

Holtby was his spectacular self again, earning his league-leading 18th win of the year. With a glorious breakaway one-on-one stop and numerous clutch saves on the penalty kill, he finished with 35 stops on the night.

Although Tampa Bay spent the better part of the first five minutes in the Caps’ zone, Holtby showed no rust and the Caps struck first. Jay Beagle carried the puck down ice and dropped it in the circle where Stanislav Galiev picked it up then sent it right back to Beagle behind the goal. From there it was a simple stuff behind Lightning goalie Ben Bishop to give the Caps a 1-0 lead.

[Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 21 Recap: Caps score early, often to ground Jets

ORLOV SCORES IN THIRD STRAIGHT, GIVES CAPS LEAD FOR GOOD

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals are starting to get on a little bit of a roll.

Five players scored, including defenseman Dmitry Orlov for the third straight game, and the Caps grounded the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 before a packed house at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

Orlov’s goal, his third of the week (and year) came less than three minutes after former Cap Mathieu Perreault tied it at three in the second period with a power play goal. Evgeny Kuznetsov circled with the puck through the offensive zone and left it for Orlov at the center point, then flashed through the slot, which surely had to be a distraction to Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson.

Orlov’s blast beat Hutchinson low stick-side, with Justin Williams also providing a screen at the top of the crease. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 19 Recap: Caps crush Avalanche

DMITRY ORLOV SCORES FIRST GOAL SINCE MARCH 2014, FOUR DEFENSEMEN SCORE

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals came out of the gate running, held off a mid-game resistance, and scored late insurance goals to beat the Colorado Avalanche 7-3 Saturday night at Verizon Center.

Seven different Caps players — including four defensemen — scored, Evgeny Kuzntesov had a three-point night and Braden Holtby made 24 saves in the process.

It marked the first time since Dec. 4, 1992 that four defensemen scored a goal for the Capitals (Paul Cavallini, Sylvain Cote (2), Kevin Hatcher (2) and Al Iafrate). [Read more…]

Washington Capitals 2015-16 Season Preview: Defense

When looking at the Washington Capitals’ defensive unit for the 2015-16 season, longtime fans will be quick to notice one name missing, rather than any new names on the roster.

[Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 70 Recap: Washington stellar in win over Boston

Before Sunday night’s game against the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz discussed the mindset needed of a team vying to secure a spot in the postseason, saying that his team’s work ethic had “slipped a little bit.”

For all 60 minutes, Washington’s worth ethic was on display as they took control of momentum from the opening shift en route to a 2-0 win over the Bruins at Verizon Center.

Energy from both the Caps, who only added to their playoff cushion with the victory, and their fans played a role from the beginning and helped deliver Washington to just their second win in the last five games, a set that made up a season-long homestand.

At 12:34 of the first, John Carlson struck from the point on the power play, and the Caps finally had something to show for their physical domination and unwillingness to back down the Bruins’ own physicality.

Nate Schmidt scored a rare goal with 6:23 left in the second, his first of the season. “I actually was trying to look to see if there was off the back side of the post because the [Boston] forwards were coming up trying to block it,” Schmidt said. “I was just trying to get it to the net, let’s be honest,” he said with a laugh. Not only was the defenseman exuberant in the huddle immediately after the goal, he clearly wore the emotions of a player with a sizable weight lifted off his shoulders in the locker room afterward. “It’s like ‘finally.’ It’s like, you’re just glad it finally happened but I guess there was no better time, better late than never.”

Backstrom’s assist on the Carlson goal moved him into first place by himself on the franchise’s all-time assists list, breaking a three-way tie with Alex Ovechkin and Michal Pivonka, who had 418 each. He extended his lead with a secondary helper on the Schmidt tally.

Backstrom called the feat a “nice bonus,” adding, “it’s always [nice] when you get credit for something; maybe you’ve done something good. But, you have to remember, that I played with a lot of good players over the years and without the teammates, coaches and the fans, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Braden Holtby had 32 saves on the night, extending his career high for shutouts in a season to eight.

CAPS NOTES

  • Backstrom’s two assists extended his league-high total for the season to 56.
  • Trotz said that Dmitry Orlov (wrist) would have increased intensity with his rehabilitation this week, and that he had a higher probability of going to Hershey for a rehab assignment after the Caps return from a three-game road trip early next week.
  • In addition, Trotz said that he had yet to make a decision on whether Philipp Grubauer or Holtby would start the back end of the team’s back-to-back set on Monday night in Buffalo.
  • Interestingly, Holtby leads the NHL in shutouts since the 2012-13 season with 16.
  • Tom Wilson had a game-high six hits, while drawing a penalty and committing none.

CAPS: Hockey ‘N Heels, November 2014

Attention ladies. Hockey ‘n Heels is back by popular demand! The Washington Capitals are once again hosting Hockey ‘n Heels of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 from 6:15 to 9:30 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Tickets go on sale on Monday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m., exclusively to Club Scarlet members. Not already a member? Join here for free.

Check out photos from Hockey ‘N Heels 2013.

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Press Release:

Washington Capitals to Host Hockey ‘n Heels Wednesday, Nov. 12
Tickets to go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 27, at ScarletCaps.com

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals will host Hockey ‘n Heels on Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 6:15-9:30 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. Tickets for the event will be available beginning Monday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m.

Hockey ‘n Heels is held each season exclusively for members of Club Scarlet presented by Lindsey Automotive Group and features instructional sessions and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience.

Fans interested in attending Hockey ‘n Heels must sign up to become a member of Club Scarlet at ScarletCaps.com. A ticket link will be sent to all Scarlet members. Tickets for this year’s event are $65, with a limit of four tickets per person. Tickets are not guaranteed for all Scarlet members. Club Scarlet membership is free.

The night will be divided into sessions of on-ice demonstrations featuring Capitals players and off-ice presentations featuring coaches and equipment staff. Players scheduled to appear include forward Michael Latta, defenseman Nate Schmidt and goaltender Justin Peters. Hockey ‘n Heels will feature on-ice demonstrations with Latta, Peters and Schmidt. Fans also will be able to try on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic uniform and take their photograph with a player.

Head coach Barry Trotz will participate in a Q & A, while assistant coach Lane Lambert will lead a discussion on the rules of the game. Head equipment manager Brock Myles will give an overview of equipment, while strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish will host a session on fitness.

Founded in 2009, Club Scarlet is a fan club for women designed to provide more information, events and networking opportunities for the team’s population of female fans. For more information visit Scarletcaps.com.

Capitals Game Day Notes: Green on skating, Schmidt on fitting in

Much has been made of Mike Green’s resurgence so far this season for the Washington Capitals since his return from the injured list. For the veteran defenseman, it’s been about making adjustments and confidence in the systems that new coach Barry Trotz has put in place.

Asked why it appears he’s skating so much better this season, Green answered quickly.

“Change in system. Everybody’s skating a lot better, to be honest,” Green said after Thursday’s pregame skate at Kettler. “I think that has a lot to do with the structure of our system and being confident within it. It’s just a matter of being consistent throughout the year.”

Green played with Nate Schmidt in his first game and much of the next, but in the third period in Tuesday’s shootout loss to San Jose, Green found himself with veteran Brooks Orpik for a few shifts.

For his part, Green said he’d prefer a regular partner, but realizes the practicality of the situation.

“It’s tough,” Green started, “but you know, it is what it is. This league is all about adjustments and being able to adjust in certain situations. I’d rather have one partner, but it is what it is. I really enjoy playing with Nate [Schmidt] right now. Great young player, good energy, makes smart plays. He’s got all the tools in his trunk. He’s been great.

Schmidt has just tried to soak it all in after making the team out of camp with injuries to Jack Hillen and Dmitry Orlov. “Mike’s just tremendous with the puck. He does a lot of things that hopefully I’ll be able to learn one day, but the last two games that he’s been able to play in he’s been awesome. We played a little bit together last year but we’re just trying to get even more familiar with each other so I can let him do his things. He’s an extremely talented guy. We talk a lot on the bench, a lot of communication. He’s been here for ten years, he knows the ropes, and for me just to soak up as much information as I can from guys like him can only be beneficial for me in the long run.

Schmidt watched with interest this past offseason as the team brought in two veteran blueliners, but he’s taken a “best case scenario” approach to his position on the depth chart.

“Both those guys have been extremely helpful,” Schmidt said of Matt Niskanen and Orpik. “With Nisky being a fellow Minnesotan, just to have that connection with him is really helpful. And Brooksy, is the definition of a pro. He comes to the rink every day, he does everything the right way whether it’s on or off the ice. For me, I don’t even have to talk to him every day to pick up something new because he’s been around and has so much experience.”

Schmidt is realistic about where he stands, but he’s looking to make a good impression while he’s given the opportunity.

“We had those two guys [Orpik, Niskanen] come in and at first glance you’re like, ‘Aw man, I’m gonna be too far down [the depth chart],’ but it opened up a door for me to learn from these guys and go out and contribute to this team. My goal coming into camp was to make the team and try to make it real hard for them to push me down.

I think it’s been going well so far. We have been growing as a D corps each and every day. We had two great games. Last game might not have been our best but we learned a lot from it so I’m excited going forward.”

While his status might be in question when Hillen and Orlov eventually return, he’s going to make the most of wearing the Caps sweater while he can.

“For a guy like me, that’s as much as I can do is take up as much experience of being around those guys. They’ve been through it all — what works, what doesn’t work — those are the types of things that you need to learn as a young player, hopefully at an earlier age than later on.”

Schmidt had a unique view of the organizational struggles last season, being a tweener between the big club and AHL Hershey, both of which failed to qualify for the postseason.

He said the tension could be felt throughout the organization. “It’s kind of a trickle down effect,” Schmidt said. “We were pushing for the playoffs too at Hershey last year and we didn’t make the playoffs. It was kinda tough. I think it was the first time ever both teams missed the playoffs in a long time so it’s a disheartening thing.”

“You want both teams in, you want both clubs to win, cause when you win, good things happen for everybody. Wherever it may be, whether it’s AHL guys getting NHL time here or anywhere else, but this is a great group of guys and it would be special to get back to that here.”

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