February 9, 2016

Washington Capitals Game 50 Recap: Caps beat Devils in nail-biter shootout

PAUL CAREY’S FIRST NHL GOAL FORGES LATE TIE, CAPS PREVAIL IN SHOOTOUT

(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

With their power play continuing to struggle, the Washington Capitals looked to an unlikely hero to notch their league-leading 37th win: Paul Carey.

Carey’s goal late in the third period tied it at two, then after a scoreless overtime played mostly at four a side due to a carryover penalty, the Caps got shootout goals from T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin to steal the extra point from the stingy New Jersey Devils, winning 3-2 at Prudential Center. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 46 Recap: Caps shrug off slow start, pound Blue Jackets

KUZNTESOV WITH 4 ASSISTS, ALZNER TIES TEAM GAMES STREAK

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

If there are any concerns about how the Washington Capitals go about their business, it might be how they seem to have developed a knack for starting games slowly. It happened again Tuesday in Columbus, where the Caps were thoroughly outplayed through the first eight or so minutes of the game.

But as they have so many times in the past, they got going. And once they got going, man, they were tough to stop.

Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, Evgeny Kuznetsov had four assists, and the Caps pasted the Blue Jackets 6-3 at Nationwide Arena.

Braden Holtby became the first goalie to 30 wins, with 32 saves. [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 36 Recap: Kuznetsov shines as Caps beat Sabres

CAPITALS WIN NINTH IN A ROW; BACKSTROM, BEAGLE INJURED

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

After a physical game on Monday in Buffalo, everyone expected more of the same Wednesday night at Verizon Center in the rematch. Those looking for physicality weren’t disappointed, but Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jack Eichel showed the potential for the next generation of skill players, as both players registered a pair of assists.

In the end, Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of goals, Marcus Johansson added a goal and assist, and Braden Holtby made 25 saves as the Washington Capitals dispatched the Buffalo Sabres for the second game in a row, this one by a 5-2 margin.

The biggest story line, though, could turn out to be undisclosed injuries to Nick Backstrom and Jay Beagle, who both left the game to not return, and the status of John Carlson, who missed his second game in a row. [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 29 Recap: Caps spoil Mike Sullivan’s Penguins coaching debut with 4-1 win

HOLTBY STELLAR ONCE AGAIN, OSHIE SCORES TWICE TO DUMP PENS

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Generally, the rivalry between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins has more than enough emotion and storylines to go around. On Monday in Pittsburgh the drama was eve up a notch as the Penguins hoped to welcome new head coach Mike Sullivan to the Steel City with a win over one of their biggest rivals.

Instead, the Capitals scored the first two goals in the first period, and added another in the third for good measure and Braden Holtby made 44 saves in a 4-1 triumph to finish their three-game road trip in style. [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 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 24 Recap: Holtby sublime, pushes Caps past Habs

HOLTBY EXTENDS CAREER-HIGH WINNING STREAK TO EIGHT GAMES

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals came off a four-day rest looking as slow as if it was the first game of a new season, but luckily Braden Holtby decided to extend his win streak with or without the rest of the teams help. T.J. Oshie’s second goal of the game, a tip-in from the high slot off a Karl Alzner wrister, was the difference in a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Centre Belle, the Caps’ sixth in a row.

Tom Wilson has two shots in two games — and two goals. That is how this game started and it would have been nice of the rest of the Caps could of kept that pace. Wilson’s  goal came early in the first when the Canadiens turned it over in their own zone following a Brooks Laich poke check. Laich then saucered a nice pass to Wilson, who went top shelf from the goal mouth to put the Caps up 1-0. After that it was up to Braden Holtby to up their stat line of 11-1-0 when scoring the first goal this season. [Read more…]

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