October 16, 2019

Washington Capitals Game 41 Recap: Capitals lose third straight game, 4-3 in overtime to Hurricanes

Image credit: Patrick McDermott

Image credit: Patrick McDermott

 

In their first game of 2014, at home against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals came out swinging, but were down a goal before the first period ended. After a flurry of goals during the second period, and a scoreless third, Jeff Skinner completed his hat trick in overtime, and the Canes won 4-3.

On December 29, the Washington Capitals lobbed 50 shots at Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (to his team’s 17), but only had one goal to show for it, and lost in the shootout. The next day, December 30, they were narrowly outshot by the Ottawa Senators, but lost 3-1 in regulation. Thursday night’s game was one where the Caps actually had goals to show for their efforts, but not a win.

It was the Capitals’ third straight loss, five in their last six games, and six of their last eight games. Through 41 games, the Capitals have only 10 wins in regulation.

“We had 40 shots. We did a lot of good things; we outshot them 10-0 at the start of the game,” said Adam Oates.

“Then we get a too-many-men penalty and then they get a 5-on-3 and score. We only had one power-play in the game which I was surprised at, but we did a lot of good things in the game.”

In the second period, five goals were scored within 3:45, three of those belonging to the Capitals. But they did what they’ve done 21 other times this season: allowed quick response goals against almost immediately after one of their own.

Brooks Laich called it “sort of embarrassing.”

“We know how to respond when we do score. We can’t let that continue to happen. That’s a problem that we have to fix,” said Steve Oleksy, who scored a goal in Thursday’s game, his first in 10 games.

“I think everyone in this dressing room, everyone that is a part of this team and this organization all know that we have to play better hockey,” Oleksy continued.

“We are not playing our best hockey, but we are finding a way to get some points in the mix. Obviously, we have had some games that we probably should have had two points, but you are still getting some valuable points. At the end of the day, we know that we have a lot more to give, and we are going to figure it out and we are going to turn it around here.”

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 Capitals Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game 5: Ribiero nets game-winner in thrilling OT period

Caps celebrate after their game five overtime win in Washington, May 10, 2013 (Photo Courtesy of Brendan Sheridan/Hockeyshopped)

Caps celebrate after their Game 5 overtime win in Washington, May 10, 2013 (Photo Courtesy of Brendan Sheridan/Hockeyshopped)

After dropping the previous two games at Madison Square Garden, the Washington Capitals felt like they had something to prove to the New York Rangers. Losing another game in this series would put the Capitals on the brink of elimination – less than an ideal situation.

Instead, the Capitals triumphed in overtime thanks to a deft shot by Mike Ribiero. It was one of many that almost squeaked past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist Friday night. It was his first playoff goal as a Capital and his first career playoff game-winning goal. Ribeiro wasn’t too shabby in the faceoff circle either, winning 70 percent of his draws, 19, a game-high.

“It’s obviously a very big goal for him,” said coach Adam Oates about Ribiero’s goal. “He’s played pretty good hockey for us. He’s played well in the series and just hasn’t gotten one to go his way. “

The Rangers tallied the game’s first goal less than a minute into the first period, when Brian Boyle shook loose of the Caps defense. But the Capitals know how to play when they’re behind. If there’s one noticeable and admirable quality about Adam Oates’ Capitals, it’s that they don’t seem to get flustered even when they are down a few goals. The game they play while leading a game is the same one they play when trailing.

Joel Ward, playoff hero extraordinaire, scored on a Washington power play midway through the second period to bring the Capitals even with the Rangers. Not much would change until Ribiero sent the Rangers packing with his overtime game winner.

The overtime period itself was unlike anything seen during the rest of this series – and maybe in the whole of playoffs thus far. Both teams traded chances on either end for 10 minutes. It was end-to-end, adrenaline-pumping hockey. When Ribiero potted the game-winner, the Verizon Center crowd let their pent-up emotion erupt. If the roof could have been blown off the building, it would have happened Friday night.

Caps Tom Wilson makes his NHL Debut during game five in Washington, May 10, 2013 (Photo Courtesy of Brendan Sheridan/Hockeyshopped)

Caps Tom Wilson makes his NHL Debut during game five in Washington, May 10, 2013 (Photo Courtesy of Brendan Sheridan/Hockeyshopped)

Top prospect Tom Wilson made his NHL debut Friday night, at the ripe old age of 19. Postgame, Wilson was all smiles and seemed a bit lost for words to articulate his experience.

“It was everything I imagined. It was just unbelievable,” said Wilson. “The fans, you could hear them, everyone could hear them. It was just the best support we could have. And to have a finish like that — it was just a dream come true and everything I imagined.”

The Capitals now lead the series, 3-2, putting the Rangers on the brink of elimination. A win for the Capitals on Sunday will send them into the second round of the playoffs, but the Rangers could force a Game 7 if they are able to best the Capitals.

Oates says the key for the Capitals is how they start the game. “We talked about trying to have a better start, which we didn’t really have again tonight.”

“Obviously it’s going to be their barn, their building, their people,” said Oates. “It’s going to be electric. We’ve got to handle the first 10 minutes of the game; once we get into the game we’re okay. It’s good hockey, as you saw tonight, but we’ve got to have a good start.”

Game 6 is scheduled for Sunday at 4:30p.m. from Madison Square Garden.

Washington Capitals Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game 2: ‘Casual Mike’ Green’s OT goal, Holtby’s shutout put Capitals up 2-0 in series

Going into this series with the New York Rangers, the Washington Capitals knew there would be tight games against John Tortorella’s stingy shot-blocking team. Getting quality shots through defensemen and past Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist would be key to the Capitals success.

Saturday afternoon,  the Capitals showed they were up to the challenge. After no score during three periods of play, all it took was a cool-headed Mike Green shot on the power play to win it, 1-0, for the Capitals, putting them 2-0 in the best-of-seven series over the Rangers. The goal was assisted by Mike Ribiero and Alex Ovechkin.

Green made sure to give credit to Ribiero for the pass. “He does such a great job drawing guys to him and obviously they are on Ovi, so I just happened to be open and my goal to get it by the first guy and try to hit the net,” he said.  It was his eighth career playoff goal, and his eighteenth career game-winning goal and the first overtime game-winning goal of his career.

“We talk about this a lot,” said coach Adam Oates on Green’s ability to score in high-pressure situations. “It’s a reason why I don’t want Mike to try too hard to be a scorer during the game because we need him to have the poise back there at a key moment when it’s a big power play, place is going crazy, there’s electricity. You need guys out there who are calm. That’s one of his gifts.”

Defenseman Karl Alzner agreed. “He’s a big-time player, he handles the pressure well. He’s calm all the time with the puck in regulation, so when it gets to overtime and guys start to get the shakes a little bit, he’s still calm Mike Green,” he said.

“He’s able to find those holes, it really is amazing, I wish I could do it like him. We call him Casual Mike every now and then,” Alzner quipped.

Special teams have arguably been the deciding factor thus far in this series. The Capitals’ penalty kill has been perfect, while the Rangers’ power play has been sputtering. Out of seven total Rangers power plays, the Capitals have allowed exactly zero Rangers goals. Conversely, the Capitals’ power play is firing on all cylinders. They have two goals on seven power play opportunities.

The Rangers had three power plays, not including two four-on-four situations, but the Capitals penalty kill picked a great time to click, only allowing two shots on the three Rangers man-advantages.

“We’ve been working hard and working together,” said center Nicklas Backstrom when asked about what’s working on the penalty kill. “That’s the biggest key, I think. They have really good players on their team, so you’ve got to make sure to take away all those options.”

The power play that led to Green’s game-winning goal was earned after a delay-of-game penalty was called on New York’s Ryan McDonagh – a situation that Karl Alzner was faced with earlier in the game. Alzner attempted to tip the puck out of the Capitals’ zone, but it bounced up over the glass. After the initial no-call on the play, the officiating staff called into Toronto to get clarification of the rule, and it was determined that the call made on the ice was correct. It is only a penalty if the puck is deliberately shot out of the zone and ends up over the glass.

Goaltender Braden Holtby recorded his first career playoff shutout, stopping all 24 shots that came his way.  Holtby downplayed his accomplishment, acknowledging that a personal milestone takes less precedence than a team victory. “A shutout’s one thing, but a win is the big thing,” he said.

The Capitals will take on the Rangers in Game 3 of the series at Madison Square Garden on Monday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m.

 

Katie Brown is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page. She grew up in Virginia and Maryland, currently resides in Arlington, VA, and developed a love for the sport of hockey as a youngster while watching her brothers play. She combined her enthusiasm for the game with her love of writing after college. Katie has covered the Capitals as credentialed media for two seasons for several area blogs before joining the DSP staff. Katie works at a nonprofit organization by day but the rest of her time is devoted to watching, writing, and talking about hockey and perfecting her mean one-timer. You can follow Katie on Twitter@katie_brown47.

Washington Capitals Game 48 Recap: Fehr beats Bruins again on overtime goal; Caps face Rags in ECQFs

GREEN WITH TWO GOALS; CAPS TO FACE NEW YORK RANGERS IN STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

With the third seed in the Eastern Conference bracket of the Stanley Cup Playoffs sewn up entering the game, the Washington Capitals had very little to play for Saturday evening except health and pride. For the Boston Bruins, however, first place in the Northeast Division was still up for grabs, so the game had a little more significance.

An entertaining affair boiled down to overtime, and the Caps’ Eric Fehr, as he did earlier in the season, tallied the game winner in the extra frame as the Caps finished the NHL regular season with a 3-2 win over the Bruins, setting up a Quarterfinals Matchup with the New York Rangers for the fourth time in five years.

The Bruins gained a point and own a one-point lead over Montreal in the Northeast with one game to play.

Fehr’s tally came on a four-on-three power play, with Boston’s monolith Zdeno Chara off for hauling down Mike Ribeiro. Riberio found Mike Green with a cross-ice pass at the left-wing circle for a blast that Tuukka Rask couldn’t handle. The rebound popped into the slot, and Fehr slipped past defenseman Wade Redden to get enough of the puck with his backhand to flip it past the sprawled Rask (34 saves) and into the net. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 42 Recap: “Game Over” Green beats Lightning in OT

What started out as a laugher ended up as a nailbiter, as the Washington Capitals frittered a four-goal lead to the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night in front of a squirming sellout crowd at Verizon Center, prompting overtime. There, a terrific offensive move by an inconsistent forward drew a four-on-three power play which resulted in a scintillating goal for one of the hottest Caps players to deliver a 6-5 win and a four point lead in the Southeast Division with six games remaining in the regular season.

The Capitals, winners of seven straight, are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, 13-3-1 in their last 17 games, and their 48 points would qualify for sixth in the conference were they not leading the Southeast, enjoying the No. 3 seed that comes with that distinction.

The overtime goal came at four-on-three courtesy of Marcus Johansson, who gathered a puck along the right wing boards and made a slick move around veteran Vincent Lecavalier, dangling the puck at the end of his stick. Johansson cut hard to the Lightning net, where Lecavalier had little choice but to haul down the Caps forward or surrender a clean scoring chance.

But the tactic only delayed the outcome for a few more moments. On the ensuing power play, Mike Green collected a pass from Mike Ribeiro, took two strides into the high slot, and fired a BB past Mathieu Garon, Tampa’s second goalie of the night, for the game-winner — his tenth of the season.

The overtime tally was the 15th game-winning goal of Green’s career, the sixth in overtime. He ranks tied for third among active defensemen in overtime goals.

“Tomorrow we are going to wake up and we have our two points and that’s all that matters,” Green said, alluding to Tampa Bay’s comeback. “And this game’s put away, but we have to learn from this. We can’t let situations like that happen. They used to call us the Cardiac Kids for a reason and we showed that tonight.”

Washington raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, with Troy Browuer (16), Jack Hillen (2) and Alex Ovechkin (27) all tallying against Lightning starter Ben Bishop. The Capitals dominated play at both ends and Tampa looked interested only in getting it over with and heading for the bus.

The Caps extended the lead to four early in the second on Jason Chimera’s second goal of the season. Tampa showed a bit of life, answering a minute later with Richard Panik’s first goal of the night. But two minutes later, Eric Fehr tipped in a nifty pass from Matthieu Perreault and at 5-1, things looked bleak for the Lightning.

Tampa Bay cut the lead to three with less than two minutes to go in the second on a goal by Martin St. Louis, setting up the big third period comeback. The Caps, who seemed to be playing from their heels in the third frame, surrendered three third period goals to complete the comeback and force overtime.

Head coach Adam Oates described how the Caps fell flat after playing so well the first 40 minutes of the game. “Guess there is no really easy explanation. First of all, they are a good team. And everything went our way in the first period. You lose a little bit of momentum because it was a little too easy, you get a little flat and all of a sudden, here they come. You start sinking yourself and before you know it, it’s happening pretty fast.”

The Caps are off until Tuesday when they will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:00 pm.

Washington Capitals Game 35 Recap: Caps Blow Two-Goal Lead in 5-4 OT Loss to Flyers

Desperate for standings points to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Washington Capitals took and then frittered away a two-goal lead in the third period to fall 5-4 on the road to the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday night in Philadelphia on a last-gasp goal by Kimmo Timonen to send the game to overtime, where Ruslan Fedotenko put the Caps out of their misery.

Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Marcus Johansson, and Alexander Ovechkin all scored for Washington, while Braden Holtby made 29 saves in the losing effort.

Although Timonen’s goal only tied the game, it clearly deflated Washington, who mustered no offensive pressure in the extra frame. D.C.’s nominal shutdown defensive pair of Karl Alzner and John Carlson failed to react to slick passing between Timonen, Sean Couturier, and Fedotenko, while the forward duo of Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro could only look on helplessly as Fedotenko easily slotted Timonen’s cross-ice pass into the empty net for the win. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 5 Re-Cap: Late penalty costly, but missed opportunities the story for Caps

“That’s what happens when we play a style where we block a lot shots. Sometimes those go in.” Braden Holtby (per @TarikElBashir)

It’s an easy narrative to blame Joel Ward’s untimely four-minute high-sticking penalty as the reason the Washington Capitals lost Game 5, 3-2 in overtime, to the New York Rangers, falling behind three games to two in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals.

But in reality, the Capitals were lucky to be where they were considering how badly they were dominated in long stretches by the Rangers, and can only be disappointed in themselves for failing to convert on at least four odd-man rushes in the third period. The game should have been over before Ward’s stick rode up Carl Hagelin’s as they got tangled up on a defensive zone draw — lost by Jay Beagle to Brad Richards — and clipped Hagelin in the jaw, drawing blood in his mouth. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 3 Re-Cap: Third overtime unkind as Caps fall to Rangers 2-1

New York Rangers celebrate third overtime win, May 2 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Heck of a game.

It was the third longest game in Washington Capitals history. And if you know anything about that history, you also know that all previous games that went to a third overtime ended in Caps losses. On their home ice. Wednesday night, unfortunately, was no different.

Marian Gaborik, who’s been an invisible man for the New York Rangers in this series, finished a broken play, sliding the puck between Braden Holtby’s legs at 14:41 of the third overtime period, giving the Rangers a 2-1 win in Game 3, and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Semifinal series. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 67 Re-cap: Ovechkin overtime winner caps comeback over Lightning

“He said just quit trying to use your skill, and use your will a little bit more.” Brooks Laich, on what Dale Hunter told the team at second intermission.

It’s a tough way to win, but the Washington Capitals will take every two points they can right now. After one of their worse periods of hockey this season, they played one of their best. They tied the game with just under four minutes remaining, then got the winner from their captain with just 51 seconds left in overtime, sending the Tampa Bay Lightning home losers 3-2.

With Florida’s loss to Philadelphia, the Caps are just two points out of first place in the Southeast Division.

The Caps took the first lead, when a shot from the point by Karl Alzner hit Keith Aucoin’s stick and redirected past Tampa goalie Dustin Tokarski, making his first NHL start. Alzner’s shot would not have gone on net, and Aucoin had his back to the play, being spun around by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. [Read more…]

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