March 24, 2017

Washington Capitals Game 71 Recap: Blues indeed, Caps lose with Grubrauer in and Oshie out

Coming into this game, the Blues had dominated with three shut-out wins, this one makes four as the Caps fall 4-0 to the Blues.

The St. Louis Blues (44-22-9) are fighting hard for home ice positioning in the west, while the Washington Capitals (53-15-5) are one point away from the President’s trophy. The Blues just wanted this one more. The Blues played as the Caps did in December, four small breakdowns and four opportunities taken advantage of.

The Blues’ first goal came as Dimitri Orlov gave up a soft turnover in the offensive zone, allowing the Blues’ Kyle Brodziak a quick snipe on an unprepared Philipp Grubauer.

[Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 55 Recap: Yet another hero emerges as Caps beat Kings

GRUBAUER SPECTACULAR WITH 39 SAVES; KUZNETSOV NETS WINNER LATE IN THIRD

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Brooks Orpik finally returned after a long absence to play his fifteenth game of the season, but it was Philipp Grubauer’s 14th appearance in net this year that propelled the Caps to a hard-fought victory.

Grubauer made 39 saves, keeping the Caps competitive on the way to the 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. The young netminder stopped everything from nasty rebounds to one-on-one breakaways — the backup keeper was nothing short of astounding in play.

The Kings (33-20-3 69 points) and Washington Capitals (41-10-4 86 points) faced off at Verizon in a game that at times felt like one that would be played in June, as Justin Williams and Mike Richards took on their former club. [Read more…]

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 45 Recap: Williams picks up hat trick as Caps best Rangers

CAPITALS WIN 12TH STRAIGHT AT HOME, ONE SHY OF FRANCHISE RECORD

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Returning to their winning ways after an uncharacteristically sloppy performance on Saturday against Buffalo, the Washington Capitals used three goals from Justin Williams — his second career hat trick — and one each from Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson to beat the New York Rangers 5-2 on Sunday night in the District.

The win puts the Caps (34-8-3) 17 points ahead of the New York Islanders in the Metro Division, with the Rangers 18 points back.

The Rangers held a one-point lead in the division on Dec. 1. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 44 Recap: Nobody’s perfect, Caps fall to Sabres

HOLTBY’S POINT STREAK ENDS AT 22, CAPS WIN STREAK ENDS AT FIVE

(Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Vezina Trophy front-runner Braden Holtby was pulled in the second period, but it wasn’t enough to turn around an uncharacteristically lackluster performance from the Washington Capitals, who lost 4-1 to the Buffalo Sabres.

Dimitri Orlov and Braden Holtby may want a redo on tonight’s game. Buffalo’s first and second goals came off of Orlov mistakes, and Holtby was pulled in the second after letting in three goals on 16 shots.

The first Sabres’ goal came off a rebound shot that Phillip Varone picked up and put behind Holtby after the Sabres caught Orlov drifting and Holtby failed to prevent a rebound. It was Orlov’s next mistake, however, that was a dagger. On the Caps’ second power play, Orlov failed to hold down the blue line, and as the puck slid past him — and so did Tim Schaller of the Sabres. An excellent breakaway chance led to the second goal of the night. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 33 Recap: Grubauer solid, Caps enter break with gritty win over Canes

CAPS ENTER BREAK TIED FOR MOST WINS, POINTS IN THE LEAGUE AND NINE-POINT LEAD IN METRO

(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals are proving adept a winning hockey games in lots of different ways. The league should take notice.

On Monday, backup goalie Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves — and defenders blocked 27 more shots — as the Caps won their sixth in a row, a 2-1 decision over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Caps enter the Christmas break at 25-6-2 as they extended their franchise-best start of the season. Washington leads the Metro Division over the New York Islanders by nine points — with two games in hand — at the break. The Caps are 13-1-1 in their past 15 games. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 31 Recap: Caps rally from 3 goals down to beat Lightning

OVECHKIN, OSHIE SCORE TWICE APIECE, JOHANSSON NETS EVENTUAL GAME-WINNER

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Yeah, that happened.

The Washington Capitals dug themselves a 3-goal hole and watched goalie stalwart Braden Holtby get yanked. As it happens some times, the goalie getting pulled provided the needed spark.

Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie scored two goals apiece, and Marcus Johansson provided the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Caps rallied to beat Tampa Bay 5-3 before a stunned capacity crowd at Verizon Center.

It’s the first time the Capitals (23-6-2-48) have erased a three-goal deficit to win in regulation since Oct. 16, 2008 at Pittsburgh.

Holtby allowed three goals on 12 shots not quite halfway through the contest. Philipp Grubauer relieved and saved all seven shots he faced. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 16 Recap: Caps end of game surge is extinguished by the Flames in OT

WASHINGTON CAPITALS PLAYED WITH “URGENCY” IN THIRD PERIOD BUT IT WASN’T ENOUGH TO WIN

“I’m not happy with the overall result,” stated Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz after the 3-2 overtime loss to Flames, however, “I think the positive is that we came back and got a point…our team is better than one period of hockey.”

The Washington Capitals hosted the Calgary Flames on Friday the 13th making it their third game in just four days, with the first two games on the road. The travel fatigue seemed to effect the Caps and had only one shot on goal for the first ten minutes.

Calgary was skating very fast and the Caps struggled to keep up with them for the first forty minutes. The Caps felt the urgency and bounced back in the third. Trott referred to the third and fourth lines as his “workers” and credits the bottom six for stepping it up. Michael Latta and Jay Beagle scored for the Caps.

“Latta was a spark plug,” said Trotz. Michael Latta scored his first goal of the season and his second career goal (11/15/13 at DET). Latta has earned 12 points (2g, 10a) in 77 career NHL games.

Goalie Braden Holtby had the night off and Philip Grubauer was in net for the Capitals and stopped 26 of 29 shots in his third start of the season. Trotz called Grubauer “pretty sharp” and made some critical saves to keep the Caps in the game.

Captain Alex Ovechkin still has the monkey on this back and wants to get the goal and move on. Coach Trotz weighed in at the post-game presser.  “Today I did [sense mounting pressure] for the first time. I think he wants to get it [passing Sergei Fedorov (483) for first place among Russian-born NHL players in career goals]. There’s no question. I haven’t talked to him about it, but the best advice I can give him is to ‘play your normal game.’ He’s scored a gazillion goals in this league, and to our team: don’t look for Ovi [Alex Ovechkin] to score that goal. Don’t overpass. He’s scored a lot of goals. Play the way we play, and I guarantee you, he will score that goal, and he’ll score many after that.”

A few of the players had shared their thoughts about playing with urgency and resiliency of the team.

Brooks Laich: “With a caliber of hockey team that we have, we expected more. I know it’s three games in four nights, but they traveled last night too, they played last night. There’s no excuses. If you look at our hockey team, I think it’s a game that we should’ve had. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get it.”

Michael Latta:  “We’ve got a lot of great character in this room. It shows. We could’ve had a couple more in the third, I feel like, We’ve got a great group in here. We never give up, that’s for sure.”

Andre Burakovsky : “I think we have so much energy… I think everyone can really go for 60 minutes here. At the end of the games, other teams are getting tired but we can just keep going. I think we kind of know that we have to come back every time we get the puck behind their D [defense]. That’s the way we want to play, that’s where we’re good. That’s something we have to do all the time, not just at the end.”

Congratulations to Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz for coaching his 1,294th NFL game which ties Jacques Martin for 10th place on the all-time NHL games coached list.

Washington Capitals lit up the ice at Verizon Center in Washington DC to represent the French flag in honor of Paris victims during the National Anthem. Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals lit up the ice at Verizon Center in Washington DC to represent the French flag in honor of Paris victims during the National Anthem. Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Caps Notes:

- The Capitals outshot Calgary 36-29 and won 33 of 65 faceoffs (50.7%).
- Washington has held its opponents to 30 or fewer shots in 14 consecutive games (10/15-11/13), marking the longest streak since the Capitals held their opponents to 30 or fewer shots in 14 consecutive games during the 1999-2000 season (1/6/00-2/3/00). The franchise record for most consecutive games holding an opponent to fewer than 30 shots is 20 games, set during the 1984-85 season.
- The Capitals have posted a 6-2-1 record at home this season and have earned a point in four consecutive games at Verizon Center (10/30-11/13: 3-0-1).
Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals’ 278th consecutive sellout at Verizon Center.

NEXT GAME: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at Detroit Red Wings at 8:00 p.m. (ET)

Washington Capitals Game 10 Recap: Caps win in OT on Kuznetsov goal

GRUBAUER MAKES 27 SAVES TO KEEP CAPS COMPETITIVE UNTIL OVERTIME

(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

After beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 at Verizon Center on Friday night, the Washington Capitals played their second game in as many days as they headed to Sunrise, Florida to take on the Florida Panthers.  In the first overtime game of the season, with 3-on-3, the Caps pulled off the road win with a goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov.

The action was sparse in the first period.  The Capitals were put on the penalty a minute and a half into the game when Jay Beagle was called for tripping, and had to kill another later when Karl Alzner was called for hooking.  Despite the Panthers having two man-advantages, they couldn’t get any shots past Philipp Grubauer.  It was scoreless at the end of the first period. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals Game 2 Recap: Caps score twice in third, shock Islanders

Down 3-1, and having given up a critical goal shortly after tallying their much-needed first, the Washington Capitals were in very dire straits and at risk of falling behind the New York Islanders two games to none in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Spurred on by their fans as well as improved puck control, they ensured that talk of a potential sweep would be just that – talk.

A spirited final 30 minutes of hockey, in which Washington scored three unanswered goals in a space of 11 minutes and 28 seconds (spanning two periods), lifted Washington to a 4-3 win in Game 2 of their best-of-seven series against the Islanders in front of a raucous crowd Friday night at Verizon Center.

[Read more…]

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