In their first game back at home after a three-game road trip, the Washington Capitals took on the LA Kings. Philip Grubauer got the start in net for the Caps and LA got their top tier tendy back as Jonathan Quick started for them. This game also marked the return of beloved D-man, Brooks Orpik, who played after missing 40 games. With the return of Orpik, Taylor Chorney was a healthy scratch for the Caps, along with Stanislav Galiev. Jay Beagle is still on injured reserve.
PERIOD 1-Shorty Got Game
After an abysmal second period in Dallas, you could see a huge difference in the Caps this game. There were some great chances early but no one could sneak one past Quick. There were some big hits and bodies were definitely flying. Whistle happy refs had each team marching a few players to the penalty box. Toward the end of the period, the Caps seemed to unravel a little and that allowed the Kings to score shorthanded.
GOALS- A shorthanded goal scored by Anze Kopitar, assisted by Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty.
PENALTIES- Trevor Lewis called for holding, TJ Oshie called for holding, Alec Martinez called for tripping, Andre Burakovsky called for holding, and Jordan Nolan called for boarding.
SCORE-Caps down, 0-1
PERIOD 2-Five for Fighting
With a quiet start to the period, both sides had some great chances; however, both netminders kept their creases clear and their goals empty. Tom Wilson and Luke Schenn had a tango on ice when Schenn took exception to a hit from Wilson that sent Schenn into and then upended his Quickie. Alex Oveckin joined Willy in the box for an additional two minutes slapped on the penalty for ‘interference.’ With less than a minute remaining in the period, a deflection finally got a puck past Quick and got the Caps on the board.
GOALS- Andre Burakovsky scored his 12th goal of the season, assisted by Dmitry Orlov and Brooks Orpik (yes, that Brooks).
PENALTIES- Tom Wilson was called for fighting (five) and interference (served by Alex Ovechkin), Luke Schenn called for fighting (five), and Brayden McNabb called for hooking.
SCORE- Caps tie it up, 1-1
PERIOD 3-Feeling Grubi…
Caps seemed to be playing with some fire. They had great scoring chances where they had Quick beat but pushed the puck wide of the net. Grubauer was amazing! He made some fantastic saves. With 2:02 left, the Caps had a great heads-up play that gave them their first lead of the game. The Kings pulled Quick and the Caps took advantage and sunk and empty net goal.
GOALS-Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his 16th goal of the season, assisted by Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky, Jason Chimera scored his 16th goal of the season, assisted by Marcus Johansson and Karl Alzner.
PENALTIES- Tyler Tiffoli called for hooking.
SCORE-CAPS WIN, 3-1
Yes, we were feeling a little musical tonight…blame it on the Grammys.
On social media earlier today, a lot of people were worried and nervous about Grubi starting against the Kings over an obviously stellar Braden Holtby. We think Grubi proved himself tonight and definitely showed that he is way more reliable and every bit as awesome a goaltender as is Holtby. He has a few areas that still need work but that is to be expected from a rookie. Grubi was awesome tonight and this just adds to our confidence in him.
And there is no doubt that the return of Brooks Orpik added fuel to the fire of a winning Caps team tonight. Surprisingly, he played 16.43 minutes with one assist, five hits, and two blocks. In his post-game presser Coach said he didn’t see any of that rust you’d expect to (from a player who missed 40 games.) When he said he was ready to come back—he wasn’t kidding around. One can only imagine what happens when a healthy Jay Beagle returns to the lineup – soon…
The Caps are now 41-10-4 with 86 points. And still in first place everywhere!
17 Feb, Wednesday, 1130 am Caps Practice at Kettler Iceplex (open to public)
18 Feb, Thursday, 1130 am, Morning Skate at Barclays Center (closed to public)
18 Feb, Thursday, 7 pm, at New York Islanders
18 Feb, Friday, 1230 pm, Practice at Kettler Iceplex (open to public)
Written by: Ashley Reid
Photos by Brittney Marcum