Caps Tame the Wild

This win is the Capitals’ 45th win of the season, which matches their number of wins in the entirety of last season. The Capitals still have yet to lose two consecutive games in regulation. This season may have its bumps but it is still amazing.

First Period: Another Slow Start
The game started slow for both teams but the Wild would out-shoot the Capitals, 9-2, in the first 10:04. The Capitals would not get another shot on goal until 15:05 courtesy of Evgeny Kuznetsov. Penalty trouble was a theme in this period as the Caps took three penalties. The penalty kill was successful for the first two penalties but on the third, Minnesota’s only power play shot-on-goal got through Braden Holtby. It is now seven consecutive games that the Capitals have allowed the first goal.

GOALS: Mikko Koivo scored his 13th of the season (assisted by Ryan Suter)

PENALTIES: Brooks Orpik (holding); Matt Niskanen (roughing); Tom Wilson (tripping)

SCORE: Caps trail 1-0.

Second Period: Career High for Orpik

49 seconds into the second, defenseman Brooks Orpik scored his career-high third goal of season. The Caps looked to not repeat the first period. But Nino Niederreiter got the Wild their lead back with a breakaway goal 5:05 into the second. Defenseman Taylor Chorney could not get to Niederreiter to take away the puck. The Capitals were trapped in their own zone for a lengthy amount of time during this period. Minnesota’s goaltender Darcy Kuemper made an amazing save on Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin late in the second. The Caps outshot the Wild 13-10 in the period but the Wild had a 22-16 overall lead.

GOALS: Brooks Orpik scored his third of the season (assisted by Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin); Nino Niederreiter scored his 12th of the season (assisted by Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville)

PENALTIES: None
SCORE: Caps trail 2-1.

 

Third Period: The “O” Factor.

The Capitals came out shooting while the Wild got away with some penalties. The Burakovsky-Kuznetsov-Williams line had a fantastic shift in the Wild zone. Goaltender Kuemper deniedWatermarked Photo 2 (2016-02-26-2340) Burakovsky and then took a delay of game penalty for intentionally knocking the net off its moorings. Alex Ovechkin did what he does best,
score power play goals. Ovechkin is the first player to reach 40 goals this season and he is the tenth player to have eight 40-goal seasons. With about five minutes left in the game, Dmitry Orlov scored the eventual game-winning goal. Holtby secured the win by not letting the Wild tie with the extra attacker.
GOALS: Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th of the season (assisted by Matt Niskanen and Nicklas Backstrom); Dmitry Orlov scored his seventh of the season (assisted by Andre Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov)

PENALTIES: Darcy Kuemper (delay of game)

SCORE: Caps win 3-2. Watermarked Photo 3 (2016-02-26-2340)

Notes: 

Marcus Johansson is a new dad (baby girl) and so is newly acquired defenseman Mike Weber (baby boy). There was no John Carlson (lower body injury) or Michael Latta (flu) in the lineup. Minnesota’s Darcy Kuemper made his first start against the Capitals. 

WHAT’S NEXT?
Practice: 11:30am on Saturday at Ketter Capitals Iceplex.

Game: 12:30pm against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

Written by: Renee Garces

Photos by: Brittney Marcum 

Caps-Wild Line Projections

team

It’s a cold and windy Friday night in Chinatown as the Minnesota Wild meet the Washington Capitals. Both teams are coming into the match after a loss. For the Wild, former Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth put a stop to their hopes for a fresh start with a last minute stretch save that surprised even his Flyers teammates. The St. Paul team has two consecutive losses after a brief four-game winning streak. They have a new man in charge and the hope to somehow gather enough points to get into a wild card position.

  •  The Wild are missing some of their key players tonight with Zack Parise out for an upper body injury and Jason Zucker out with a concussion.
  • Top scorers in the Wild lineup tonight. are Mikko Koivu, Charlie Coyle, and Thomas Vanek.
  • Keep an eye on their defense, especially Loui Eriksson and Matt Dumba.

Wild Lines

  • Schroeder Koivu Coyle
  • Porter Granlund Vanek
  • Niederreiter Haula Pominville
  • Carter Stroll Fontaine
  • Suter Spurgeon
  • Scabdekka  Dumba
  • Reilly Folin

Dubrynk or Kuemper in the net
The Washington Capitals on the other hand are still leading the league in points and games won and unless they get sloppy, are likely to keep that lead going into the playoffs. The last few games have been tough on the Boyz but they never seem to lose the drive to win.


For now the biggest problem they may have is keeping everyone healthy. First Marcus Johansson had a little something, now Michael Latta is sick. Makes you wonder if they weren’t feeling 100 percent on Wednesday…

Your Caps lines as we know them now:

  • Ovechkin Backstrom Oshie
  • Burakovsky Kuznetsov Williams
  • Chimera Johansson Wilson
  • Laich Richards Galiev
  • Schmidt Carlson
  • Alzner Niskanen
  • Orpik Orlov

Holtby in the net with Grubauer backing him up.

coaches call

Trotz Corner:  Latta could be in, but unlikely. Coach hinted that Chorney could be in but would not say who he would pull. We are betting Orlov or Carlson. Beagle not ready to return yet.

 

 

A few additional shots from practice: Chimera took a tumble and left a little less than happy. And…we aren’t sure what exactly was going on at the bench…

Let’s hope the team philosophy to never lose more than one game rings true tonight.