It has been an amazing regular season for the Washington Capitals who ended as the Metropolitan Division Champions for the fourth season in a row. It was one last regular season match between old friends Barry Trotz and Todd Reirden; now foes on the ice and new rivals as the Isles shutout the Caps 3-0.
We now know who the Capitals will play in the first round of the playoffs: Carolina Hurricanes at home! Date TBD.
The team was lean on Saturday in Chinatown as Nick Backstrom, TJ Oshie, and John Carlson rested their legs. The line up was different- with some of the third line shifting up.
Ovechkin Kuznetsov Wilson
Hagelin Eller Connolly
Vrana Boyd Jaskin
Burakovsky Dowd Stephenson
Orlov & Niskanen
Siegenthaler & Jensen
Orpik & Djoos
Pheonix Copley in the net to rest Holtby
It was a slow smooth start to the game. At this stage, neither team had anything to prove. Even Capital One Arena was oddly quite. The refs pretty much let the teams play without much stoppage of play. Copley did have a cool dive to save and that finally got the crowd cheering! The period ended with no goals, no penalties, and a total of eight shots on goal for each team.
Pheonix Copley, ladies and gents! pic.twitter.com/ueTky1SLIJ
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 6, 2019
Back they came after 20 minutes of rest. The Islanders got control of the puck and down the ice came Valtteri Filppula with a wrist shot past the Caps goaltender to make it 1-0 Isles. Next up was a penalty by Carl Hagelin with a hooking call putting the Caps a man short. A good Caps PK. Then the Caps had an opportunity to go with an extra man following a Devon Toews holding call- but nothing came of it. End of the second and the Isles had the one-point advantage. The Caps did out-shoot the Islanders 10-5 but couldn’t get one in the back of the net.
The hope was the Capitals would come out with a bit more fight in their game for the third. The Caps had their third puck hit the post without a successful goal. Close just not close enough. The Capitals were served another opportunity with a power play after Ryan Pulock hooked Ovechkin. Ovi shot. Kuzy shot. That’s pretty much all that happened. On a deflection, Filppula scored again, 2-0 Islanders. The Caps pulled their goalie and the Islanders took advantage with an empty netter for 3-0 win.
This game is no indication of how the Caps will play come their first game in the playoffs. We fully expect to see the drive, tenacity, and full-on power of their play the moment the puck drops.
We are ready for BACK TO BACK!!