What a night in Washington DC. It was a long fight to see who would advance to round two of the playoffs. The Carolina Hurricanes led by former Caps and LA Kings Justin Williams or the Washington Capitals led by defending champ Alex Ovechkin. After 60 minutes of regular play, a tied game pushed the teams into not one, but two overtime periods. The dream for the Capitals to repeat their success ended in a seventh game 4-3 loss. Continue reading “Game Seven Too Much for the Caps”
We’ll keep this short: The Capitals went to Raleigh hoping to finish the series and advance to round two. That did not happen as the Hurricanes outplayed them at home again securing a 5-2 win over the Caps. Braden Holtby did what he could but without the help of his teammates he was left stranded to defend the title. Continue reading “Capitals Head Home for a Game Seven”
Monday’s game was hot garbage, plain and simple. The Caps were dominated in every aspect of the game and Carolina fed off of a capacity crowd that has waited 10 years for the Hurricanes to be back in the playoffs. So the question the Caps have to answer is: what now? Continue reading “Caps Get Blown Out in Raleigh 5-0, What Now?”
The Capitals played an exciting game Thursday, 11 March against the Carolina Hurricanes. There were some ups (like a 3-0 lead in the first period) and some downs (like no scoring in the second) and some areas of frustration (letting the Canes score twice in the third). In the end though, the Caps were valiant and won the first battle in what many hope will be another long summer of playing. FiCP photographer Mel Abernethy was up close to the glass capturing some of the before, during, and after moments. Continue reading “Capitals Round One Game One Winning Photos”
The first game of the first round of the 2019 NHL Playoffs and the Washington Capitals proved they still have what it takes to win. They made it look easy at points and at points fans were on the edge of their seats. The Caps brought a sweet 4-2 defeat over the Carolina Hurricanes. Continue reading “It’s Been A Year and the Capitals Still Have It”
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.
TLDR: Goals by Brett Connolly, Jakub Vrana, and Nic Dowd lift the Capitals over the Carolina Hurricanes, guaranteeing a post-season appearance, and earn 100 points for the 5th consecutive season.
Tonight, the Washington Capitals hoped to clinch their playoff berth. A win tonight would also allow the Capitals to reach the 100 point mark for the 5th consecutive season. With a win, or an overtime Caps’ loss and the Canadiens/Blue Jackets’ game being decided in regulation, Washington would snag a playoff spot with four games remaining. Having won all 3 previous match-ups with Carolina, a win tonight would mean another regular season series sweep.
T.J. Oshie did not dress for tonights’ match-up, and therefore Andre Burakovsky would be entrusted with the second line right-winger spot. Paired with Carl Hagelin and Jakub Vrana, one could just call that second line the ‘speedy second’. Just four minutes into the first period, Nino Neiderreiter scored his 22nd goal of the season, giving the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. Shortly thereafter, Brett Connolly would tie it, as he also scored his 22nd of the season.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 28, 2019
Once Connolly scored the equalizer, the Hurricanes gave the Caps very little room to operate. The combined speed and shot generation from Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen of the Canes gave the good guys some trouble, but Caps’ goaltender Braden Holtby was able to keep them off the board in the first. With no power plays to speak of, the Caps and Canes headed into the intermission tied 1-1.
In the second period, we hoped the Capitals would tighten up, especially in front of the goal. Carolina had way too many good looks from the point, and with eight players with 15 or more goals, it’s only a matter of time until they score. The Capitals played a much more dominating period. A Canes 2-on-1 was thwarted by a beautiful save by Holtby half-way through the period. Warren Foegle would give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead as Carolina tied up defenseman Nick Jensen and drew Holtby out of the net. It was apparent that the Capitals were not playing as carefully as they had on Tuesday. If the Caps want to get out of PNC Arena with a win, they will need to eliminate the turnovers. The Capitals would receive the first power play of the night, as Alex Ovechkin was tripped up by former Cap Justin Williams. Unfortunately, the Capitals were unable to tie it up with the man-advantage. Carolina would lead 2-1, as the second period came to a close.
Through two period, shots on goal heavily favored Carolina once the Caps scored their single goal. The Hurricanes played like they needed the two points. The Capitals could seal their playoff spot with at least one point, but a win would certainly be preferable. Jakub Vrana tied the game 2-2, tallying his 23rd goal of the season, just 120 seconds into the final frame.
it's all about speed with V pic.twitter.com/CQgv7htibd
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 29, 2019
Nic Dowd would give the Capitals their first lead of the game, off a deflection right in front of McElhinney. Figurative and literal redemption for Nick Jensen, who would be credited with the primary assist. The goal would be the game-winner.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 29, 2019
Moments later, however, the Hurricanes would get their first power play of the night, as Brooks Orpik would go off for tripping. The Capitals would successfully kill of the penalty. Despite the Canes’ head coach Rod Brind’amour electing to lift netminder Curtis McElhinney, the Capitals would sweep another regular season series, winning in Raleigh 3-2.
FiCP’s Three Takeaways of the Game
- The Capitals now are guaranteed a chance to repeat.
- Overall, the defense is improving.
- Braden Holtby is playoff ready.
So much good to say about the Capitals tonight! It was a tight match. The Capitals needed a win to hang onto that first place position in the Metropolitan. They did not clinch their playoff berth yet; however, they kept that first place spot for one more night. Final score 4-1.
First- it was Evgeny Kuznetsov Bird Man Bobble Head Night! He may not have scored but he did have three assist points.
Last game the Caps were in their whites- we confess, we kept getting confused. This time the Hurricanes and Caps were in white/red red/white Jerseys and it took a hot minute to figure out who was who. Until the Capitals scored! Continue reading “Caps Take the Wind Out of Hurricanes”
It was a pretty awesome day for Capital One Arena where the Capitals defeated the Flyers for the fourth time this season. The sweep added two points for the Caps in the NHL and pushed the Flyers seven points behind the Canadiens for a wild card spot. And there was a sweet marriage proposal too!
TLDR: Brett Connolly scores 21st goal of the season, and the Caps power play continues to struggle. Sluggish start by the Capitals never gained steam, Minnesota beats Capitals 2-1.
Tonight, the Washington Capitals took on the Minnesota Wild at Capital One Arena. After dropping their last game to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the boys in red were certainly hoping to rebound and add to their 3-point cushion in the Metropolitan division. Conversely, Minnesota was fighting for a playoff run in the West, and heading into tonights’ game, were just one point out from the second wild card spot.
The Caps elected to start Braden Holtby tonight, but were missing defenceman Michal Kempny, who suffered a lower-body injury versus the Lightning. Christian Djoos was inserted back into the lineup, having been paired with John Carlson. Washington announced shortly before puck drop that Carl Hagelin would not be playing, due to illness. The Wild decided that goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who has just one win in his last 5 starts, would get the start between the pipes.
Early on in the first period, Jakub Vrana took a hard sliding hit into the boards behind Dubnyk. Luckily, he was able to quickly recover. The Capitals started off very similarly to the way they did versus Tampa. They quickly and successfully forced turnovers by the Wild, and spend a good amount of time in Minnesota’s defensive zone. The Capitals would receive the first power play of the night, as Kevin Fiala went to the box for slashing. However, they would not score. As the period progressed, the Caps seemed to lose some steam, and at one point, hadn’t registered a shot on goal in eight minutes. The Wild would score first, as Jordan Greenway snuck the puck past Holtby with under three minutes remaining in the period. Providing an opportunity for the Caps tie the game, they received a late power play, as Marcus Foligno went off to the box for slashing. Heading into the first intermission, the Capitals trailed 1-0.
The Capitals started off the middle frame with 46 seconds left on a late first period power play. Minnesota would kill off yet another shot-less Caps’ power play. Washington simply has not played with enough drive or desire, and the Wild took advantage. Luck was very much in the Caps’ favor as they were gifted another power play as Hunt went off for slashing. The Capitals would eventually waste yet another man-advantage. We would get four-on-four play for two minutes, as Brooks Orpik and Justin Zucker were sent to the box for roughing. A shot by Nick Jensen deflected, ending up behind Dubnyk, and Brett Connolly would be credited with his 21st goal of the season.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 23, 2019
With 8.6 seconds remaining, the Capitals would be faced with their first penalty kill as Tom Wilson would go off for hooking. The Wild would start the third with 1:52 left on their power play. The two teams were tied at one goal each.
While it may not have been the most exciting game of the season, it was nonetheless an important one. A Caps win would provide a decent 5-point cushion between them and the 2nd place Isles team. Tom Wilson got a great breakaway immediately out of the box, but the puck just wouldn’t cooperate. Lots of high-danger chances generated for both sides, but both Dubnyk and Holtby were sharp as could be. A missed pass led to a breakaway by Luke Kunin, and with less than eight minutes left, the Wild took a 2-1 lead. Todd Reirden would elect to pull Braden Holtby for the extra attacker, but it wouldn’t be enough. The Minnesota Wild would win this one, splitting the season series, holding the Caps to a 3-point lead in the Metro division.
FiCP’s Three Takeaways of the Game
- The Power Play needs a recharge.
- The Capitals need to improve their passing and stop. passing. in. front. of. Holtby.
- Less turnovers, please. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, this is a hockey game, not a bakery.