Caps Top in the Metro and East

This was the Washington Capitals’ only visit to the Canadian capital city. With a win the Capitals clinched the top spot in the Metropolitan division and the Eastern Conference. For this game Justin Williams moved up to the top line along Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

First Period: All the Goals!

The Capitals scored less than three minutes into the game. Mike Richards put one in after Tom Wilson took advantage of a Senators defensive breakdown. The Caps are 30-2-0 when scoring first. The Capitals also got the first power play of the game, which Alex Ovechkin converted on. The Capitals killed a 63-second 5-on-3 man advantage at the end of the first.

GOAL: Mike Richards scored his second of the season (assist: Tom Wilson); Alex Ovechkin scored his 43rd of the season (assists: Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson); Nicklas Backstrom scored his 19th of the season (assists: Jay Beagle and H

PENALTIES: Pageau (holding the stick) Too many men (served by Marcus Johansson)

SCORE: Caps lead 3-0

Second Period: So-So Second

The Capitals continued to play well. Andre Burakovsky had some qualities chances that he was upset that he did not put past Anderson. The Senators got on the board when Chris Wideman scored. The Capitals were not as speedy as the first but were not bad.

GOALS: Chris Wideman scored his sixth of the season (assist: Matt Hoffman)

PENALTIES: Nicklas Backstrom (hooking)

SCORE: Caps lead 3-1.

Third Period:

The Capitals and Senators each had a chance in the power play but neither power play converted. Mika Zibanejad made it a one-goal game with the Ottawa net empty. T.J. Oshie sealed the win with a empty netter with 12 seconds left. The Senators did outshoot the Caps in the second and third periods but the Caps held on to win.

GOALS: Mika Zibanejad scored his 18th of the season (assists: Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman); T.J. Oshie scored his 23rd of the season (assists: Karl Alzner and Daniel Winnik)

PENALTIES: Ryan Dzingel (hooking); Dmitry Orlov (tripping)

SCORE: Caps win 4-2.

The Capitals head 

What’s Next?

PRACTICE: The Caps are scheduled to have a practice at 11:30am on Wednesday and Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

GAME: The Capitals travel to Newark, New Jersey to play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center at 7pm.

Caps Look to Shake It Off Vs. Senators

Washington Capitals: 51-15-5

Ottawa Senators  34-31-8

Game time: 7:30 Tuesday

The Washington Capitals, at 107 points, first in the Metropolitan Division and first in Eastern Conference, travels to play the Ottawa Senators who sit at 76 points, fifth in the Atlantic Division and 12th in Eastern Conference. The Caps continue on their three-game road trip, having lost to the Penguins Sunday. This is the third time these two have met this season; the Capitals won the previous two in Washington 2-1 December 16 and 7-1 January 10. The Caps have secured their playoff spot and look to lock up the division and conference race this week. The Senators are struggling and sit seven points out of the final wildcard spot, currently occupied by the Detroit Red Wings. They’d really need to put together a run in order to challenge for a playoff spot.

Holtby, Caps Fatigued?
It was an ugly performance for Holtby against the Penguins, as the Caps lost in regulation for just the ninth time this season. The 26-year-old has allowed at least four goals twice in his last four starts, but he’s been playing at a Vezina Trophy level for most of the season, so it’s likely more of an outlier than anything else. However, a few games off here or there prior to the post season could do Holtby and others some good. Once they lock up the division, conference and President’s Trophy, I’m sure Trotz will start resting players.

The Caps sit second in goals per game (3.1), fourth in goals against per game (2.4), second in power play percentage (23%) and fifth in penalty kill percentage (84.1%).

  • Alex Ovechkin has recorded one goal in his last seven games. Ovechkin told reporters last week that the injury he sustained earlier this year continues to “bother” him. Even though he said he is “sore” he continues to play. He will likely earn some rest soon once they wrap up the division and conference.
  • The Caps continue to struggle in Period 1. In their last eight games, the Caps have been outscored 10-0 in the first period and have let the opponent score first in 15 of 18 games. Trotz is not too concerned about this but keeps shuffling lines to see if something will spark the team to get them out of their first period funk. However, he also said Sunday that he is “not letting anyone off the hook ” for their poor performance in Pittsburgh.


Time Running Out for Ottawa
With nine games remaining DSC_0224(18 possible points), Ottawa is certainly not out of the playoff race. However, the hill will be tough to climb as they have Carolina (76 points), New Jersey (77 points), Philadelphia (80 points) and Detroit (83 points) ahead of them. They will need a lot of help to grab onto the last wildcard spot.

The Senators are fifth in goals per game (2.8) but a dismal 27th in goals against (3.0), 26th in power play percentage (16.4%) and 29th in penalty kill percentage (75.4%). After a 5-0 win over the Canadiens on Saturday, the Sens will be pumped and ready to fight for two points.

  • The Sens can be expected to play for pride if nothing else. Their inconsistent season could make Tuesday night a surprising game, especially if the Caps are the least bit shaky.
  • Starting Goaltenders look to be Craig Anderson for Ottawa, who is 29-22-4 with a 2.80 GAA and .918 save percentage and Braden Holtby for the Capitals, who is 43-9-4 with a 2.26 GAA and .921 save percentage.

NOTE: Don’t be surprised if Trotz decides Holtby needs rest.  Philipp Grubauer would then get the nod in net. He is 8-6-1 with a 2.19 GAA and .924 save percentage.

Here’s hoping the Caps can snap out of their first period funk and score first for a change.

LET’S GO CAPS!

Written by Christopher Johnson

Caps Send Sens Home After Historic 7-1 Win

Celebrate good times, COME ON!

Everybody celebrate!

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The Washington Capitals came back home from a nail biting overtime victory in Madison Square Garden to take on the Ottawa Senators at the Verizon Center. After a beautiful save from Braden Holtby in conjunction with Nate Schmidt, Alex Ovechkin was all too happy to end the game on his own terms and bring the Caps home with the victory and 2 points. After scoring goals 498 and 499 in New York, everyone knew how important this next game could be to Ovi and Capitals history.

In the chase…
On the edge of his milestone 500th NHL goal, Ovi was shooting pucks galore! He had 7 shots on goal in the first period alone. However, he just could not get the puck into the back of the net. Caps fans did still get to celebrate, though. Here is how the first period shook out:
-Justin Williams scored his 13th goal of the season, assisted by Andre Burakovsky. Not to be outdone, TJ Oshie got one past Andrew Hammond for his 15th of the seasoIMG_5744n. Oshie converted on the powerplay thanks to an assist from Evgeny Kuznetsov.
-Bobby Ryan was the first to be called for a penalty, being whistled for interference. This penalty would end up leading to the Caps second goal of the evening. During a face
off, Tom Wilson and Max McCormick get matching unsportsmanlike conduct penalties with McCormick getting an addtional two minutes for roughing. Dmitry Orlov would also be called for a cross-check and Ovi got caught hooking.
-Caps lead 2-0

 

Oh Captain! My Captain…
With a few seconds left on the Ottawa powerplay, the Caps started the second period a man down. Just as the penalty to Ovechkin expired, Nicklas Backstrom got the puck and tossed it up to Ovi who was exiting the penalty box. As the crowd rose to their feet, Ovi shot the puck and PING!! He hit crossbar. A few more penalties were committed by both sides. The last infraction was by Mark Stone, who was called for tripping. Caps to the powerplay! You can feel it. This is it! In front of his home crowd, Alex Ovechkin blasted one past Hammond. There it is. NHL career goal number 500. The Verizon Center erupts!! Alex is swarmed by his teammates as the entire Caps bench empties onto the ice, nearly crushing a referee in the process.

History has been made. The Great 8 becomes the 43rd player in NHL history to score 500 goals and also the 5th fastest player to do so. You can breathe now…
Here is how the rest of the second period looked:
-Mike Hoffman got Ottawa on the board with his 20th goal of the season, unassisted. Zach Sill collected his own garbage to get his first goal as a Washington Capital and second of his career. Dmitry Orlov got his 4th of the season, assisted by Nate Schmidt. Closing out the second period was Alex Ovechkin and his 500th NHL goal. This was also Ovi’s 25th goal of the season.
-Dmitry Orlov was called for holding and Mark Stone was called for tripping.
-Caps lead 5-1

TOUCHDOWN, CAPITALS!!

After a barrage of goals in the second period, my 7 year old godson decided to be the peanut gallery stating that “Otto-pilot is just not working…” As the third period commenced, you could see that this was still the trend for the Senators. A few minutes into the third, Tom Wilson decided he wanted in on the action and ripped one past Hammond. Not long after, Ovi decided “Why stop now?” and scored his second of the night. As the final minute wound down, the Caps faithful cheered and stood for a standing ovation to salute their beloved team. A fairly quiet peIMG_5732riod (on the ice anyways), here is how the 3rd looked:
-Tom Wilson got his 3rd of the season, assisted by Jason Chimera. Ovi scored his 26th goal of the season, assisted by Backstrom.
-No penalties called. Refs decided to let the boys play…
-Caps win 7-1

 

 

On the end of their lengthy road trip, which was finalized with back to back games, the Caps kept up with their winning ways. They are now 32-7-3 with 67 points. The Capitals lead their division by 16 points, and their conference by 13 points. Ovi leads the league with 26 goals and we all know, he will not stop there. Don’t forget, half off Papa John’s tomorrow and FREE WINGS at Chili’s.

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Up next, the Caps have a well deserved three days off. Their next game is at home against the Vancouver Canucks at 7pm.

By the way, it’s John Carlson’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CARLY!!

Written By: Ashley Reid

Photos By: Brittney Marcum

Caps and Sens Pregame Info

The Caps return to Verizon Center for the first time in 2016 and after a long five-game away stint. They have won the last three of those games and are looking like they are on another great streak. Much of the credit for the team’s success, as they shift around injured and suspended players, is Coach Barry Trotz. He has brought a positive attitude as they face each game with a fresh desire to win, which at the half-way mark is working.

No news yet as to who the net minder will be or if John Carlson is back. We’ll let you know when we know.

Ovechkin 500 Watch

It seems the whole world is watching and waiting for Alex Ovechkin to hit his next bit milestone. No doubt Caps friends will be holding their breath at Verizon Center to see if he gets that 500th goal. Load up your pictures and graphics now!! And bring those signs to the game.

Zach Sill is clear to rejoin the team today.

Paul Carey, up from Hershey played his first game with the Caps on Saturday

Goalie to Goalie

Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (26). His 1.93 goals against average (GAA) is currently third in the league. Backing him up in the net is Philipp Grubauer.

When last the Caps met on December 16th, the Senators, Andrew Hammond was in the net and unfortunately for him, the Caps got the better of him and they lost 2-1. The Hamburgler has been out much of the season after he was sidelined during an injury he sustained during practice. He has 3 wins in 8 games and a .927 save percentage. Goalie Craig Anderson is 16 for 32 when in the net with a .916 percent save record.

Senators Watch

The Sens fell prey to the unstoppable Panthers with a 3-2 loss on Thursday. They are 9-10-2 on the road which gives them half a chance of winning today. They come to DC straight from an overtime win in Boston.

Mike Hoffman is eighth in the league for overall goals (19). Keep an eye on right wing Bobby Ryan who just scored his 200th NHL goal. Defenseman Erik Karlsson has 43 points this season and leads the team as well as sits second in the league. There is a lot of buzz about him around the league; he had seven shots in the Boston game.

Injury Report and Team Scratches

Jay Beagle had hand surgery Sunday, according to the Washington Capitals and has been placed on the injured reserve list. Up to five more weeks before his return. He has missed five games.

Coach Trotz indicated in his press conference that Carlson and Oprik could begin skating at practice soon and the hope is that they will also be back in the game soon as well.

John Carlson is still day-to-day but could be activated to play at any time. 

Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. He has missed 27 games and there is no timetable for his return.

Mike Richards while not an injury is not playing with the team yet. No date for his first game or if he will go to Hershey to get his feet moving again.

Suspension Report:

Marcus Johansson, who has been playing the third line center for the last several games, will sit out two games for an illegal head hit to New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey during the game on Thursday. He will be eligible to play January 14th against the Canucks at home.

More Milestones Coming:

Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 24 goals and is ONE away from 500 NHL career goals. He is fifth in the NHL.

Jason Chimera is four assists away from an NHL career 200 assists.

Braden Holtby, with 128 career games won is ONE win away from passing Don Beaupre (128) for second place on the Caps franchise list.

Michael Latta is two games away from a career 100 NHL/Capitals games played.

Next Games

Sunday Morning Skate: 10:15 at Kettler Capitals IcePlex CANCELLED

Jan 12 Practice at Kettler at Capitals IcePlex 1030 am

Jan 13 Practice likely at Kettler Capitals IcePlex TBD

Jan 14 Preskate likely at 1015 at Kettler Capitals IcePlex

Jan 14 Vancouver at home 7 pm CSN SN360 and 106.7

Jan 15: Caps likely to have practice before departing for Buffalo

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Caps Outshine Senators: Game Highlights and Photos

jersey game win

Article by Renee Garces, Photos by Brittney Marcum

The night started with the debut of the Capitals bright new third jerseys and ended with another two points on the leader board. Michael Latta, with his second goal of the season, scored at the 14:06 mark of the first period, assisted by Dmitry Orlov and Taylor Chorney.

jersy latta puck
Michael Latta tossing a puck to a group of kids. What goes around comes around–Lats scores first and sparks the team toward victory.

 

In the second period, John Carlson, with a nice pass from Justin Williams, blasted one past Andrew Hammond, doubling the Caps lead, 2-0. Michael Latta gets a secondary assist on the play—his first two-point night since December 18, 2014 in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Latta was a fight away from a Gordie Howe hat trick but avoided getting drawn into any scrums.

jersey carlson
Carly’s good deed came back to him too with the game winning goal.

 

During the third period, the Caps had some good scoring chances to build their lead. The Holtbeast was solid in net, as was Hammond for the Senators.

jersey laich

The fourth line of Laich-Latta-Burakovsky performed well. The third line of Chimera-Beagle-Wilson had a real nice shift as well in the period. Alex Ovechkin made Erik Karlsson look silly with an almost goal.

jersey bura

 

 

 

 

And then it happened. Close to the end of the period, Tom Wilson has an open-ice hit on Curtis Lazar. Wilson was ejected from the game with a match penalty. There are a couple of things to consider about this penalty: Wilson did not target the head or leave his skates and Willy is a larger player than Curtis Lazar. On the following power play, Sens right wing Bobby Ryan plays shutout spoiler and puts one past Holtby. In the end—the Capitals take the win 2-1.

jersey Latta
Congrats to Michael Latta for a great game and for earning the 3rd Star of the Night from the NHL Network.

 

jersey holtby
Holtby with NHL Save of The Night

What to Watch: Caps-Senators Game Day Match-up

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Practice Pictures and a Look Ahead

All photos by Brittney Marcum (bamitsBrittney93)

dec16 super holtbeast
Holtbeast stretch.

The Caps took morning skate at Kettler Ice Plex this morning while the Senators held an optional morning skate at Verizon. The boys were all smiles this morning at practice and gave Holtby a good workout blocking shots.

 

The Senators and Capitals both have had a couple of days off and both are coming into the match on a win high. Ottawa is hanging on to third place in the Atlantic Division while Washington has a two-point lead in the top spot for the Metropolitan Div.

Sens Watch

Keep an eye on left wing Mike Hoffman (68) who leads the Sens in goals and put up two goals and an assist against the LA Kings on Monday. Defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) always brings a high intensity to the game and holds the teams highest assist stat and is in second place overall in the league. Coach Trotz specifically called out Karlsson as one they have to manage.

Andrew Hammond (The Hamburglar) returns to the Sens as the netminder tonight and he will need to be on his game as the Caps look to launch a strong offense to keep their top spot. Hammond has been out for over a month having suffered a concussion.

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Bringing his winning smile tonight.

 

What to Watch for Tonight:

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Changes to the fourth line: Michael Latta (46) is back in the lineup and Stan Galiev is out. Andre Burakovsky (65) and Brooks Laich (21) will round out the line.  dec16 latta

Nicklas Backstrom (19) is one point shy of an NHL career 600.

After this game, Jason Chimera (25) will be one game away from a career 900 games.

Braden Holtby (70): All eyes in the league will be on him as talk of the Hart Trophy builds steam.

Don’t forget to check us out on Instagram (friendsincoldplaces) for more pictures from this morning.