Ain’t No Mountain High Enough Caps Win 4-2

The Capitals visited Denver, Colorado and a familiar face in Semyon Varlamov Friday night in the first of their back-to-back games. The team was one Swede short after an announcement came earlier in the day that Nicklas Backstrom would be sitting out due to an upper body injury. In his place was Stan Galiev who…. Caps were coming off a tough SO loss to Philadelphia and the Avs were in fight mode as they try to clinch their own playoff spot. The combination of these made for an exciting game.

First Period: Lots of Pipe

The speed of the first period is something we like to see from the Caps on a regular basis. Within the first two minutes Marcus Johansson made an excellent attempt on Varlamov that unfortunately hit the pipe, Richards would do the same thing not long after. Justin Williams would head to the box at 4:43 for a tripping call on Avs Blake Comeau. Caps managed to limit the bad guys to 1 shot on the PP while Jay Beagle had a great breakaway that yet again hit the pipe next to Varlamov. Jay Beagle headed to the box for a Hi-Sticking call against John Mitchell at the end of the first, Avs would have a power play going into the second. Varly faced a whopping fifteen shots, while Holtby faced only seven. End of period score: 0-0

Second Period: All the Goals…

The fourth pipe hit came from TJ Oshie at 3:31. Shortly after, Tom Wilson laid a hard (legal) hit on Nikita Zadorov that left the defenseman down for a few minutes but he ultimately left the ice fully coherent with the help of trainers and teammates. Varlamov continued to be stellar in goal for Colorado; robbing Johansson with a sprawling save.DSC_0090 All the shots finally pay off when Jay Beagle sneaks one past Varly with no helpers for his eighth of the season and first since March fourth at 8:50. Blake Comeau received a hooking penalty after a hook on Jason Chimera. Not long after the boys show they still got it when Ovechkin scores his 45th of the season via Johansson and Kuznetsov. And with the third goal of the night just two minutes later Jason Chimera scores his 19th of the season with help from Richards and Carlson. The second period ended same as the first with a penalty call against Matt Niskanen for hooking on Gabriel Landeskog. The power play for Colorado resulted in a goal from Jerome Iginla his 20th on the season. Shots continued to be lopsided with a final shot count of 30-13 Washington. End of 2nd score: 3-1 Caps.

3rd period: That’ll do Caps, That’ll do.

The third period began with just as much speed. Colorado defense were on top of their game; saving a puck that nearly crossed the line after a series of shots the pulled Varly out of his crease. Chris Bigras heads to the box for a Hi-Sticking call on TJ Oshie. Not for lack of trying, Caps could not get one passed the Avs killer defense and seasoned goaltender. With the FIFTH pipe of the night, Carlson just misses. Gabriel Landeskog makes it a one goal game with the help of Soderberg and Comeau. This was Landeskog’s 20th goal of the season and his 100th career NHL goal. To no avail Colorado pulled Varlamov at 2:19 for the extra man. TJ Oshie scores on the empty net to put the nail in the coffin. Your final shot count is 47-19 in favor of the Caps. Final Score 4-2

 And your Washington Capitals win another one. That’s another record in the books with 55 wins in a season. Braden Holtby is now just one win away from tying Martin Brodeur for most wins in a single season (48).

Next up:

 Tomorrow night Caps will take on the Phoenix Coyotes at 10:00 PM on CSN

Sunday will be a day off and the team will return to Kettler for a 10:30 am practice on Monday morning.

Depth Scoring Helps Caps Defeat Pens

This was the first of two make-up games from  January. The  Pittsburgh Penguins came to Verizon Center to play the league-leading Washington Capitals. Defenseman Mike Weber also made his debut as a Capital.

First Period: Another Slow Start

The Penguins scored first on 2-on-1. The Caps first shot on goal came at 8:53 in the first. Tom Wilson drew the first penalty of the game, Chris Kunitz for tripping. Unfortunately, the Capitals could not convert on the man advantage. Defenseman Karl Alzner went to the penalty box for cross-checking but 31 seconds later Kessel went to the box as well. The Capitals ended the period better than they started.

GOALS: Evgeni Malkin scored his 24th of the season (assists: Carl Hagelin and Brian Dumoulin)

PENALTIES: Chris Kunitz (tripping) Karl Alzner (cross-checking); Phil Kessel (slashing)

SCORE: Caps trail 1-0

Second Period: Penalties Galore

The CapsDSC_0137 started the second a little off. Patric Hornqvist doubled the Pens lead. But Mike Richards got the Caps on the board. Kris Letang hooked Jason Chimera and they both headed to the box because it was deemed that Chimera embellished his fall. Shortly after, Ian Cole hooked Dmitry Orlov but Orlov, like Chimera, was called for embellishment. The referees seemed to lean to one team over another. Orlov got called for tripping but the Capitals PK was successful. Evgeny Kuznetsov tied the game not long after.

GOALS: Patric Hornqvist scored his 16th of the season (assists: Olli Maatta and Sidney Crosby); Mike Richards scored his second of the season (assists: Nate Schmidt and Jason Chimera); Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his 20th of the season (assists: Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky)

PENALTIES: Kris Letang (hooking); Jason Chimera (embellishment); Ian Cole (hooking); Dmitry Orlov (embellishment); Dmitry Orlov (tripping)

SCORE: Tied 2-2

Third Period: Nis-cannon!

The Capitals continued to play their heavy game into the third. Both teams traded chances early in the period. Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie collided mid-way through the third period. The net hit Braden Holtby and he fell to the ice but no harm no foul. Holtby even made a jumping save shortly after. Capitals had a power play with 7:15 remaining and defenseman Matt Niskanen scored the eventual game-winning goal. Holtby with a great glove save on Carl Hagelin with 32.8 seconds left. Capitals defeat the Penguins 3-2.

 

GOALS: Matt Niskanen scored his fourth of the season (assist: Nicklas Backstrom)

PENALTIES: Evgeni Malkin (high-sticking)

SCORE: Caps win 3-2 DSC_0169

The Capitals rebounded from the Blackhawks loss. The Capitals are now 46-12-4 for a total of 96 points. They still have not lost two consecutive games in regulation. There is a good chance the Capitals reach the 100-point mark before the end of the week.

We also wish to extend our congratulations to Taylor Chorney on the birth of his son earlier today.

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What’s Next?

Practice: No morning skate due to back-to-back games

Game: The Capitals will face Brooks Laich and the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow, Wednesday, at Verizon Center at 7pm.

Caps Practice Surprises

Practice Update
The team took morning skate at Kettler this morning. Joining the rest of the team were our All-Star Game stars: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom, and Braden Holtby.
Big celly for Kuzy who was named NHL Star of the Month!!!

BIG NEWS! Brooks Orpik skated with the team for the first time in forever, the boys were so pumped they cheered and gave Brooks some stick taps before practice:

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If you look closely you can see a VERY happy Brooks Orpik grinning from ear to ear!


Ovechkin skated and looked to be ok, but remember, he sits out tonight after skipping the All-Star Game.
Your goaltender for tonight is expected to be #31 Grubauer
And there was a general fun-filled attitude around the rink as seen in these shots of the day:

Capitals and Flyers Lineup Projection: The Carlson Return?

The Caps will be aiming to wow fans again with its 13th consecutive win at home tonight. They have the longest home winning streak in the NHL and with 13 wins will tie the franchise record set during the 2009/10 season, according to Caps Today.

The first place Washington Capitals meet the struggling Flyers for the second time this season. Puck Drop is 8pm tonight at Verizon Center. Watch the match on NBCSN or listen on 106.7 or the Caps Radio.

Print this out and take it with you to the game for a quick reference!

Roads are still a bit iffy but Metro should be running.

Your Washington Capitals Projected Lineup for Tonight

Forward Lines
Ovechkin (8) Backstrom (19) Oshie (77)
Burakovsky (65) Kuznetsov (92) Williams (14)
Chimera (25) Johansson (90) Wilson (43)
Laich (21) Richards (10) Latta (46)
Defensemen Parings
Alzner (28) Niskanen (2)
Schmidt (88) CARLSON. (POSSIBLE) (74)
Orlov (9)  Chorney (4)
Goalies
Braden Holtby (70) Philipp Grubauer (31)

Healthy Scratch: Stan Galiev

Kuznetsov and Backstrom lead the team in overall points at 48 and 44 points, respectively.

    
  Ovechkin leads the team with 28 goals and sits behind Kuzy and Backy with 42 points. Williams follows with 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points. Williams had the game-winning goal in the last game against the Flyers.

Injury Report and Team Scratches

Everyone is holding their breath in anticipation that John Carlson could play tonight. He has missed 12 games with an upper-body injury and has skated with the team during practice for the past week.

 
Brooks Orpik continues to skate before the team practice and is working with trainers to prepare for his return. Coach Trotz had hoped Brooks would be back before the All Stars but it looks more likely that he will return after the break. He has missed 32 games.

Jay Beagle’s recovery is coming along. It could be another three weeks before he returns to the game following hand surgery. He too is skating with the trainers before team practice. He has missed 10 games.

The Flyers Projected Lineup

Forward Lines
Voracek (93) Giroux (28) Simmonds (17)
Raffi (12) Gagner (89) Schenn (10)
Read (24) Laughton (21) Weal (19)
VandeVelde (76) Bellemare (78) White (25)
Defensemen Pairings
Del Zotto (15) Gudas (3)
Schultz (55) Streit (32)
Gostisbehere (53) Manning (23)
Goalies
Neuvirth (30)
In the net
Jason Labarbera 

Sean Couturier is out and listed day-to-day.

Labarbera- called up from AHL Phantoms to back up Neuvy

Jordan Weal played his first Flyers game on Monday. He had one shot and two minutes in the penalty box.

 

Islanders Out for Revenge…Tom Wilson a Target?

Origin of the Rivalry:

It’s no secret there is a rivalry between the Caps and Islanders but could the Isles be out for revenge? During game four of the first round of playoffs last season Tom Wilson delivered a big hit on Islander’s Visnovsky that ended his game. After the game words were doled out from both sides. John Tavares the Islanders captain warned Wilson “We can also hit guys like that”, Kyle Okposo flat out said “He’s (Wilson) an idiot”.  The Isles may have thought Wilson’s hit was a dirty one but Visnovsky is just 5’10, 192 lbs compared to Wilson who stands 6’4, 215 lbs. A height/ weight differential like that is sure to leave some bumps and bruises after any hit. “It was a hard, clean hit”, Trotz said. Tom Wilson is a great hockey player that happens to be able to throw incredible hits and fights to stand up for his teammates. His current PIM sits at 96 with 2 goals and 11 assists.

Preseason Words:

These two teams met once in the preseason that resulted in a 3-1 Caps win. Everyone had a feeling this would be a physical game but Wilson was more focused on his game. This became apparent when Tom Wilson refused to take on Eric Boulton during the match because he said there was “no point.” Quite possibly one of Tom’s best quotes, “I just don’t think there’s any point in me fighting those guys. He didn’t play at all last year. He’s probably not going to play at all this year

Today’s Fighting Words:

Before the game the teams were obviously asked about the rivalry and Ryan Strome had this to say, “There’s no question that for whoever watched the series there’s bad blood.” Matt Martin seemed to be more even keeled on the situation before the game, “They have a big physical team and we have a big physical team.” Trotz said it will be a “playoff feel” and we agree. Tune in to see what comes of the rivalry tonight at 7:00 on CSN.

Caps Daily Glass Bump 1/7/16 Islanders Pre-Game Notes

Caps Take New York – Two Teams, One Town.

The Caps meet the Islanders for the first time during the regular season in their new home in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center tonight. This is the Caps fourth away game—they have one more on Saturday against rival Rangers. The boys practiced at Boston University before heading to New York on Wednesday. The Caps did not hold morning skate today.

The Islanders have not played since taking down the current second place Dallas Stars 6-5 on Sunday. The Isles had 44 shots on goal in that game. The last time these two teams met was in the 2015 playoffs. Their last playoff matchup resulted in a 2-1 Islanders loss with goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Joel Ward. They may have a score to settle with the Washington Capitals not only did the Caps knock them out of the playoffs in the first round but they shut down Nassau Coliseum. Can Kuzy have a repeat performance and help lead the Caps to victory? Continue reading “Caps Daily Glass Bump 1/7/16 Islanders Pre-Game Notes”

What to Watch for Tonight: #CapsLeafs

orlovThe Russian Troyka: Ovechkin, Orlov, & Kuznetsov. Who scores first and who has the most points by the end of the night??

Game time is 7 pm From Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Braden Holtby is at one end; Jonathan Bernier at the other. Bernier is hoping to get his first point in the win column tonight. He is in for Leaf’s number one goalie James Reimer who is out with a lower-body injury.

The Leafs will need to defend against their old nemesis Alexander Ovechkin and the new brut force the Caps have unleashed in two other Russians: Evegeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. In the meantime, the lower two lines are showing that they too pose a threat to opposing teams. Keep a watch on these guys.

 Who to Watch:

Joffrey Lupul who has registered 22 points in 20 games against the Caps. 

Can Dmitry Orlov extend his scoring streak?

Can the Caps make it five in a row and take their first win for this  road series?

williams 2points

Justin Williams: Two points to go to reach 600 career NHL points

 

Karl Alzner is two games away from 400 consecutive games.