The Washington Capitals returned to action at Capital One Arena following the NHL holiday break and got a huge 3-1 win over their Metropolitan Division rival Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. It was their third win in a row that saw goals from Chandler Stephenson, T.J. Oshie and John Carlson. Christmas was fun and the Caps had great videos, but it feels good to see them play hockey again.
This was the last Capitals game before the holiday break. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer was in the net and solid early in the game. He kept the Hurricanes from scoring first.
Michael Latta put in a rebound from an Andre Burakovsky shot for the Capitals first goal of the night in the first period. Even though the Canes outshot the Caps, 12-7, this was a better first period for the Caps than in recent games.
In the second period, Jason Chimera deflected a John Carlson shot to make it 2-0 Caps at the 12:49 mark. Kris Versteeg put the Canes on the board 2:18 in the third. And…Marcus Johansson, while battling for the puck in a corner, loses his helmet but keeps battling.
The Canes pulled Cam Ward for the extra attacker with two minutes left in regulation.
Unfortunately, the Caps got a too-many men penalty and the Canes went on the power play, which was a 6-on-4 with the empty net. Capitals hung on to a 2-1 lead to defeat the Hurricanes.
Washington Capitals held practice at Kettler Capitials Iceplex on Saturday in front of a huge crowd of fans. After practice, they signed autographs and talked to fans before rolling out to NYC to meet their rivals, the NY Rangers on Sunday. They did not have a morning skate today and according to Brooks Laich, spent the morning walking the streets of NYC.
And they were alllll smiles. Must be Schmidtfuence on the team.
The buzz on Saturday was all about Coach Trotz pulling Braden Holtbyon Friday in the Caps-Bolts games. Apparently Trotz was more upset with the lackluster performance of the players than the three goals that got by his top goalie. All was good on Saturday as the Holtbeast practiced his moves and later signed autographs for fans.
Keep an eye on Evgeny Kuznetsovwho has six goals and eight assists in the 14 road games he has played.
Holtby is still the top goalie in the league for goals-against-average and save percentage and has eight wins on the road this season.
How many goals and points will Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshierack up tonight? Ovi “ranks tied for eighth in the NHL for games with two or more power-play goals. “ (capitalstoday.monumentalnetwork.com)
Ovechkin is nine goals away from 500 NHL career goals.
Line-up looks to be the same.
What About Those Rangers and their Goalie?
Unlike the Caps, the Rangers held practice in Westchester this morning. The phrase of choice on social media for the NYR is: “rock bottom.” Watch to see if they can pull themselves out against their archenemies.
Henrik Lundqvist and Magnus Hellberg participated in practice this morning. Looks like King Henry will get the nod. Rangers report: ”tonight will be the first time in franchise history that both dressed goalies are Swedish-born.”
Rangers’ defenseman Kevin Klein skated this morning but will not be back in the line up. He has been out with an oblique strain since their game against Caroline Hurricanes November 30th and could be part of the Rangers D problem.
After tonight the Caps will head to Carolina December 21st before returning home for a post-Christmas game against the Atlantic Division leaders—the Montreal Canadiens.
FYI: There will be no home practices until December 26.
Ok Cap’s fans—we have scoured the stores for you in search of the best Washington Capitals and hockey gifts and have come up with a pretty short list. We found that the two best places to meet your apparel and trinket needs are the Washington Team Store at Verizon Center and at Kettler Capitals IcePlex. Next best bet if you can’t make it to DC or Arlington is Dicks Sporting Goods followed by Target.
Let’s start with the best: Verizon’s Team Store.
The store has just about anything you want with prices running the gambit from about $10.00 upwards to $150 for a jersey, more if you want it personalized. It has the best selection of memorabilia.
Added bonus with the team store is you can also pick up your Wizards and Mystics shirts too. They are open noon to 6pm through December 23rd.
We may only have one or two practices at Kettler before Christmas but the store will be open un til Christmas Eve. Prices run about the same as the main store; however, you can order your personalized jersey here and they will try to have it back to you in about an hour.
We found this great hockey book for kids that you might want to check out:
10 AM – 8 PM
10 AM – 8 PM
10 AM – 8 PM
10 AM – 4 PM
Dick’s has one of the best selections of wearing apparel outside of the team stores. And if you are looking for a hat—this is the place to go. We saw t-shirts here that we have not seen anywhere else.
Target has a very limited selection of shirts. That’s about it.
Modellsin Fair Lakes has a decent selection of apparel. You can pick up jersey’s and some hockey equipment here too.
The best place around is Hockey Giantin Sterling, VA. They say they have: “hockey sticks, skates, gloves, protective gear, accessories or apparel, Hockey Giant Sterling has exactly what you’re looking for. And, you’ll always find plenty of options from top hockey and lacrosse brands like Bauer, CCM, Easton, Reebok, Warrior and Brine.”
If you don’t want to drive out to western Virginia, Kettler also has a pro shop that can meet many of your needs. Check them out here. You can find skates, sticks, equipment, and skates for your figure skater too! They are open until 10 every night through 12/23