Blue Jackets Break Capitals in Overtime

Tonight’s 2-1 OT loss was nothing short of hard fought. The Capitals pushed and pushed through all of three periods and in sudden death overtime, but it was the Columbia Blue Jackets that would be the winners tonight.

 

While the first period was predominately uneventful, it did instill a bit of hope into Caps fans. It may have started off slow and without much energy, but it didn’t take long for the boys to wake up and really start playing. They started spending much more time on offense, as opposed to always being in their own end, and most importantly, there were taking lots of shots. The Caps fought for the puck and made sure to be fast about it. Though there was no scoring, it was a good start to the game.

 

The second period was just as slow as the first, aside from someone finally scoring. It was Nicklas Backstrom who broke the ice, getting a goal, fifteen minutes in. Less remarkable moments of the second twenty minutes included a number of penalties, mostly from the Capitals. Their penalty kill was very strong, though, and they made it through the second period without being scored on. Overall, the second period still left fans hungry for more action.

 

The star of the third period was certainly Philip Grubauer. He was making beautiful saves and staying strong during the penalty kills. It wouldn’t be enough, though. Less than halfway through the period, Werenski scored a goal, tying the game and putting fans on edge. Not even a minute later, Backstrom scored his second of the game, but it was quickly taken away because of an offsides review, sending the game into overtime. Though both teams fought hard, it was the Blue Jackets who came out victorious when Atkinson scored the game-winning goal, thirty-seven seconds in. It was a very good game, overall, for the Capitals, though, despite this loss. Hopefully, they will use this for motivation against the Penguins in Washington tomorrow.

Caps lost = It’s over.

This is the one we didn’t want to have to write. At least if we were going to have to write it, we hoped it would be in the final round for the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, it was not to be for the Caps. Despite the amazing regular season, the end came in Pittsburgh in overtime.

It started as another do or die game for the guys from Washington. The team remained positive and pumped to bring the series back to Verizon Center for a Game 7. We believed they could do it after their win in Game
Early in the first period, a terrible turnover by Kris Letang provided a scoring chance for Mike Richards–just a chance. Matt Niskanen did he best at defense, making sure that the Penguins did not great a scoring chance on Holtby.

The Capitals played well for the first five minutes but it was Phil Kessel who opened the scoring. Daniel Winnik took a puck to the mouth but he returned to the game a few minutes later. Karl Alzner did not play the end of the first period after he got slashed from Sidney Crosby. Yea – no penalty…

The period ended 1-0. Although the score was not what Caps fans wanted after one period, the Capitals actually played a decent round and were fairly well matched against the Pens.

Going into the second, the Capitals really  needed to stop passing so much and just constantly shoot the puck at Matt Murray. In the sorta good news category, Karl Alzner returned for the start of the second but only played a little over five minutes for the night. 

Brooks Orpik, who was playing his first game back from a three-game suspension, took a four-minute hi-sticking penalty. Not what the Caps needed and boy did the Pens take advantage of it. They scored on both of the minors, 3-0 lead in the second.

It was not looking good for the road guys. The Capitals would get their first chance on the man advantage but could not get anything together. On their second power play, T.J. Oshie finally got the Capitals on the board. The Capitals went into the second intermission down two goals but they were not done yet.

The third started with a wonderful partial breakaway chance for Burakovsky but Murray stopped him. The Capitals showed more desperation in the beginning of the third. With 12:37 left, Justin Williams went high corner on Matt Murray and turned it into a one-goal game.

John Carlson, on the 5-on-3, tied up the game for the Caps with still have over a minute of power play time. And then something truly amazing happened: the Penguins took three consecutive delay of game penalties.

Then with less than three minutes left, Kris Letang put T.J. Oshie into the boards. Unfortunately, the Capitals did not score on the following power play. The teams were tied after 60 minutes of regulation.

Heading into OT, the Capitals had the urgency they had to get the game tied in the third period. But maybe not as much as they needed for overtime. After a few near misses for the Penguins it looked like the luck was on Washington’s side. But 6:32 into the extra session, Nick Bonino scored to eliminate the Washington Capitals from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Another second round exit and it is hard to come to terms with. The Capitals deserved better than this but here we are. We will always remember the 2015-16 season as a great one; it just did not end with the boys hoisting the silver cup we all believed was ours this year. 

We are grabbing our tissues and heading to bed now. We’ll have more analysis about the playoffs and the regular season. Thanks to all of you who joined us on this journey.

GO CAPS!!!

Caps lose, Blues Get Fourth Straight Shutout.

This was a bad one friends. The Caps played well but just could get one in the net. T.J. Oshie missed his second consecutive game due to illness. It should help to have him return. Formen Cap’s player Troy Brouwer returned to the Verizon Center for the first time since being traded to St. Louis and was honored by the organization for his positive attitude while playing in Washington. 

First Period: Solid Start 

It was a pretty nice Good start for the Capitals. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer made some great saves early and the game was already more exciting than the Devils game from the night before. Even though neither team scored in the first, the game moved at a nice pace. The Capitals were the better team and outshot the Blues 10-8 at the end of the first period.

Score: 0-0

Second Period: Singing the Blues

  The Capitals were 21-6-2 when tied after one period. Unfortunately, the guests from the Gateway City would dominate the second period. Just 4:45 into the period, Kyle Brodziak opened the scoring after Dmitry Orlov failed to get the puck away from the Blues. Colton Parayko added his eighth of the season later in the period. The goal would be challenged for offside but was deemed a good goal. Less than two minutes later, Vlamdir Tarasenko added his 35th of the season and the Capitals were down 3-0 by the end of the period.

Score: Capitals trail 3-0

Third Period: Allen Remained Unbreakable

A frustrating theme in this game was that the Capitals were not shooting the puck as much as they should have. Goaltender Jake Allen was able to see the puck and was able to collect the puck after every try from the Caps. With less than 10 left in the third, there was a big scrum at the Blues net. Alex Ovechkin danced a little with former Cap Troy Brouwer. Patrik Berglund added a fourth goal to seal the deal. The Capitals fellto the Blues 4-0. 

This game was the Blues’ fourth straight shutout (a streak of 240:18 without allowing a goal). 

Score: Capitals lose 4-0

What’s Next?

Caps have Sunday off and morning skate of Monday at 10:15am at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

On Monday, the Caps host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Swedish Heritage Night at Verizon Center at 7pm. 

 

Caps Get Chippy and Lose it in Pittsburgh

The Washington Capitals started their three-game road trip with a visit to Consol Energy Center to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Caps could have clinched the top-seed in the Metropolitan division and the Eastern Conference with any type of win over the Penguins.

First Period: Good Start, Bad Finish.

This game was incredibly fast from opening puck drop. No slow start for the Capitals as they were constantly shooting the puck at Penguins goaltender Marc Andre Fleury.That blistering start for the Caps would only last for the first few minutes as the Bryan Rust would open the scoring for the Penguins. Trevor Daley added another shortly after and the Caps were down by two at the end of the first period. 

GOALS: Bryan Rust scored his fourth of the season (assists: Tom Kuhnhackl and Ian Cole); Trevor Daley scored his sixth of the season (assists: Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist)

PENALTIES: Daniel Winnik (interference); T.J. Oshie (tripping)

SCORE: Caps trail 2-0.

Second Period: A Mess

1:18 into the second, Jason Chimera scored using his head (literally!) to put the Capitals on the board. The Caps only had six shots on goal during this period, the fact that they spent most of the period shorthanded probably had something to do with that. This period proved that the bad blood and rivalry between the Capitals and Penguins is alive and well. Andre Burakovsky had a beautiful breakaway and fired one past Fleury to the tie the game for the Capitals. Unfortunately, the Penguins would score the eventual game winner less than a minute later.

GOALS: Jason Chimera scored his 18th of the season (assists: Justin Williams and Dmitry Orlov); Andre Burakovsky scored his 16th of the season (assist: Jay Beagle); Tom Kuhnhackl scored his third of the season (assists: Matt Cullen and Trevor Daley) 

 PENALTIES: Ian Cole (holding the stick); Mike Weber (roughing double minor); Bryan Rust (roughing); T. J. Oshie (roughing); Karl Alzner (roughing); Patric Hornqvist (slashing); Patric Hornqvist (roughing); Justin Williams (hi-sticking)

SCORE: Caps trail 3-2

Third Period: Well That’s Not Good…

The Capitals had a 30+ goal differential in the third period (meaning they outscore their opponent by a lot in the last 20 minutes of play). Unfortunately, those 3rd period Caps were not on the ice in Pittsburgh. Braden Holtby had a night to forget and Philipp Grubauer came in relief after the Pens’ fifth goal. The Penguins would score once more on the three-minute power play (thanks to a bad hit by Mike Weber).

GOALS: Matt Cullen scored his 12th of the season (assist: None); Chris Kunitz scored his 16th of the season (assists: Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang); Justin Schultz scored his fourth of the season (assist: None)

PENALTIES: Mike Weber (boarding); Mike Weber (game misconduct); Tom Kuhnhackl (roughing); Tom Kuhnhackl (game misconduct); Carl Hagelin (interference); Daniel Winnik (elbowing); Daniel Winnik (game misconduct)

SCORE: Caps lose 6-2

So the Capitals did not clinch the top spot in the Metro or the East. They still have a 19-point lead over the now-second place Penguins in the division.

What’s Next?

PRACTICE: The Caps have Monday off and are scheduled to have a morning skate at 11:30am on Tuesday at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

GAME: 7:30pm game against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre.