The New York Rangers slide onto Capitals ice tonight at 7 pm at the Verizon Center. Big game means watching on NHL, CSN, and MSG if you can’t make it there yourself.
The Caps have been front and center in hockey news from Dmitry Orlov’s masterful hip check to Daniel Winnik’s ear nip. They have won three-in-a-row and sit in first place for the division – fourth in the league. One more win and maybe the sports masters will talk about how good the Caps look early in the season.
Your line up tonight presented by Daily Faceoff: Zach Sanford is back in which mean Brett Connolly is out, and Taylor Chorney still hasn’t played yet.
The Washington Capitals visited Madison Square Garden for the third and final time this season. Captain Alex Ovechkin played his 800th career NHL game and Forward Taylor Chorney played his 100th career NHL game. It was also the first game as a Capital for forward Paul Carey up from Hershey.
Fun fact, after this game, Alex Ovechkin has 19 goals in 32 games against Henrik Lundqvist.
First Period: 498 for Ovi
All-Star goaltender Braden Holtbyremains hot, stopping Kevin Klein early. The game’s first penalty went to T.J. Oshiefor hooking at 10:10 into the period. Defenseman Karl Alzner blocked two shots and Holtby was solid. The Capitals went on the power play twice (both calls against Oshie) shortly after but could not convert.
Alex Ovechkincollected number 498, assisted by Ranger Dan Girardi, and the Caps end the period 1-0.
Second Period: Alzner Blocks a lot of Shots.
The Capitals took another penalty early in the second but, again, Karl Alzner and Braden Holtby kept the Rangers from scoring. 3:56 into the second period, forward Justin Williamsscored his 12th of the season on a breakaway that just got by Lundqvist.
Karl Alznercontinued to be a shot-blocking machine. Through two periods, he had six blocked shots, including one on his back.
The period ends with a 2-0 lead for the Capitals.
Third Period: Saint Nick.
The Capitals are 21-0-1 when leading after 2 periods. Forward Stan Galievand the fourth line fail to clear the puck and rookie Oscar Lindberg, assisted by Dan Moore and Ryan McDonaugh, scores his 11th of the season and puts the Rangers on the board. The Caps had a power play opportunity but they could not convert.
Forward Kevin Hayes came out of the penalty box and then tied the game for the Rangers, 2-2, with his seventh of the season.
Viktor Stalberg, with his sixth goal of the season, gave the Rangers their first lead of the game at the 13:11 mark of the third period. Caps head coach Barry Trotz challenged the goal for offside but he was unsuccessful.
With six seconds left in regulation, All-Star Nicklas Backstromscored his 13th of the season. Assisted by Justin Williams and Matt Niskanen and the Capitals and Rangers end regulation tied 3-3.
Overtime: Holy Holtby and 499 for Ovi!
Capitals and Rangers start 3-on-3 OT and it does not take long for the action to start. Braden Holtby made some fantastic saves with some help from defenseman Nate Schmidt. Seconds after the unbelievable save, the captain, Alex Ovechkinspeeds into the Rangers zone and blasts one past Lundqvist for number 499. Ovechkin also tied Jamie Benn (DAL), Tyler Seguin (DAL) and Vlamdir Tarasenko (STL) for the NHL goal-scoring lead with his 24th of the season.
What a game!!! Ovechkin is now one goal away from 500 goals. During an intermission TV hit, Chuck Gormely reported that injured Caps defensemen John Carlsonand Brooks Orpikcould be back skating and in the lineup sooner rather than later.
Practice: Kettler Capitals Iceplex- Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 10:15am
Game: Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 7pm against the Ottawa Senators. Don’t miss it because some history could be made at Verizon Center.
Even Sir Paul McCartney couldn’t inspire the NY Rangers as they fell to the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Gardens.
The Caps did not have a morning skate, which may be something that will change because of poor first periods in the past two games. Justin Williams alluded to that as a contributing factor to their slow start, then again he struck first at 12:03 of the first period. Scoring first is important in any game but especially when the Caps are playing the NY Rangers.
Unfortunately, the Caps enjoyed the lead for only 1:39 because J.T. Miller put one past Braden Holtby. Then, Chris Kreider, on the power play, doubles the deficit. A bad bounce and Dan Boyle puts another past Holtby, and suddenly it is 3-1 Blueshirts at the end of the first period.
The Caps had a power play early in the second period, but nothing came of it. The Caps went on the PK shortly after. And then something magical happened. Evegny Kuznetsov scored from a sharp angle, the Caps were within one. T.J. Oshie does an awesome thing and ties the game with his first career goal against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers.
The Rangers forgot the “do not touch the goaltender” rule in hockey and some unpleasant words were exchanged between the players. Tom Wilson and Tanner Glass got matching double minors for roughing. Jason Chimera was tripped and the Caps go on the power play. Alex Ovechkin does his thing, which is scoring on the PP, Caps lead 4-3.
On the power play, Justin Williams collected his second goal of the night, 5-3 Caps.
The Rangers pull Henrik Lundqvist putting the other Swede Magnus Hellberg in net for New York. And with that, Jason Chimera scores his second shorthanded goal of the season, Caps up 6-3. A bad turnover for the Rangers and Kuzy sets up Marcus Johansson who puts the puck past Hellberg, 7-3 Caps.
The Capitals are victorious and are the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach 50 points. They are tied for first overall place with the Dallas Stars, who reached 50 points last night with a commanding 6-2 victory over the Canadiens.
Written by Renee Garces
Photos by Brittney Marcum (unless otherwise designated)
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.