Even before the puck drops there is a chance for Caps fans to win some Alex Ovechkin memorabilia:
“The Capitals have partnered with NBC Sports Washington for Authentic Fan Friday! The first 500 fans to visit the NBC Sports Washington table at Section 423 will receive a limited amount of Ovi cheer cards.” (Caps Game info) Click here for a chance to win an original painting by Taylor Kampa Olson as a Caps Authentic Fan. Runs from 6 to 10 pm.
The Capitals have been getting some offence from the back end this season with John Carlson registering 45 points which sits him in 3rd overall for DMan scoring in the league. However there is a significant drop off past Carlson when you consider Orlov’s 20 points put him 2nd on the Caps defensman but 56th overall for blue line scoring.
Between Carlson and Orlov, the Caps top two Dmen in scoring, they’ve received 65 points with 18 goals between the two of them. When they visit Minnesota tonight they will have to worry about a formidable pair on the Wild’s offensive attack also from the blue line in Ryan Suter and underrated and maybe undersized Matt Dumba. The two have combined for similar numbers as the Caps top two with 16 goals and 66 points respectively and both sit in the top 20 NHL Defense scoring.
He was drafted 7th overall in the ’12 NHL entry draft out of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebel earning rookie of the year status in ’10-’11 for the league. He’s also represented Canada at the ’13-’14 World Jr. and the ’16 World Championships.
Boasting a cannon from the point is’s a little surprising to note that Dumba has not scored on the PP this year as his 7 points with the man advantage have been helpers. Dumba currently sits 5th in team goals and 5th in team scoring for the Wild. The Caps know better as Dumba has rocketed a few in his day vs Holtby already. He has excellent speed, offensive awareness and surprisingly can play quite physical when you consider he is about league average 6′ 185 pounds. Caps will have to keep their heads up as he is not afraid to lay a big hit at any point.
He is susceptible to the odd mental lapse, but pairing with veteran Suter has helped him progress nicely and he’s currently on the plus side of the ledger as a plus 6 player this year. Registering only 1 goal in his last 10 games he has managed to still chip in with 6 assists in that time. Look for him to try and get himself on the score sheet tonight.
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This win is the Capitals’ 45th win of the season, which matches their number of wins in the entirety of last season. The Capitals still have yet to lose two consecutive games in regulation. This season may have its bumps but it is still amazing.
First Period: Another Slow Start
The game started slow for both teams but the Wild would out-shoot the Capitals, 9-2, in the first 10:04. The Capitals would not get another shot on goal until 15:05 courtesy of Evgeny Kuznetsov. Penalty trouble was a theme in this period as the Caps took three penalties. The penalty kill was successful for the first two penalties but on the third, Minnesota’s only power play shot-on-goal got through Braden Holtby. It is now seven consecutive games that the Capitals have allowed the first goal.
GOALS: Mikko Koivo scored his 13th of the season (assisted by Ryan Suter)
PENALTIES: Brooks Orpik (holding); Matt Niskanen (roughing); Tom Wilson (tripping)
SCORE: Caps trail 1-0.
Second Period: Career High for Orpik
49 seconds into the second, defenseman Brooks Orpik scored his career-high third goal of season. The Caps looked to not repeat the first period. But Nino Niederreiter got the Wild their lead back with a breakaway goal 5:05 into the second. Defenseman Taylor Chorney could not get to Niederreiter to take away the puck. The Capitals were trapped in their own zone for a lengthy amount of time during this period. Minnesota’s goaltender Darcy Kuemper made an amazing save on Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin late in the second. The Caps outshot the Wild 13-10 in the period but the Wild had a 22-16 overall lead.
GOALS: Brooks Orpik scored his third of the season (assisted by Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin); Nino Niederreiter scored his 12th of the season (assisted by Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville)
SCORE: Caps trail 2-1.
Third Period: The “O” Factor.
The Capitals came out shooting while the Wild got away with some penalties. The Burakovsky-Kuznetsov-Williams line had a fantastic shift in the Wild zone. Goaltender Kuemper denied Burakovsky and then took a delay of game penalty for intentionally knocking the net off its moorings. Alex Ovechkin did what he does best,
score power play goals. Ovechkin is the first player to reach 40 goals this season and he is the tenth player to have eight 40-goal seasons. With about five minutes left in the game, Dmitry Orlov scored the eventual game-winning goal. Holtby secured the win by not letting the Wild tie with the extra attacker.
GOALS: Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th of the season (assisted by Matt Niskanen and Nicklas Backstrom); Dmitry Orlov scored his seventh of the season (assisted by Andre Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov)
PENALTIES: Darcy Kuemper (delay of game)
SCORE: Caps win 3-2.
Marcus Johansson is a new dad (baby girl) and so is newly acquired defenseman Mike Weber (baby boy). There was no John Carlson (lower body injury) or Michael Latta (flu) in the lineup. Minnesota’s Darcy Kuemper made his first start against the Capitals.
Practice: 11:30am on Saturday at Ketter Capitals Iceplex.
Game: 12:30pm against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.
It’s a cold and windy Friday night in Chinatown as the Minnesota Wild meet the Washington Capitals. Both teams are coming into the match after a loss. For the Wild, former Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth put a stop to their hopes for a fresh start with a last minute stretch save that surprised even his Flyers teammates. The St. Paul team has two consecutive losses after a brief four-game winning streak. They have a new man in charge and the hope to somehow gather enough points to get into a wild card position.
The Wild are missing some of their key players tonight with Zack Parise out for an upper body injury and Jason Zucker out with a concussion.
Top scorers in the Wild lineup tonight. are Mikko Koivu, Charlie Coyle, and Thomas Vanek.
Keep an eye on their defense, especially Loui Eriksson and Matt Dumba.
Schroeder Koivu Coyle
Porter Granlund Vanek
Niederreiter Haula Pominville
Carter Stroll Fontaine
Dubrynk or Kuemper in the net
The Washington Capitals on the other hand are still leading the league in points and games won and unless they get sloppy, are likely to keep that lead going into the playoffs. The last few games have been tough on the Boyz but they never seem to lose the drive to win.
For now the biggest problem they may have is keeping everyone healthy. First Marcus Johansson had a little something, now Michael Latta is sick. Makes you wonder if they weren’t feeling 100 percent on Wednesday…
Your Caps lines as we know them now:
Ovechkin Backstrom Oshie
Burakovsky Kuznetsov Williams
Chimera Johansson Wilson
Laich Richards Galiev
Holtby in the net with Grubauer backing him up.
Trotz Corner: Latta could be in, but unlikely. Coach hinted that Chorney could be in but would not say who he would pull. We are betting Orlov or Carlson. Beagle not ready to return yet.
A few additional shots from practice: Chimera took a tumble and left a little less than happy. And…we aren’t sure what exactly was going on at the bench…
Let’s hope the team philosophy to never lose more than one game rings true tonight.
The Minnesota Wild had lost six straight games and had not won at home since the turn of the calendar. The Capitals had not won in the last eight games at Xcel Energy Center. Birthday boy Mike Richards was a game decision but he was in the lineup.
First period: Penalties Galore
Braden Holtby continued to be the best goaltender in the league. The Capitals killed off a slashing penalty to Justin Williams early in the first. Alex Ovechkin draws the first Wild penalty and the Capitals went on the power play. The teams had 53 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey after a penalty negated the power play. With 6:02 left, the Wild had 9 seconds for 5-on-3 and another power play. The Capitals penalty kill was perfect during the period. With six seconds left, Wild Folin took a penalty and the Capitals went on the power play.
PENALTIES: Justin Williams (slashing); Nate Prosser (roughing); Oshie (interference); Matt Niskanen (hooking) and Christian Folin (holding).
Second Period: Ovi hat trick!
The Capitals started the second period with 1:52 of power play. Unfortunately, they did not score on that power play but Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin would score his first of the game shortly after. Early in the period, Tom Wilson spent a few seconds in the Wild bench (none of the Wild players helped him out, a linesman did though). The Caps power play is scoring again! Ovechkin scored his second of the night and is now the NHL’s leading scorer (33) passing Chicago’s Patrick Kane. But Ovechkin wasn’t finished, he would score again to complete his 14th career hat trick. The Wild would challenge for offsides but would end up losing not only the challenge but their time out as well.
GOALS: Alex Ovechkin scored his 32nd (Assists: T.J. Oshie & Nicklas Backstrom), his 33rd (Assists: John Carlson & Nicklas Backstrom) and his 34th of the season (Assist: Nicklas Backstrom).
Charlie Coyle scored his 15th of the season, assisted by Miko Koivu and Zach Parise
PENALTIES: Thomas Vanek (slashing); Dmitry Orlov (slashing) and Charlie Coyle (Tripping)
SCORE: Caps lead 3-1
Third Period: Out of Control Wild
Michael Latta and Zach Parise exchanged pleasantries early in the third. The Wild decided to start roughing up the Capitals younger players. Matt Dumba crunched Andre Burakovsky into the boards and a scrum ensued with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams. Williams would be the only one in the penalty box. Ryan Suter would score for the Wild on the following power play. Then Mikael Granlund injured Kuznetsov by hitting him in the face/head area with the butt end of his stick. Kuzy would head to the locker room and Capitals PR later announced that he would not return to the game. Jason Chimera, the Ice Cheetah, scored an empty netter in the final minute of regulation. With three seconds left in the game, Granlund scored and Braden Holtby was visibly furious. There was clear goaltender interference as Zach Parise had his glove on Holtby’s pad. But the refs, as they were all night, missed the call and the goal was deemed good. The Caps were victorious, 4-3.
GOALS: Ryan Suter scored his seventh of the season. Assisted by Matt Dumba and Zach Parise. Jason Chimera scored an empty net goal, his 15th of the season. Assisted by Tom Wilson. Mikael Granlund scored his fifth of the season, assisted by Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek.
PENALTIES: Justin Williams (cross checking) and Jarret Stoll (tripping).
SCORE: Caps won 4-3.
The Capitals now have 40 wins and 84 points. Alex Ovechkin got a hat trick and they leave Minnesota with 2 points. Unfortunately, Andre Burakovsky’s point streak ended at eight games. Let’s hope Kuznetsov is healthy and everything is going to be okay.
Practice: The Capitals have Friday, February 12, off.
Game: The Capitals will visit the American Airlines Center to play the Dallas Stars on Saturday, February 13 at 8:00 .