Capitals-Islanders: A Captain’s Night, Ovi with 106th Multi-goal

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Caps blew into NY with a few changes on both sides. TJ Oshie shifted to the second line as Justin Williams slid into his slot on the top line. On the Islanders side, expected goalie Jaroslav Halak was not in the net. Instead the Islanders gave Thomas Greiss (16-6-2 and a .931 save percentage) a vote of confidence, giving him the nod as goaltender.

image1 (2)This was the captain’s night with John Tavares scoring first and answered with two goals by Alex Oveckin. Sure Frans Nielsen scored the goal that pushed the game into overtime, but captains dominated—ok, Ovechkin dominated!

First Period: Whole lot of holding

The Islanders had the first shot on goal, followed by a quick two more that kept Braden Holtby on his toes. Called for an ‘intentional’ offside, the Caps were pulled back all the way back to Holtby’s end. 6:15 seconds into the period before the Caps would even get a shot, compliments of Andre Burakovsky. Islanders got the first power play—although many of you questioned where the penalty actually occurred. Lots of shots stopped and no goal. Kuzy had a flash moment but couldn’t get the puck into the net—we were excited for a moment there. Before the end of the period the Islanders would shoot one in and make it count. Their goal was met with a penalty and a man advantage for the Caps that resulted in…no goal.

Goals: Islanders John Tavares wrist shot assisted by Nick Leddy.

Penalties: Andre Burakovsky called for holding against Brock Nelson. Nikolay Kulemin holding against Dmitry Orlov.

Score: 1-0 Islanders

Second Period: The Ovi Show

It took less than two minutes into the second period for the Caps to even the score. And shortly after with a huge hit in which Clutterbuck leaves his skates slamming Orlov’s head into the glass, the Caps PP succeed when Ovi scored his second of the game. This is the GR8’s 106th multi-goal game. Caps have a short two- man advantage but do not capitalize. The period continued to be a chippy one with penalties out the wazoo and nothing to show for them. Washington had 14 shots to New York’s 4.

Goals: Alex Ovechkin PPG on a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Ovechkin again from TJ Oshie and Nicky Backstrom. That’s 37 for Ovi!!!!!!!!

Penalties: Cal Clutterbuck gets a boarding against Dmitry Orlov. Thomas Hickey/ Tom Wilson matching roughing penalties. Brooks Laich for slashing on Cal Clutterbuck and Ryan Strome got one for elbowing on TJ Oshie, Thomas Greiss- Delay of game (served by Marek Zidlicky), Justin Williams/Travis Hamonic mutual slashing.

Score: 0-2 Caps

Third Period: Almost made it…

Caps normally lead the league in goals earned in the third period. The fourth line worked hard to create some chances, but to no avail. It seemed like every time we looked up they were on the ice. Clutterbuck shoots on Holtby and tries to draw in a penalty—no go. The Caps stepped up their game with three shots in the first five minutes while holding the Isles at bay. The period was dragging and finally a penalty was called on the Islanders to add some excitement—even if there was no goal. Just when we thought we were free and clear, the Islanders spin Holtby and score (2-2). A little delay to fix the pothole on the ice and we headed to OT.

Goals: Frans Nielsen ties it up with a wrist shot assisted by Travis Harmonic.

Penalties: Brock Nelson hooking against Jason Chimera.

JustIn Time:

The five minutes of play ended with a banging goal by Justin Williams (assisted by John Carlson and Matt Niskanen) with 43.2 second left. Ovechkin shot twice—one hitting the pipe—and it looked like he might get another hat trick. All that really counst is the Caps left NY with another win and another two points.

Final Score: 2-3 Caps

IMG_0357By the end of the game, the Caps captain had 10 shots on goal, with two of them sniping past Griess. Oshie was more active, which we know made us all feel better. He had three SOG and an assist. Williams with four shots again showed his leadership skills as he kept at it until he sealed the deal. Oh and those defensemen. All but Karl Alzner had a SOG, showing they do more than just protect the netminder.

Coming Up

Friday, 19 Feb, 1230 Practice CANCELLED

Saturday, 20 Feb, 1015 Morning Skate at Kettler (open to public)

Saturday, 20 Feb, 7 pm Caps and Devils meet at Verizon Center.

 

Photos by Brittney Marcum & Mel Abernethy

Caps and Islanders, Again. Pre-game Lookout

GAME TIME IS 7 pm ET

Washington Capitals: 41-10-4

NY Islanders: 30-19-6

This Thursday the 41-10-4 Washington Capitals face off against 30-19-6 New York Islanders in Brooklyn. The two Eastern Conference rivals found themselves grinding through a tough seven=game playoff series in which the Capitals came out on top to advance to the second round. The key to beating a tough Islanders team is beating none other than the guy who was public enemy number one for a Caps team that struggled in the 2010 playoffs vs the Montreal Canadians, Jaroslav Halak.

The Islanders are now facing what teams hate the most, a goaltending controversy. Jaroslav Halak has not had a season to remember having a record of 13-12-4 and a GAA of 2.42, but the big story emerging from Brooklyn, is Thomas Greiss who has an impressive 16-6-2 record this season with a GAA of 2.16. Fortunately for the Washington Capitals it is set in stone who the franchise goalie is and who the backup is. Braden Holtby looks to further his dominate success this season Thursday evening in Brooklyn against the Islanders. Holtby is 2-0 against the Islanders this season.

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When it comes down to the season so far, the Caps are a better team, not only because of the standings, that’s obvious, but the Capitals are just a dangerous team all around. Not many people are going to have stories come seasons-end about crushing the Capitals.

Keys to the game: Washington capitals.

  • Don’t give the Islanders any power plays; they are sixth in goals per game.
  • Get in the zone and move the puck around, work the D and goalie. They’ll get tired and take a penalty or better, score and the number one team in the NHL knows a thing or two about scoring.
  • Watch for John Tavares 21 goals 25 assists and Brock Nelson 21 goals 12 assists, they both average close to 20 minutes of ice time this season so there’s the threat of breakaway, they’ll be watching for any bad turnovers.

Keys to the game for the New York Islanders:

  • DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE. The Capitals have the number one offense with the number one scorer, Alex Ovechkin
  • Protect the crease; Capitals are a team that capitalizes on any loose pucks in the crease.
  • Don’t take any penalties. With players like Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Ovechkin, its almost guaranteed that they will score on any power play. If they don’t, they will move the puck in the offensive zone and make any offense tired.

Injury Report

Jay Beagle: We are ready for his return…

By Timothy Stromberg

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Caps-Islanders: Something to Prove

The New York Islanders slide into Washington hoping to redeem themselves after the 4-2 loss to the Caps in December. Jaroslav Halak did not start on Tuesday; instead they opted for the new guy, JF Berube. The strategy seemed to work as they sent the Wild home with a 5-3 win over them. The Islanders sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division and a win could help them jump ahead of the NY Rangers.

GAME TIME IS 7:30 pm

After a disastrous loss to Atlantic leaders, the Florida Panthers, we all are happy that Alex Ovechkin’s one-day suspension is over. Evgeny Kuznetsov helped hold the team together with his All-Star buddy, Nicky Backstrom. And then there was Andre Burakovsky with his 10 shots and a goal.

  • All these pieces moving together should help the team to rebound on Thursday against the Islanders. The team looked tired on Tuesday night and seems to be dragging some at practice. Let’s hope they find new energy by puck drop Thursday because we can’t afford to leave for New Jersey with three losses at home.

Check in Thursday for practice notes and pictures and then before the game for final line projections. Keep the faith fans!!

Injury Report and Team Scratches

Jay Beagle: He continues to recover. We don’t expect him for another couple weeks. Beags is skating and working with the trainers before practice starts.

Brooks Orpik skated with the team for practice on Tuesday but did not skate with them Wednesday. He seems to be improving and growing stronger and we hope that he will soon rejoin the team for an actual game.

Taylor Chorney left the game on Tuesday with flu-like symptoms. We will watch to see if he is at practice or if there will be a last-minute call up from Hershey… we vote for Connor Carrick.

Marcus Johansson is still suffering with an upper body injury although he has been skating before practice. Not expected in for Thursday.

Islanders

The Islanders carry three goalies—just in case Holtby wears them out!!

John Tavares got the infusion he needed during the All-Star Games, scoring a goal and an assist in the win over the Wild on Tuesday.

Goalie JF Berube recorded his first win with the team and his second in his NHL career. Don’t know yet if he will be defending the crease.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day.

 

Photos by Brittney Marcum