Caps Defeat Rangers at MSG to Win Fifth in a Row

michael banner 2The Washington Capitals had a quick turnaround after protecting their home ice with a 3-1 over the Red Wings Friday afternoon. After the game was over, the team headed to New York for a Saturday matinee affair with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden to kick off the Capitals’ annual dads/mentors trip. The Caps rallied and defeated the Rangers 5-3 to regain sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division which they’ll hold if the Blue Jackets fall to the Penguins Saturday night.  Continue reading “Caps Defeat Rangers at MSG to Win Fifth in a Row”

Caps Defeat Rangers in OT Before Falling to the Panthers in a Shootout

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What a weird schedule. Back-to-backs, then a few days off. Repeat. This week the Caps had a more favorable scheudle with two games at Capital One Arena. First the Capitals hosted the New York Rangers on Wednesday Night Hockey. Then on Friday, Washington hosted the winless Florida Panthers.  Continue reading “Caps Defeat Rangers in OT Before Falling to the Panthers in a Shootout”

Inside The Caps Opponent : David Desharnais

When the Capitals head into Madison Square Garden tonight as they resume the schedule after the Christmas break they’ll be taking on a Rangers team that also is riding a two-game losing streak. While their are many familiar faces in Manhattan, David Desharnais is new to the 2017-18 Rangers and has continued to carve himself out a nice NHL career as he’s closing in on 200 career points. The diminutive forward is versatile and his ability to move up and down the lineup has made him a valued asset in the league. Averaging 0.5 pt/game for his career, Desharnais who has has also skated for the Canadiens and Oilers (scored playoff game winning goal vs Sharks) is a playmaker who can dart in and out of the traffic areas and looks to the snipers to finish off. He’s recorded four assists in his last five games but has only registered one goal and one assist in 20 career games vs the Capitals. Continue reading “Inside The Caps Opponent : David Desharnais”

Practice: Caps And NY Rangers Share the Ice at Kettler

The Capitals are looking pretty darn good lately. Today at practice they were fine-tuning their game and integrating Andre Burakovsky back into his spot. And they were still in a jovial mood too! Continue reading “Practice: Caps And NY Rangers Share the Ice at Kettler”

It was a Special Kuzy Top-Flipping and Friends Photo Night 

Photos by Mel Abernethy

Seems like every Caps game of late we have had at least one memorable moment in the game, outside of scoring. Saturday night it was Evgeny Kuznetsov who brought us this unforgettable moment:

Yup, we love us some Kuzy:

Ok, there were some other players on the ice too, after all we did score two goals before the Rangers took over.

We had some reason to celebrate but even Loud Goat couldn’t get the Caps energized enough to take back the lead. Next game is against the Oilers Wednesday at 9:30. Lets hope we get back to winning.

The Capitals Fall to The Rangers

Tonight’s game against the New York Rangers was an energy-packed 60 minutes, despite the 2-4 loss, both on the ice and in the stands. It’s to be expected with a rivalry like this one, to find hard hits in the game and aggressive cheers from the fans, both for the Capitals and against. Before regulation, referee Kelly Sutherland was honored for his 1,000th game with a team-signed stick from the Rangers and a team-signed jersey from the Caps, as well as a Tiffany crystal. Dmitry Orlov’s sick hit against Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche was also honored with a hilarious Stranger Things parody. Zach Sanford  found himself in the game, in place of Brett Connolly on the third line.

watermarked42016-10-22-2128 The first period saw a lot of action with two goals, first from Lars Eller, his first goal as a Capital, and then from Alex Ovechkin. After Eller’s goal, Justin Williams quickly scooped it up and brought it right to the bench to be saved. The first twenty minutes also featured two penalties, one from Karl Alzner for high sticking, and the other from Eller for slashing in an attempt to stop a breakaway goal from the Rangers. This didn’t stop the Capitals, though, as they were completely in control during both penalty kills. Defense was remarkable, both from the blue line and in their own zone, with plenty of blocked shots. Notable players in the first period included Nicklas Backstrom for his great offense and blocked shots, Sanford for his high energy, and Evgeny Kuznetsov for losing his helmet but continuing to play. Period ended 2-0 Caps.

As the second period started, momentum died down and the Capitals began to get sloppy. It took the Rangers scoring three times for the Caps to get their defense back together. Those goals were scored by Brandon Pirri, and Jimmy Vesey, who got two in the net. Mika Zibanejad, on the other hand, landed a double major when he drew blood on T.J. Oshie while high-sticking. Matt Niskanen drew a penalty as well for roughing when he gave a Ranger a good shove from behind. Overall, the second period was marked by the Caps allowing too many breakaways and getting too complacent with being in the lead. Second period 3-2 NYR.

The third period was an improvement for a while, but it wasn’t enough. Nate Schmidt was the star of the last twenty minutes, with some sick blocks, hits, and powerful shots. The energy returned briefly, but it quickly turned into sloppiness and the Capitals not taking as many shots as they should’ve. The loss was solidified by an empty net goal from Rick Nash with less than six seconds remaining.

Final Score: 4-2 Rangers 

Let’s hope the Caps bring their usual high-energy performance to Wednesday’s game in Edmonton.

Caps have the day off Sunday and return to Kettler for practice on Monday.

Caps-Rangers: Pregame Line Projections

 GAME TIME IS 7 pm ET

Washington Capitals: 47-12-4

New York Rangers: 37-21-6

Watch on NHL and listen on 106.7

 At his post-morning skate today, Coach Trotz said he had no plans to change the line for tonight. Of course, that doesn’t mean he won’t change them during the game!

Caps Forward Lines

Ovechkin Backstrom Oshie

Burakovsky Kuznetsov Williams

Chimera Johansson Wilson

Beagle Richards Galiev

Defensemen Pairings

Alzner Niskanen

Orpik Orlov

Schmidt Weber

Goalies

Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer

Injury List

John Carlson (lower-body injury)

Nate Schmidt (lower-body injury)

 The NY Rangers have indicated that Henrik Lundqvist will be not be the net tonight.

New York Rangers

Forwards

Kreider Stepan Zuccarello

Miller Brassard Fast

Lindberg E. Staal Hayes

Glass Moore Stalberg

Defensive Pairings

McDonagh Girardi

Yandle Klein

McIllrath  Boyle

Goalies

Antti Raanta  backed up by Magnus Hellberg 

Injury List

Rick Nash and Marc Staal

 

Rangers into DC for Back-to-Back Games

The Washington Capitals left Buffalo Saturday after an embarrassing 4-1 loss to the Sabres. Goalie Braden Holby lost his first game in 23 and was replaced by Philipp Grubauer in the second period. This switch up may change plans for Gurbi to start in the net this afternoon. It’s a wait-and-see for that decision according to Coach Trotz.

The New York Rangers narrowly left Philadelphia on Saturday with a shootout win. The Rangers had 31 shots on goal but it was Mats Zuccarello and J.T. Miller that scored—with two shots each. No surprise that they played a physical game with 37 hits and Dan Boyle sitting in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Rangers have announced that Antti Raanta will start in the net for them as they aim to get their first consecutive win.

Both teams are hitting the ice having played tough games on Saturday. And both teams have something to prove this evening with both wanting back-to-back wins. As always with this rivalry meeting, it should be a physical game with lots of penalties and some crazy shooting. Hold on to your seats friends as we who walks with the win and how long it takes to get there.

GAME TIME IS 5pm

Your Projected Lineup for Tonight

Ovechkin         Backstrom       Oshie

Burakovsky     Kuznetsov       Williams

Chimera           Johansson        Wilson

Richards               Sill                   Latta

 Defenseman Parings

Alzner             Niskanen

Schmidt           Orlov

Ness                Chorney

Braden Holtby  or Philip Grubauer in the net.

Jason Chimera, with his assist on the Johannson goal last night now has 200 career NHL assists.

Kuznetsov and Backstrom lead the team in overall points at 41 each.

Ovechkin leads the team with 26 goals. Kuznetsov follows with 15 goals.

Injury Report and Team Scratches

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

John Carlson is still day-to-day. He is skating before team practice. Should be back before the All Stars.

Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. Like John, should be back before the All Stars.

No word yet on the third and fourth line changes for the Rangers game. Mike Richards played in Buffalo and Brooks Laich sat it out. Chances are good Richards will play again as will Latts. Game-time decision. Coach had nothing but good things to say about the Latta line so don’t expect a change as they “regroup.”

The Rangers Projected Lineup

The NYR are playing up and down with the New York Islanders for second position in the Metropolitan Division.

Miller               Brassard          Zuccarello

Kreider            Stephan           Nash

Lindberg         Hayes              Fast

Glass               Moore              Stalberg

Defensemen Pairings

McDonagh      Klein

Staal                Boyle

Yandle             Girardi

Goalies:

Antti Raanta gets the nod in the net tonight. He may be a little rusty since he hasn’t played since December 17.

Henrik Lundqvist improved his stats with the Saturday win to 20-12-4 and his 20th win for the 11th consecutive season. Only Martin Brodeur and Tony Esposito have had similar stats in their careers.

More Milestones Coming:

Michael Latta is ONE games away from a career 100 NHL/Capitals games played.

Brooks Laich is one game away from passing beloved Rod Langway’s 726th games played for eight place in the Caps franchise.

Karl Alzner, the Iron Man, is three points away from 100 NHL points and five games short of passing Bob Carpenter (422) for the longest consecutive games played in franchise history.

Next Games and Practices

Jan 18: The team is off for Monday

Jan 19: 11:30 Morning Skate at Nationwide Arena, Columbus

Jan 19: 7pm Game at Columbus Blue Jackets – CSN

 

 

Photos by Brittney Marcum

Ovechkin and the Capitals Collect Two Hard Points at MSG.

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.

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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 Holtby remains hot, stopping Kevin Klein early. The game’s first penalty went to T.J. Oshie for 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 Ovechkin collected number 498, assisted by Ranger Dan Girardi, and the Caps end the period 1-0.

Second Period: Alzner Blocks a lot of Shots.

R_WilliamsThe 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 Williams scored his 12th of the season on a breakaway that just got by Lundqvist.

  • Karl Alzner continued 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 Galiev and 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 Backstrom scored his 13th of the season. Assisted by Justin Williams and Matt Niskanen and the Capitals and Rangers end regulation tied 3-3.  r+back

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 Ovechkin speeds 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 Carlson and Brooks Orpik could be back skating and in the lineup sooner rather than later.

What’s Next

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.

Written by: Renee Garces

Photos by: Brittney Marcum

 

What to Watch: Smiling Faces for Caps-Rangers Game Day Match-up.

Caps Daily Glass Bump: Pregame 20 December 2015

ohhh yea

Photos by Brittney Marcum

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 Holtby on 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.

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Keep an eye on Evgeny Kuznetsov who 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 Oshie rack 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. 

Up Next

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.

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