Capitals Defeat Devils 3-0, Holtby tallies 35th Shutout of Career

TLDR: The Washington Capitals shutout the New Jersey Devils, 3-0. Goals from Burakovsky, Backstrom, and Eller give the Caps their 6th straight win, reclaim top spot in the Metropolitan Division. 

Tonight, the Washington Capitals took on an under-performing and injured New Jersey Devils team. Looking for their 6th straight win, the Caps appeared to finally start gelling as a team, just in time for their final playoff push. The Capitals would ultimately beat New Jersey 3-0, and reclaim the top spot in the division.

Despite an early defensive breakdown in front of Caps netminder Braden Holtby, the boys in red made it very apparent they came out to party on a Friday night. The Capitals have struggled recently with allowing early first period goals by the opposition, but that certainly didn’t pose a problem tonight. Andre Burakovsky started off the scoring early, just under three minutes into the first period. With the goal being his 11th of the season, Andre has goals in his last three games.

The Capitals’ ability to steal the puck away from the Devils certainly hindered any opportunities the weakened away team may have generated. However, it was the Devils that received the first power play of the night, as defenseman Michal Kempny went off for tripping. New Jersey maintained offensive zone pressure for much of the minor penalty, but the Capitals improved penalty killing units kept them off the board. And Holtby’s spectacular goaltending certainly didn’t hurt their cause. Shortly thereafter, a charging penalty dished to Kurtis Gabriel gave the Capitals an extra man for the power play. It only took a couple of moments for the Capitals to be gifted a very long two-man advantage as Blake Coleman tripped up T.J. Oshie. As one power play expired, the Caps would receive yet another opportunity once the Devils were called for too-many-men. Unfortunately, they were unable to increase their lead by two on any of the three consecutive power plays. The Devils would be gifted a late first period power play, that would ultimately overlap into the second. The Capitals led 1-0 heading into the first intermission.

Pictured: Head Coach Todd Reirden is all of us

Most would agree that in the second period, we wanted to see better passing and more scoring opportunities. A successful kill of a late first period penalty was definitely a good start. Carl Hagelin continues to impress on the penalty kill and in 5v5 play. A speedy and precise skater, Hagelin seems to have made himself at home on the third line for now. Difficult ice at Capital One made it difficult to complete passes, so there was a good amount of back and forth play. Matt Niskanen would be called for holding the stick, giving the Devils another power play opportunity. Another successful kill by the Capitals. Alas, the Caps would head back to the penalty kill, albeit successful, as Nic Dowd went off for interference. A scrappy yet scoreless second period, the Caps led with 24 shots on goal, to the Devils’ 20, with the final frame looming.

Pictured: Capitals forward Carl Hagelin (Geoff Burke- USA Today Sports)

During the intermission, Carl Hagelin agreed that to win this game, his team needed to stay out of the box. Ironically, the Capitals, again, go off to the penalty box for hooking, just 30 seconds into the third period. The Devils were unable to register even a single shot on the man advantage, improving the Caps PK to 100% on the night. A trip against Evgeny Kuznetsov by Kenny Agostino gave the good guys another chance to improve their lead. And a tip-in deflection by Nicklas Backstrom did exactly that, giving the Capitals a 2-0 lead. The goal would mark Backstrom’s 17th of the season.

With five minutes remaining, the Capitals went back on the power play as Kyle Palmieri was sent off for tripping, but did not convert. T.J. Oshie would receive a two-minute minor for tripping with less than two minutes left in the game. Although the Devils would elect to pull goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, New Jersey would end the game without a single goal. To seal the deal, Lars Eller would pot a shorthanded empty net goal, and the Caps would improve to 8-2-0 in their last 10 and 40-21-7 for the season. Braden Holtby earned his 35th career shutout, stopping 25 of 25 shots faced.

FICP’s Three Takeways of the Game:

  1. Despite a red-hot penalty kill, the Capitals need to stay out of the box.
  2. Are we witnessing a Burakovsky comeback?
  3. Braden Holtby is a brick-wall.

Caps Hang On to Defeat Kings 3-2

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After a complete dud Sunday night in Anaheim, the Washington Capitals bounced back in Los Angeles Monday night at Staples Center with a 3-2 win over the Kings. Thanks in part to two Alex Ovechkin office goals as well as a deflection from Brett Connolly, the Caps defended and held off a late rally from the home team.  Continue reading “Caps Hang On to Defeat Kings 3-2”

Alex Ovechkin Scores 40th Goal but Caps Fall to Ducks in Anaheim

The Washington Capitals were looking to build off a big win Thursday night in San Jose but they fell to the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Sunday night. Alex Ovechkin achieved another milestone, John Carlson added a goal too but in the end, the Caps couldn’t stay out of the box and the Ducks made them pay with three unanswered goals. The Ducks have swept the Capitals this season after they stunned them in December at Capital One Arena, overcoming a four-goal deficitContinue reading “Alex Ovechkin Scores 40th Goal but Caps Fall to Ducks in Anaheim”

T.J. Oshie Records 500th Career Point, Caps Tame Sharks 5-1

T.J. Oshie scored twice, earning a milestone 500th career point, to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night in the second game of their season-long six-game road trip. The Caps allowed a goal to begin the game but ripped off five unanswered to exact revenge on a Sharks team that stunned the Capitals’ in D.C. on January 22nd with a goal in the last second to tie it and then go on to win in overtime.  Continue reading “T.J. Oshie Records 500th Career Point, Caps Tame Sharks 5-1”

Caps End Homestand on High Note Before Falling in Columbus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals wrapped up their season-long six game homestand and kicked off a long road trip this week. On Saturday, the Caps overcame a 3-1 and 4-2 deficit against the Florida Panthers. They rallied to force the tie but ultimately fell short in overtime 5-4. The Capitals rebounded in the final game of the homestand on Monday night with a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings before kicking off a six-game road trip in Columbus where they were blanked by the Blue Jackets 3-0.

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Caps Fans Salute Jay Beagle Tuesday Night (Tribute Video)

On Tuesday night, Jay Beagle returned to Washington but this time in a Vancouver Canucks uniform. The longtime fan favorite who spent 10 seasons with the Capitals ended up signing with Vancouver during the summer and many fans were sad when learning of Beagle’s departure. Whether you marveled at his hard work ethic on the ice or were touched by Beagle’s kindness toward the Caps fanbase, Tuesday would certainly be an emotional night for both Beagle himself and the Caps organization as a whole.  Continue reading “Caps Fans Salute Jay Beagle Tuesday Night (Tribute Video)”

Capitals Defeat Canucks 3-2 with Alex Ovechkin Achieving Another Milestone

The Washington Capitals defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. Coming off the break, the Caps have won two of their last three games to pull closer in the Metropolitan Division race. Their record improves to 28-18-6 and thanks to losses by the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins, they are now in second place just two points behind the first place Islanders.  Continue reading “Capitals Defeat Canucks 3-2 with Alex Ovechkin Achieving Another Milestone”

Caps Winless Drought Extends to Seven Games Entering Break

The Washington Capitals were expected by many experts to have a Stanley Cup hangover of some sorts after winning the Cup and enduring the shortest, quickest offseason for the entire roster. Things were kind of 50/50 at the start of the season, then the team got hot to close out the 2018 calendar year. When that calendar flipped to 2019, that hangover talk resurfaced. The team is having a hard time moving on from the past.  Continue reading “Caps Winless Drought Extends to Seven Games Entering Break”

Capitals Defensemen Shine but Team Falters 8-5 to the Blackhawks

The Washington Capitals drooped their fifth game in a row in a 8-5 offensive shootout loss the Chicago Blackhawks in a Sunday afternoon matinee at United Center in Chicago. All five Capitals goals came from defensemen with All-Star John Carlson pacing the way with two while Brooks Orpik, Dmitry Orlov, and Matt Niskanen each added a goal of their own. In the end though, the Caps goaltending couldn’t overcome a Blackhawks attack highlighted by a four-goal afternoon from Jonathan Toews. The Cap shave now dropped eight of their last 11 games and are still looking for answeres. They haven’t dropped five games in a row since the start of the 2014-15 season.

Continue reading “Capitals Defensemen Shine but Team Falters 8-5 to the Blackhawks”

Caps Once Again Fall to Blues 4-1

CAPITAL ONE ARENA – The St. Louis Blues came into Washington and defeated the Capitals thanks to a second period of three unanswered goals. That led not only to a 4-1 road win over the defending Stanley Cup champions but also swept the Caps for the season series after defeating Washington back on Jan. 3 in St. Louis. This game marked a significant milestone for Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik, who suited up for his 1,000th career NHL game. This is the Capitals second loss in a row having lost Saturday to the Blue Jackets on home ice in overtimeContinue reading “Caps Once Again Fall to Blues 4-1”