Caps Beat Canucks, Star Wars Night Success 

This game was a little dull at points, making Caps fans wonder if this would be a night of celebration or another disappointment. As you know by now the Caps pulled out a 3-0 victory over the Canucks and Braden Holtby played a huge part in that. He was Stellar in net and looked more solid than in his past few appearances. Goals came from the likes of Ovechkin, Williams, and Wilson. Holtby earned his 25th NHL shutout,

Here are a few sights from the game itself:

Blue Jackets Break Capitals in Overtime

Tonight’s 2-1 OT loss was nothing short of hard fought. The Capitals pushed and pushed through all of three periods and in sudden death overtime, but it was the Columbia Blue Jackets that would be the winners tonight.

 

While the first period was predominately uneventful, it did instill a bit of hope into Caps fans. It may have started off slow and without much energy, but it didn’t take long for the boys to wake up and really start playing. They started spending much more time on offense, as opposed to always being in their own end, and most importantly, there were taking lots of shots. The Caps fought for the puck and made sure to be fast about it. Though there was no scoring, it was a good start to the game.

 

The second period was just as slow as the first, aside from someone finally scoring. It was Nicklas Backstrom who broke the ice, getting a goal, fifteen minutes in. Less remarkable moments of the second twenty minutes included a number of penalties, mostly from the Capitals. Their penalty kill was very strong, though, and they made it through the second period without being scored on. Overall, the second period still left fans hungry for more action.

 

The star of the third period was certainly Philip Grubauer. He was making beautiful saves and staying strong during the penalty kills. It wouldn’t be enough, though. Less than halfway through the period, Werenski scored a goal, tying the game and putting fans on edge. Not even a minute later, Backstrom scored his second of the game, but it was quickly taken away because of an offsides review, sending the game into overtime. Though both teams fought hard, it was the Blue Jackets who came out victorious when Atkinson scored the game-winning goal, thirty-seven seconds in. It was a very good game, overall, for the Capitals, though, despite this loss. Hopefully, they will use this for motivation against the Penguins in Washington tomorrow.

Ducks Shutout the Caps in Regular Season Finale

This was the last regular season game for the Washington Capitals and the Anaheim Ducks. Goaltenders Philipp Grubauer and Frederik Andersen were in net for the Caps and Ducks respectively. The Ducks were playing for a Pacific Division title. In other news, Justin Williams hit the 1,000th game milestone so big congratulations to him! 

First Period: Good Start

Each team had healthy scratched many of their top players; Captain Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Orpik and John Carlson sat out for the Caps. Jay Beagle did not play either and was listed as day-to-day with an injury sustained during the Blues game. Even though some of the key players were not in the lineup, it was not a boring first period. The teams traded some quality chances but Grubauer and Andersen allowed nothing. Michael Latta and Clayton Stoner dropped the gloves with 4:40 left in the first period. The teams were scoreless after the first period.

Second Period: Ducks Wake Up

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer made some big saves early in the second period. But Corey Perry gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead 4:34 into the second. Two minutes and two seconds later, Nick Ritchie doubled the Ducks lead with his second of the season. Halfway through the period, there was a parade of penalties as each team had a few power plays, no more goals were scored though. The Capitals trailed the Ducks 2-0 after two periods.

Third Period: Finish out the Season 

The third period was not the fast paced hockey we are use to seeing from the Capitals. Andersen and the Ducks were able to keep the Capitals off the board. The Capitals pulled Grubauer for the extra attacker with 1:30 left in regulation. Even though the Capitals lost 2-0 they outshot the Ducks 24-21. It was unfortunate that the Capitals got shutout in the final regular season game but this game did not have much meaning to the Caps. Now, the Capitals will now look to their round one opponent in Philadelphia.

What’s Next? (Playoffs!)

Practice: Day off on Monday and practices on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30am at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Playoffs Begin:Game one is on Thursday at 7pm on CSN/NBCSN at the Verizon Center. The Capitals and Flyers will be a physical entertaining series, that is for sure.

Caps Get Chippy and Lose it in Pittsburgh

The Washington Capitals started their three-game road trip with a visit to Consol Energy Center to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Caps could have clinched the top-seed in the Metropolitan division and the Eastern Conference with any type of win over the Penguins.

First Period: Good Start, Bad Finish.

This game was incredibly fast from opening puck drop. No slow start for the Capitals as they were constantly shooting the puck at Penguins goaltender Marc Andre Fleury.That blistering start for the Caps would only last for the first few minutes as the Bryan Rust would open the scoring for the Penguins. Trevor Daley added another shortly after and the Caps were down by two at the end of the first period. 

GOALS: Bryan Rust scored his fourth of the season (assists: Tom Kuhnhackl and Ian Cole); Trevor Daley scored his sixth of the season (assists: Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist)

PENALTIES: Daniel Winnik (interference); T.J. Oshie (tripping)

SCORE: Caps trail 2-0.

Second Period: A Mess

1:18 into the second, Jason Chimera scored using his head (literally!) to put the Capitals on the board. The Caps only had six shots on goal during this period, the fact that they spent most of the period shorthanded probably had something to do with that. This period proved that the bad blood and rivalry between the Capitals and Penguins is alive and well. Andre Burakovsky had a beautiful breakaway and fired one past Fleury to the tie the game for the Capitals. Unfortunately, the Penguins would score the eventual game winner less than a minute later.

GOALS: Jason Chimera scored his 18th of the season (assists: Justin Williams and Dmitry Orlov); Andre Burakovsky scored his 16th of the season (assist: Jay Beagle); Tom Kuhnhackl scored his third of the season (assists: Matt Cullen and Trevor Daley) 

 PENALTIES: Ian Cole (holding the stick); Mike Weber (roughing double minor); Bryan Rust (roughing); T. J. Oshie (roughing); Karl Alzner (roughing); Patric Hornqvist (slashing); Patric Hornqvist (roughing); Justin Williams (hi-sticking)

SCORE: Caps trail 3-2

Third Period: Well That’s Not Good…

The Capitals had a 30+ goal differential in the third period (meaning they outscore their opponent by a lot in the last 20 minutes of play). Unfortunately, those 3rd period Caps were not on the ice in Pittsburgh. Braden Holtby had a night to forget and Philipp Grubauer came in relief after the Pens’ fifth goal. The Penguins would score once more on the three-minute power play (thanks to a bad hit by Mike Weber).

GOALS: Matt Cullen scored his 12th of the season (assist: None); Chris Kunitz scored his 16th of the season (assists: Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang); Justin Schultz scored his fourth of the season (assist: None)

PENALTIES: Mike Weber (boarding); Mike Weber (game misconduct); Tom Kuhnhackl (roughing); Tom Kuhnhackl (game misconduct); Carl Hagelin (interference); Daniel Winnik (elbowing); Daniel Winnik (game misconduct)

SCORE: Caps lose 6-2

So the Capitals did not clinch the top spot in the Metro or the East. They still have a 19-point lead over the now-second place Penguins in the division.

What’s Next?

PRACTICE: The Caps have Monday off and are scheduled to have a morning skate at 11:30am on Tuesday at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

GAME: 7:30pm game against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre.