Braden Holtby and John Carlson Lead Metropolitan Division to All-Star Game Win

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and defenseman John Carlson were well represented at the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose last week. With coach Todd Reirden at the helm of the Metropolitan Division, the trio contributed to wins over the Atlantic and Central Divisions to win the All-Star Game and split the grand prize of one million dollars. Continue reading “Braden Holtby and John Carlson Lead Metropolitan Division to All-Star Game Win”

John Carlson Wins Hardest Shot Competition

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Photo: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals, at least in the case of defenseman John Carlson, finally won something on Friday night. Although it doesn’t officially end their current seven game winless stretch, Carlson stole the spotlight in the Hardest Shot challenge at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition at SAP Center in San Jose. It’s been a long time coming for Carlson and in 2019 he finally was voted into his first All-Star game.  Continue reading “John Carlson Wins Hardest Shot Competition”

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”

Preview: Capitals Host Rangers on Wednesday Night Hockey

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michael banner 2It seems like de ja vu. For the third Wednesday in a row we are back in Chinatown. This time it’ll be the New York Rangers taking on the Washington Capitals as two Metropolitan Division rivals meet for the first time in this young season. This game will be the first of four meetings between the defending champs and the Broadway Bluehsirts this season. The Caps look to end a two-game losing streak against a young and rebuilding Rangers hockey club. Puck drop from Chinatown is at 7 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network.  Continue reading “Preview: Capitals Host Rangers on Wednesday Night Hockey”

A “Zebra” in the East: Capitals Fall to the Red Wings and Then Rangers

After the bye week for the Capitals, things weren’t as the expected for return. The  Red Wings who ranked last in the Eastern Conference and 27th overall opened a 2-0 advantage, saw the Caps raise in the game and tied in in the third. However, The Rangers managed to win in the shootouts and accomplish the “zebra” in the east, a Brazilian expression used when the leader loses to the last placed team. In this case, the league leader losing to the last team in the conference.

The Caps began strong and fast, with Ovechkin and Backstrom having some good chances at the first minute of the game. But in the first half of the first period, the Red Wings converted a power play and took the early lead. The Capitals, by other side, didn’t capitalize any. The Red Wings extended their lead to  2-0 in the second, but the Caps could prepare the ground with Sanford’s second NHL career goal, making it 2-1 before the third. With less than five minutes in the third, Winnik tied the game and the tie would be extended to the shootouts. The Caps had their opportunity to win, but wasted some chances, including with T.J. Oshie, but the six-game win streak came to an end.

One of the reasons we can appoint is the special units. The Caps suffered a PPG and couldn’t capitalize any of their own. Some people say about the “rust”, since the team just came back from the bye week. Burakovsky suffered a hand  injury against the same Detroit Red Wings last week, when the Caps have won by 6-3 at Verizon Center and his presence could make some difference today.

The good side is the Caps demonstrated strength and that they’re able top manage and search results in the adversity, but still improve about decisive moments, like winning in OT/SO. By the way, they’re still unbeaten in 12 games at home. This team can be mortal if they rise in the right moment.

The next opponent was our a rivals, the New York Rangers in the Big Apple the following day. The Caps had some struggles here too. Lundqvist had 31 saves while Grubauer had 28. The final score was 2-1 Rangers. Let’s hope by the time they meet the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday at 8 pm. 

New York Rangers Come to Town

The New York Rangers slide onto Capitals ice tonight at 7 pm at the Verizon Center. Big game means watching on NHL, CSN, and MSG if you can’t make it there yourself.

The Caps have been front and center in hockey news from Dmitry Orlov’s masterful hip check to Daniel Winnik’s ear nip. They have won three-in-a-row and sit in first place for the division – fourth in the league. One more win and maybe the sports masters will talk about how good the Caps look early in the season.

Your line up tonight presented by Daily Faceoff: Zach Sanford is back in which mean Brett Connolly is out, and Taylor Chorney still hasn’t played yet.

Comeback Caps not enough to beat Blue Shirts

After a comeback victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs two nights before, the Washington Capitals continued their homestand by taking on the New York Rangers on Friday night. Antti Raanta got the start for the Rags with Henrik Lundqvist out with an injury. Braden Holtby got the start for the Caps. Michael Latta, Stanislav Galiev and Nate Schmidt were the scratches.

PERIOD 1: It’s all about the climb…

The Rangers came into the Verizon Center ready to play. They were swarming the ice and screening Holtby in the hopes of netting a few pucks. The Caps got in the hole early giving up two goals, one of which was scored on a powerplay. It seems that, yet again, our boys will be spending a lot of time in the sin bin.

GOALS: Jesper Fast scored, assisted by Dan Girardi, and Keith Yandle scored, assisted by Derek Brassard.

PENALTIES: Marc Staal called for tripping, Jay Beagle called for roughing, J.T. Miller called for roughing, and Karl Alzner called for tripping.

SCORE: Caps down, 0-2

PERIOD 2– Secondary scoring

The Caps finally came to play this game! After a mediocre first few minutes, the Caps started playing with some passion. After lengthy reviews by the officials, Jay Beagle scored his first goal since returning from injury and T.J. Oshie added another one during the power play. Raanta had some spectacular saves on his end and Holtby stood tall in his crease.

GOALS: Jay Beagle and T.J. Oshie scored, both unassisted. Beagle scored his 7th of the season and Oshie scored his 19th of the season.

PENALTIES: Tanner Glass called for slashing.

SCORE: Caps tie it up, 2-2

PERIOD 3: Too little, too late

The Caps were back in the hole early in the third. The Rangers scored just 17 seconds in to give them back the lead. The Caps were pressuring ferociously the entire period but could not get anything past Raanta. They almost got another reviewed call go their way. However, Raanta got extremely lucky as the puck did not cross the line. They had plenty of other great chances but they just couldn’t get stick to puck and in the net.

GOALS: Derek Stepan scored, assisted by Ryan McDonagh.

PENALTIES: Justin Williams called for slashing.

SCORE: Caps lose, 2-3

The Caps had a pretty decent game–if you looked at only the second and third periods. The sleepy slow start was detrimental and they just could not complete the comeback climb that we are all used to seeing. The Caps are now 47-13-4 and still have 98 points.

Their next game is Saturday at Boston at 7pm on CSN.

 

Trotz’s Take: NYR Post-game comments, 3/4/2016

Following Friday night’s loss to the NY Rangers, Coach Trotz had these comments about the game:

About the Performance:

I thought we played pretty well, actually.”

“I thought we came out with a pretty good game plan.”

“I didn’t think the first was too bad.”

“I thought in the second period that we dominated that period.”

“I thought in the third we had a pretty good push on but they did a really good job defending.”

“I thought they had a couple of key saves.”

“We couldn’t’ get it tied up.”

You don’t want to give a goal up the end of the period—you don’t want to give up a goal the first two minutes the start of a period.”

Beagle, Richards, Winnik were outstanding—I would not want to play that line a lot—they were good.”

“We played the right way”

Trotz said he told the guys after the game: “I’ll take that game any day of the week

There are hockey gods and the way we played against the Leafs I think that was their way of going, you gotta give us one back for that effort.”

Road Trip

The Caps head off on a four-game road trip which after Boston takes them to the west coast and play against the Anaheim Ducks, the LA Kings, and the San Jose Sharks. Coach is looking forward to the trip, saying: “Great for us to get on the road a little bit, we’ve been home for a long time we may be a little stale. Get on the road and see if we can pull the game a little back together”

Bruins: “We are gonna get marked up by all the teams that we’re playing, Boston is playing very very well right now who knows what happens. They might be a first round opponent. Still a lot of hockey to be played they’re gonna come out ready to go tomorrow night”

Ducks: “…and then we head to Anaheim that’s five games seven nights that will be a tough one. Anaheim’s has won 10 or 11 in a row right now They’re playing real good hockey right now, they’re in first place and they are gonna want to mark us up and see what we’ve got to offer from this side “

Kings: “…and then we go to LA and they are fighting for first place and we’ve seen them once”

Sharks: “…and then we go to San Jose, who played us in game two.”

I think they are all fighting for first place within a point or two of each other and they are sort of peaking at the right time.”

Caps-NYRangers: Goalie Matchup

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The Capitals are playing the New York Rangers this evening. Holtby is confirmed as tonight’s starter and the Rangers have announced that Antti Ranta will be in against Holby. Raanta has not been on the ice very much this season, but has a record of 6-4-2 and a GAA of 2.32 and save percentage of .913 with one shutout.

In last night’s game against Henrik Lundqvist seemed to be in pain after a teammate collided with him on a Penguins breakaway; the main contact was to his head.  He was eventually pulled and Antti Raanta replaced him because Lundqvist was experiencing neck spasms. Lundqvist is 31-17-4 this season with a GAA of 2.31 and save percentage of .923.

The Capitals are 3-1 against the Rangers and look to continue their dominance of the league and be the first team to 100 points, they are currently at 98. Playoffs aren’t here quite yet, but the way the capitals are playing you’ll be hearing talk about playoff pretty soon.

Caps Cruise Past Rangers

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The Washington Capitals came home to greet the New York Rangers  for a 5pm puck drop at Verizon Center. Mike Richards made his home debut as a Washington Capital centering for Brooks Laich and Stanislav Galiev. Michael Latta and Zach Sill were healthy scratches.

richardsRichards was phenomenal tonight and is starting to mesh with the team—he had two shots and two minutes in the sin bin.

First Period: It’s Not the Start, It’s the Finish.

The Capitals and Rangers started out hitting and moving. Justin Williams knocked the stick out of the hands of Ranger captain Ryan McDonagh. There is a saying that the goalie is the best player on a penalty kill. This was especially true during the Capitals’ first penalty kill of the game for Braden Holtby.

Marcus Johansson lost a faceoff and Ranger Chris Kreider deflects a McDonagh shot. Capitals trailed 1-0. 

ovi goalDerick Brassard held Evgeny Kuznetsov’s stick and the Capitals go on their second power play…and Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 27th of the season and ninth straight goal-scoring game against the Rangers. Fellow Russians Kuznetsov and defenseman Dmitry Orlov collected the assists on Ovechkin’s goal.

End of the first, Capitals and Rangers tied 1-1.

Second Period: Swede Points

The second period was much better for the Capitals. The Rangers continued their penalty trouble and the Capitals capitalized.

Dylan McIIrath took a slashing penalty and the Capital Swedes Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson connected for Johansson’s 12th goal of the season.

A few minutes later, Justin Williams tipped-in a Taylor Chorney shot to build the lead to 3-1. Andre Burakovsky got the secondary assist on Williams’ 14th of the season so all three Swedes collected a point in the period.

Ranger Chris Kreider ruined the fun with his second of the night. Capitals keep the lead 3-2 with less than four minutes to go in the period. And with that goal, the boisterous Rangers fans became rather quiet…

Goaltender Braden Holtby took himself out of the game with two minutes left in the second period, reportedly for dehydration—a common problem for the goaltender. Philipp Grubauer came in for the relief.    Grubs in

Third Period: Justin Williams’Hat Trick!

Justin Williams tipped-in another shot this time by Evgeny Kuznetsov for his second of the night and 15th of the season. It was a great set up by Andre Burakovsky for his third multi-point game in the last four games.

Before the period was over, Williams took advantage of the empty net for his third goal of the night. This was the second career hat trick for Justin Williams.

The Rangers (and their fans) thought they scored with 54.2 seconds left but it was overturned for offsides. The Capitals end the game victorious, 5-2, over the Blueshirts of New York.

Thanks to two amazing goalies the Caps keep bouncing back and have a firm lead Division, Conference, and the NHL. Get well Braden, there is no one quite like you!

With 12 consecutive home wins for the guys Rocking the Red, they are one shy of a franchise record. The Capitals are the only team to not have two consecutive regulation losses yet this season. We are still waiting to hear when John Carlson and Brooks Orpik will rejoin the team.

What’s Next?

Day off on Monday.

Morning skate Tuesday at 11:30 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night at 7pm at Nationwide Arena.

Written by Renee Garces

Photos by Brittney Marcum