Capitals Meet Sabres in Buffalo

Capitals game time is 1 pm EST on NHL and NBC Sports Washington. Daily Faxeoff has this as Caps lines today as Carl Hagelin joins the fourth line. Braden Holtby in the net.

The Capitals sit second in the Metro Div while the Sabres are out of Wild Card range.

From Caps Today:

The Capitals take on the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Arena today in the third and final meeting between the teams this season. Washington won the last meeting

The Capitals are concluding their six game road trip today, entering this game with a 3-2-0 record on the trip. Since returning from their bye week Feb. 1, the Capitals have posted a 7-3-1 record and are tied for sixth in the NHL in wins (7) and tied for sixth in points (15). In the month of February the Capitals are tied for ninth in goals for (34). Washington has killed 26 of the 30 penalties (86.7), which ranks second in the NHL, and lead the NHL in blocked shots (199) since Feb.

Caps Get Their Mojo Back in OT Win

On Monday, December 5th, the Buffalo Sabres were in town to take on our Washington Capitals. With Jack Eichel back in their line-up, Buffalo has another great forward that can torment Braden Holtby. As of lately, Holtby seems to be the only Caps player who wants to win. Most of these guys appear they could care less. Can the Caps get their offensive prowess back? And soon?! PLEASE!!
It was a pretty quiet first period until 6 minutes in when Buffalo had a sort of 2 on 1 and Zemgus Girgensons backhands one past Holtby, giving the Sabres a 1-0 lead. dsc_0359Seems the Caps are in their usual sleepy form as of late. They really need to get the offense back firing on all cylinders. Caps tried for an odd man rush of their own, but were called offsides, much to the chagrin of their fans. With 5:20 left in the first, the Caps got the first powerplay of the game as Evander Kane was called for slashing. However, the Caps do not score. The Caps powerplay is now 3-for-25. With 2:32 left in the first, Caps got another chance at the powerplay when William Carrier was called for slashing Matt Niskanen. Yet again, no goal. Caps end the first down by one.
Another quiet start to the second period until about 6 minutes in when Jay Beagle puts a deflection in past Robin Lehner. That’s goal #5 for Snoopy this year. Orlov had a great chance to give the Caps the lead but couldn’t put the puck in the wide open net. That is the Caps luck lately, isn’t it?

Holtby stood tall and then got piled on during a long whistle and gave the ref a good ear full once he was back upright. The replay showed why the long whistle, as well as why the Caps used up all their good luck on that play. 30 seconds later, the Sabres got one past Holtby but the Caps coaching staff challenged the play. Caps win their challenge as the play was offsides. The game is still square at one goal each.

Another aggressive drive by the Sabres causes another huge pile up in the crease with Holtby doing everything he can to keep the puck out. However, third times the charm. Kyle Okposo put a rebound in past Holtby who had made a great save on the opposite post and couldn’t get over.

That one minute of play was the most exciting hockey in this entire game. Alex Ovechkin was called for slashing and the Caps are on their first penalty kill of the night; which they do successfully. Caps end the second still down by one. Sabres up 2-1.

The Sabres started the third buzzing just like they ended the second. Matt Niskanen was called for tripping. The Caps had some great shorthanded chances, but Lehner was there to prevent a shorty. There was a lot of back and forth and it seemed the Caps had finally remembered how to hockey. With under 7 minutes remaining, Evander Kane was called for hooking that sent the Caps to the powerplay. It was only 5 seconds in and THEY SCORE!!!

Marcus Johansson deflected a point shot from John Carlson, and they tie it at 2. With just over 3 minutes left, Jay Beagle was called for tripping. Crucial kill for the Caps, which they do. Caps had a few chances for shorties again, but no go. Caps and Sabres tied, 2-2. Back to overtime we go!
In overtime, Barry Trotz rolled a fan favorite D-Man pair of John Carlson and Karl Alzner. This pair also lovingly known as Carlzner. As per usual in 3-on-3 overtime, there was a lot of back and forth. Some nervous moments on both ends. About halfway through overtime, MARCUS JOHANSSON SCORES!!! CAPS WIN 3-2!!
I’d be lying if I said this game didn’t almost put me to sleep. The Caps look like they forgot how to pass or shoot or really how to do anything. They seem to always have a similar part of the season every year. There are always some slumps for our best players and top scorers. Who would have guessed that our leading goal scorer this season would be Mojo? Anyone? Certainly not me. He got his 10th and 11th goal of the season and snapped the Caps 3 game losing skid. The Caps are now 14-7-3. Their next game is Wednesday at home against Boston. That game is going to be on NBC and begins at 8pm. See ya then, Caps faithful!

Curse of the Reverse Jerseys- Caps Fall to the Sabres

Saturday night was the front end of a weekend back-to-back with the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers tomorrow evening. It was reverse jersey night for the Capitals and Sabres, so the Capitals wore their red home jerseys with the Sabres wearing their white away jerseys.

First Period: Welcome Richards!

This was forward Mike Richard’s first game as a Washington Capital. Richards centered the fourth line with Zach Sill and Michael Latta. The game had a slower start with some nice chances for the Capitals, especially the second line. Sabre Phil Varone scored his first goal of the season at the 12:14 mark, assisted by Ramsus Ristolainen and Zach Bogosian. Mark Pysyk and Jack Eichel gave the Capitals two power play opportunities during the period, which were both unsuccessful. Tim Schaller also scored his first of the season, shorthanded, and the Sabres took a 2-0 lead into first intermission.

Second Period: Not the Caps night.

 

Braden Holtby ends his win streak at 22
 

The Capitals go back on the penalty kill early in the second, forward Zach Sill for holding. Defenseman Nate Schmidt had a nice shorthanded chance but Sabres goaltender Chad Johnson denied him. Sabre Evander Kane extended the Sabres lead, 3-0, and that ends Braden Holtby’s night in the net. Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer goes in relief. Cody Franson scored the Sabres’ fourth goal of the night and collected his fourth of the season. Capitals trailed the Sabres 4-0 after two periods.

Third Period: At least it wasn’t a shutout.

 

Only goal of the night from Johansson
 

Forward Marcus Johansson, assisted by Jason Chimera, scored his 11th of the season and the Capitals were finally on the board. That assist was Chimera’s 200th NHL assist. The Capitals would go on the power play mid-way through the period but nothing went past Sabres goaltender Johnson. Tom Wilson and Marcus Foligno dropped the gloves at the 10:43 mark of the third period. Marcus Foligno after the fight raised his arms to the crowd, signaling he “won” the fight after taking multiple punches from Wilson. The Capitals fall to the Sabres 4-1. The Capitals’ five-game winning streak is snapped and goaltender Braden Holtby loses for the first time in regulation since November 10, 2015.

 

Chimera nabs his 200th NHL career assist!
 
Even the best team in the league has off nights where nothing goes right. Get some rest and bounce back against the Rangers.

What’s next?

Practice: No morning skate on Sunday.

Game: Sunday at 5pm against the New York Rangers at Verizon Center.

Written by: Renee Garces

Photos by: Brittney Marcum 

Caps VS Sabres, Mike Richards Makes Team Debut 

The Caps left Washington DC on a high with five wins in a row and a grand celebration with their captain, Alex Ovechkin, and his 500th goal. Sprinkle in the two goals and one assist by Evgeny Kuznetsov and the fun of watching Tom Wilson and Karl Alzner score, the team continues to stun and entertain the league. The Caps are going for a third win against Buffalo.

bug richardsMike Richards is in the lineup in favor of Brooks Laich. We will finally get to see his progress and how he meshes with the team.

The Buffalo Sabres on the other hand come home after ending their winning streak of three games having been dealt a loss by the Boston Bruin. They also lost Zemgus Girgensons to an upper body injury which removes him from tonight’s game. The team held an option morning skate with both goalies this morning.

After the last game Braden Holtby said, “We are pretty relentless as a team.” We can expect a physical game Washington scored seven goals against the Buffalo in their first matchup Kuzy is likely to have another great showing—as he did the last time the two teams met. Buffalo for its part just needs a win at this point as they just to keep out of bottom place in the league.

buf kuzy
Kuzy all smiles with his great success!!

GAME TIME IS 5pm

Your Projected Lineup for Tonight

 

Michael Latta back in the line-up tonight
 

Ovechkin         Backstrom       Oshie

Burakovsky     Kuznetsov       Williams

Chimera           Johansson        Wilson

Sill                      Richards            Latta       

Defenseman Parings

Alzner             Niskanen

Schmidt           Orlov

Ness                Chorney

Braden Holtby in the net.

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: last time the Caps played Buffalo, Jay left with an injured hand from which he continues to recover. We don’t expect him for another four or five 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. He did not travel with the team to Buffalo.

Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. Like John, should be back before the All Stars. He did not travel with the team to Buffalo.

Stanislav Galiev- Healthy Scratch 

Brooks Laich- Healthy Scratch 

The Sabres: May have game-time changes.

Kane                O’Reilly          McGinn

Gionta              Eichel              Reinhart

Foligno            Larsson            Varone

Moulson          Schaller           Legwand

Defensemen Pairings

Gorges             Ristolainen

Pysyk           Bogosian

Weber              Franson

Goalies: Chad Johnson likely to get the start. Robin Lehner backing him up. We have reports on both goalies. We will see at 5 who is in the net for sure.

O’Reilly leads the team with 37 points and Ristolainen following with 28 points.

O’Reilly also leads the team in goals at 17 followed by Eichel with 13.

More Milestones Coming:

Jason Chimera is ONE assist away from an NHL career 200 assists.

Michael Latta is two games away from 100 NHL games played

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 17: 5pm Rangers at Verizon Center

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

Caps-Sabres: Caps Go for Nine in Their Last Home Game of 2015

game cool kuzy
Kuzy Chill

 

The Washington Capitals now have nine wins in a row, a bunch of guys hurt, and a winning attitude. Justin Williams said it best: “We’re just going about our business, and our business right now is winning.” (CSN) They played against a physical team and a goalie who must have been channeling Holtby because it was darn near impossible to get past him.

game sillWarmups started with the disappointing realization that defenseman John Carlson would not skate tonight despite our hopes. Michael Latta also scratched and remains day-to-day. Zach Sill made his first NHL appearance this season—in for Latta.

The big twitter buzz was all about Alex Ovechkin who got an end-of-the year trim. The team was sporting their fashionable third jersey tonight. game ovi hair

First Period: The Johnson Period

Braden Holtby was in the net for the Caps and Chad Johnson for the Sabres. Ovechkin was called for roughing at 19.33 (.27) and the Sabres were on a powerplay. On a rush to the net, Jack Eichel passes one over to Brian Gionta to score first. 0-1 Sabres. Caps on the powerplay (PP) after a hardhit and trip by Tyler Ennis against Marcus Johansson. Goalie Chad Johnson had three good saves which prevented the Caps from scoring on the opportunity. And then the scuffle broke out: Tom Wilson taking on Sabres Captain Gionta. Tom Wilson gets a double minor and Zach Bogosian two-minutes for roughing. Caps on the penalty kill (PK) again. No score. Period ends 0-1 Sabres

game scrum

Second Period: The Injury Period

The period started with an Ovi chance that failed to connect with the net. Eichel remained hot in the second period, keeping the defense on guard. The Caps went on the PP when Johan Larsson hooks Evgeny Kuznetsov. The crowd brought some energy to the play but the players couldn’t break through Johnson’s wall.

game williams

And then at 5:52 Justin Williams caught Johnson off guard and bam—we’re all tied up’ Tyler Ennis went down the tunnel after a hit by Ovi and then Beagle would leave after a “whack” from the Sabres. Sabres would take the lead before the end of the third with a wrist shot by by Zemgus Girgensons. 1-2 Sabres at the end of the period.

Third Period: The Penalty Period

After a brief delay the third period began without Jay Beagle who “sustained and upper body injury” (Caps PR). Ovechkin tied it up at 18:36 with one heck of a backhand shot off Kuzy and Oshie. Six more goals to 500! 2-2 now. Nicky Backstrom went off the ice as well with Sill stepping up to the first line. Marcus Johansson to the box for boarding despite the complaints of the fans. In the midst of the PK, Wilson was tripped by Kane and the Caps get a bit of a PP. And then Ovi gets called for two minutes on a high stick. And one more penalty—again on Kane for hooking Ovi just as he comes out of the box. As Mike Vogel said it was a regular whistle fest.

Finally at 1128 Mojo would break past all the nonsense and score one off a sneaky pass from Kuzy and Matt Niskanen. Kane looking none too happy as he exits the box!

Things got even better at the 10.04 mark as Andre Burakovsky finishes off sweet pass from Marcus. 4-2 Caps. Buffalo pulls their goalie and Ovi takes advantage of the empty net at 1:13 for one more goal. Now it’s 5 to 500 for the GR8! Game ends 5-2 CAPS CAPS CAPS

The team has begun to join the ranks of teams with injured players. Michael Latta hopes to be back on the ice playing against the Carolina Hurricanes. No word on Carlson, Backstorm, or Beags. Despite losing all these players at once, the team came together and played like the winners they are. We hardly noticed the missing players which is something we haven’t seen with the Caps in a very long time.

And a salute to our military. Thank you for your service.

game saltue

Now on to Raleigh…and we’ re     game schmidt

all smiling with Nate!

NHL Injury Role Call—December 28, 2015

injury_carlson

Caps Join the Player Injury Roster

We are about mid-way through the 2015/16 season and we are starting to see the player injury count rise around the NHL. The Washington Capitals, with the exception of Brooks Orpik, have had their bumps and bruises and until last night none of our players had missed a game for an injury.

John Carlson’s consecutive game streak (412) ended after warmups and he concluded that he just couldn’t come back and play. He is out with an ‘upper-body injury’ which we hope won’t leave him sidelined for long.

And then there was the Michael Latta fight. Stepping up to defend a bruising to teammate Justin Williams, Sparky took on Nicolas Deslauriers, who issued a strong beatdown in return. Latts left the ice and is reported to have an arm injury. Still waiting for more details.  Continue reading “NHL Injury Role Call—December 28, 2015”

UPDATE: Caps Daily Glass Bump: Pregame 28 December 2015

Caps-Sabres Pre-game, Practice photos, and Evander Kane (Updates in Red)

Photos by Brittney Marcum

sab coachThe Capitals extended their winning streak to seven on Saturday night in Washington. After a tough practice at Kettler on Sunday they flew up to Buffalo to settle in before meeting the Sabres tonight. The Caps have won three of their last four games against the Sabres.

Things in Buffalo exploded late Sunday with news that left wing Evander Kane is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault. The team confirmed the allegations although no formal charges have been filed yet. As the investigation is in the early stages, it is likely that the team will be somewhat unsettled in the locker room. No word as we go to press, if Kane, who has eight goals and five assists in 25 games, will play tonight. It was reported this morning by multiple sources that Kane DID in fact participate in morning skate. (11 am) Kane issued a statement from the Sabres locker room saying he “has done nothing wrong.” As of now (12:30) he remains on the roster for tonight.

Line up appears to be the same. If Carlson is out (see below) Connor Carrick will step in.

The Caps are averaging 3.1 goals a game, second in the league.

Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 17 goals. He hasn’t lit the lamp in his last two games. He did take a puck to the forearm from Matt Niskanen but looked good skating on Sunday.  sab ovi

Nicklas Backstrom leads the team with 31 points and 21 assists.

John Carlson per Isabelle Khurshudyan (WashPost), did not skate at practice this morning. It is unclear if he will be in tonight. This would be his first game missed in over 400 games. He continues to rack up the assists and goals with 27 points this season. He is on track to reach or top his 2014 season high of 55 points. John took a maintenance day on Sunday and did not skate.  Carlson is tied for fifth in the NHL in road assists (12) and Karl Alzner ranks tied for fifth in plus/minus (+11) on the road. (CapsToday)

Braden Holtby leads the league in wins (22) and goals against average (1.92) He is the only goalie in the league with 20 wins or more. Sabres’ goaltender Chad Johnson sits well below in 23rd place with 10 wins in 23 games.

Philip Grubauer in the seven games he has been in the net has four wins, two losses, and an OT loss. He should be strong in the net against the Sabres should Trotz give him the opportunity. A goalie has not been announced for tonight’s game at time of posting.

sab laich burkyBrooks Laich and Andre Burkovsky haven’t scored a goal on the fourth line in a while, but along with Michael Latta they are shooting at every opportunity. Maybe they will break their goal drought tonight.

Alex Ovechkin is eight goals away from 500 NHL career goals.

Fight Potential: When it comes to major penalties for fighting, the Caps have 9 penalties compared to the Sabres’ six.sab wilson

 

 

Practice Shots: Caps took practice at Kettler Iceplex on Saturday. Here are some great shots of the Trotz’ Smiling Boys.

Coming Up:

Caps Practice at Kettler Ice Plex Tuesday 1230

Caps-Sabres at home. Game time 7pm on CSN-DC

Caps Morning Skate at Kettler Ice Plex  Wednesday 1015

Caps-Hurricanes in Raleigh. Game time 7pm on CSN-DC

Caps Head North to Meet the Buffalo Sabres

The Washington Capitals take to the “City of Good Neighbors” but don’t expect them to be too neighborly to the Buffalo Sabres when they meet them on the ice Monday. The Sabres are sitting in seventh place in the Atlantic Division and at this point are five spots out of even wild card contention.

The darling of the Sabres is rookie center Jack Eichel who played a physical game in the Sabres-Bruins game Saturday. His teammates called him “crazy good” he was credited with two goals in the game that gave the Sabres a winning edge (6-3). The 19 year old also earned the First Star of the Night.

Center Ryan O’Reilly (90) ranks first in goals and points (32) for the team as a whole. He has also had two GWG’s (Game winning goals) so far this year.

Evander Kane (9) missed practice for personal reasons on Sunday (CBS Sports). Recent reports by ESPN say that he is currently being investigated for a sexual offense that occurred in Buffalo. It’s unclear at time of publishing whether we will see Kane in the lineup or not. Kane was moved to Eichel’s line and had a goal and an assist in the win against the Bruins.

Goalie Chad Johnson had 30 saves on 33 shots against the Bruins and .918 save percentage. In his last 5 games he’s had three regulation wins, one regulation loss and one loss in OT.

Goaltender Robin Lehner has been out since he was injured in the first game of the season.

The Sabres are likely to be on a bit of a high after their 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins. They had a great comeback, scoring three goals in a 4:03 minute span in the third period. With a current record of 15-16-4, they are an unpredictable team who may present a challenge to the Caps—one they should be able to control.

The Buffalo News reports that attendance has been down this year and even many season ticket holders are not using their seats. It’s possible the fans might show up to see the top performing Capitals and bring some energy to First Niagara Center. Could the infusion of fans bring new energy to the struggling Sabres? Tune in Monday night at 7:00 PM on CSN-DC+ to see it all unfold!

Header photo credited to NHL.com