capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Caps Beat Bruins to Tie Series

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Holtby: Rock
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Rookie goaltender Braden Holtby put on the best show of his short and stellar NHL career as he stopped 44 shots to lead the Caps over the Boston Bruins by a score of 2-1 to even the best of seven series at two games apiece.

The Caps managed to score twice on just 21 shots, but it was enough to make Holtby’s heroics count. Alexander Semin scored the game winning goal on a power play. Continue reading

capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Bruins Beat Caps in OT, 1-0

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Tim Thomas making the save
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The Bruins’ Chris Kelly scored 78 seconds into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a victory in the first game of the best-of-seven playoff series. Rookie goaltender Braden Holtby played an outstanding game, making tremendous saves throughout regulation, but was beaten on the first shot he faced in overtime.

“It was a chess game out there and we battled hard,” said coach Dale Hunter after the game. “Unfortunately it was a perfect shot inside the post that won the game.” Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Capitals look good against Blackhawks, still more work to be done

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courtesy of ‘bridgetds’

Everybody around the Capitals are starting to get a little bit antsy. Washington is a point back for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, it has won eight straight games and doing so in gritty style. The trade acquisitions are paying off and it does not seem to matter who is in goal, Washington is pulling out victories.

The Caps themselves do not seem to be antsy. If anything, a good adjective to describe them would be focused. Focused describes the surrounding media and fan base also, all looking towards the ice and seeing a team that is playing well and asking ‘what is it going to mean in the playoffs?’

Sunday’s 4-3 overtime matinee win against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks was a showcase game. It was the NBC Game Of The Week and had a little bit of a “what-if” surrounding it. What if the Caps had not gotten run by the Canadiens in the first round? What if they were able to grind through and make it through the Eastern Conference to play in the Finals? What if the faced this same Chicago team last June for it all?

One thing is for certain … it would have been fun to watch.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Capitals gone streaking: Seven in a row as Holtby withstands Hurricanes

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courtesy of ‘bridgetds’

Things are really starting to go the Capitals way.

Seven wins in a row. A fresh young goaltender riding a hot streak. A string of victories in one goal games. And now they have retaken second place in the Eastern Conference within striking distance of the Flyers for the top spot heading into the playoffs.

Where has this team been most of the year?

Washington was good in the fall. They were mediocre in November, January and a good portion of February. They were terrible in December. Yet, with a scrappy, opportunistic 2-1 win over the Hurricanes on Friday, Washington controls its destiny in the Southeast Division and is within a game of where everybody thought they would be when the season got rolling in October.

On the top.

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capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Caps Blank Oilers, 5-0

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Holtby Save on Shorthanded Cogliano Breakaway
courtesy of ‘clydeorama’
The Capitals’ season-long retooling project took a strong step forward last night as an offensive explosion propelled the Caps to a 5-0 win and a shutout for rookie goalie Braden Holtby against the Edmonton Oilers at Verizon Center. The Caps rediscovered the wonders of the power play scoring two goals on the man advantage in the second period. Alex Ovechkin lead the fireworks with two goals and an assist, as Eric Fehr returned from an injury to add two more lamp-lighters.

The retooling effort that got underway in earnest in mid-November has aimed to play a style more suited to success in the post-season. This has included playing “responsible” hockey with a focus on defensive assignments and middle zone traps. After two years of ever-increasing offense firepower under coach Bruce Boudreau, the change has felt more like shock therapy. Continue reading

capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Caps Fall to Rangers in Shootout

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‘Matt Hendricks’
courtesy of ‘bridgetds’
A late fluky goal led to a shootout loss for the Caps, marring an otherwise strong defensive performance and a stellar evening for Matt Hendricks last night at Verizon Center. The Caps took a precarious one-goal lead into the third period against the New York Rangers only to let victory slip away. The Rangers managed to tie the game late in the period, then outlasted the Caps in a high-scoring shootout to win 2-1.

The last time these two teams faced off in Madison Square Garden on December 12, the Rangers handed the Caps the worst pounding of painful 8-game losing streak. This time, the Caps showed up ready to play … except they forgot to shoot the puck. The registered only one shot on goal in the first 12 minutes of play, and only 11 shots through the first two periods. “We’ve been passing up shots to create plays,” said coach Bruce Boudreau. “You score your goals by shooting the puck and going to the net.” Continue reading

capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Ovechkin Crushes Maple Leafs with Hat Trick

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‘Alex Ovechkin’
courtesy of ‘Dan4th’

In Canada, the big sport is ice hockey, and it doesn’t get any bigger than “Hockey Night in Canada” in Toronto. Think Monday Night Football in Dallas or Green Bay.

The Caps arrived in town to face the Maple Leafs after a couple of shaky road games and with a minor league goaltender. Alex Ovechkin, who loves a big stage – led the Caps to victory with a hat trick, and rookie goalie Braden Holtby stopped 36 shots as Washington defeated Toronto 4-1 on Saturday night.

None of Ovechkin’s goals were the type of highlight-reel material that Caps fans have come to expect from the Great 8. He scored on a tip in, a rebound, and an empty net. But the common thread was Ovi’s hustle, positioning and discipline – characteristics that are becoming the defining features of the 2011 Capitals. “It’s the only way we’re going to win,” said coach Bruce Boudreau. “Grinding games out is what we’ve been doing lately. We’ll probably continue to do it. … It might not be the most exciting brand of hockey in the world, but everybody seems to like winning hockey these days, so that’s what we have to do.” Continue reading

capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Vanek Stands Alone, Sinks Caps in OT

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courtesy of ‘bridgetds’

With just a minute left in overtime, Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek put an end to a Caps comeback and earned the Sabres their first home victory.

Another inconsistent game plagued the Caps, this time letting the Sabres erase a one-goal lead in the second period. Outshot 11-4 in the second, the Caps let Vanek and Steve Montador put the Sabres ahead and forced coach Bruce Boudreau to shuffle up the lines to get something going.

The wake-up call worked, with Niklas Backstrom cracking a high shot over goalie Ryan Miller’s right shoulder midway through the third period. Miller showed few signs of his injury that dogged him earlier this season, stoning an Alexander Ovechkin breakaway near the end of the first and stopping 25 Caps shots. Ovie’s eight game point streak came to an end on Sabre ice; Vanek’s two goal night snapped a seven game drought.

Rookie goalie Braden Holtby stopped 24 of the 27 shots faced and Karl Alzner scored his first NHL goal to give the Caps their first period lead.

The Caps return home to face the Atlanta Thrashers in a 5 pm contest.