They typically only face each other once a season, so a match-up between the Dallas Stars and the Washington Capitals is not one of the marquee rivalries in the NHL. Not like the salad days of the great Redskins and Cowboys teams over in the NFL. But coming into last night’s game, these two teams sported the best records in the league. Unfortunately, what promised to be fireworks turned to fizzle as the the Caps came undone in the third period. The Stars simply out-worked the Caps en route to a 5-2 victory in Washington. Continue reading
Nine straight games.
Pretty good for a team that folk said was in complete disarray and out of the Stanley Cup picture three months ago. The Caps current streak now exceeds its lowest point of the season, the eight-game losing streak in December that led up to the Winter Classic. The highest high is now greater than the lowest low.
And Washington is looking to get higher.
The questions have been about the offense. Why haven’t they been scoring? What is wrong with Ovie? Traditionally though, with this group and this coach, scoring has not been a problem and the Caps are showing signs of getting out of the doldrums that plagued them throughout the middle of the season in the scoring department. The defense this year has been surprisingly competent in front of young, solid goaltending. Through the nine-game win streak, Washington has given up 13 goals for an impressive 1.44 goals against per game.
The question becomes – can these new defensive dynamics lead the Caps to the Promised Land?
‘Gordon Celebrates His First NHL Goal’
courtesy of ‘clydeorama’
It took a couple of minor league call-ups to get the Caps out of their scoring funk. Andrew Gordon and Jay Beagle, brought up from the AHL Hershey Bears on December 15, scored the first two goals for the Caps, and Washington went on to beat the New Jersey Devils 5-1 last night at Verizon Center.
There were two desperate teams on the ice to start the game. The Caps came into this game to try to string together a couple of wins and leave the eight-game skid behind them. The Devils needed to make up for the 7-1 loss in Atlanta on Saturday and their awful 1-7 record in December.
The new-found discipline of strong forechecking and playing deep in the offensive zone paid dividends as the Caps had a number of good scoring chances early in the game. Gordon lit the lamp first for the Caps, recording his first NHL goal with a strong push to the net as Marcus Johansson chased down a loose puck and whipped a perfect pass to the crease. Continue reading
The Washington Capitals made an emphatic statement in their home opener tonight at the Verizon Center: “This is our house.” After unfurling pennants for last year’s Southeast Division Championship and the President’s Trophy, the Caps soundly beat the New Jersey Devils 7-2 in front of a boisterous sell out crowd.
The Caps bounced back from two early deficits to dominate the Devils in every facet of the game. Scoring short handed, on the power play, and even on a rare penalty shot, the Caps demonstrated their fearsome goal scoring talent, chasing veteran netminder Martin Brodeur after 40 minutes.
The Caps generated momentum early in the first period, keeping most of the action in the New Jersey end of the ice. But two early defensive lapses in the Washington zone resulted in two first period goals for New Jersey. Rookie defenseman John Carlson started the Caps scoring when he intercepted a pass during a line change and scored with a rising wrist shot from just inside the blue line.