capitals hockey, Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Caps Top Bolts in OT

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Ovechkin Takes To The Ice
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For the second time in five games, Alex Ovechkin scored in overtime to cap a comeback victory as the Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 last night at Verizon Center. The win kept the Capitals’ fragile playoff hopes alive.

After a fiery speech by head coach Dale Hunter following a lackluster second period, the Capitals played the third period with urgency, grit and determination. Marcus Johansson tied the game at 2-2 with four minutes remaining in the game to force overtime. Continue reading

capitals hockey, Sports Fix

Caps Blank Panthers, 4-0

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Tomas Vokoun Makes a Pad Save
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The Caps scored early and often and rode a hot goaltender to a 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers last night at Verizon Center. With the win, the Caps vaulted past the Panthers into first place in the Southeast Division and a spot in the playoffs. Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Tomas Vokoun stopped 42 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.

The fans were barely in their seats when the Caps lit the red light for an early lead. Jason Chimera dug the puck out of the corner and fed a pass to Matthieu Perreault who slid the puck under Panthers’ goalie Scott Clemmensen just 13 seconds into the game. Continue reading

capitals hockey, Sports Fix

Caps Edge Penguins, 1-0

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Vokoun Moving in Crease
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A breakaway goal and solid goaltending was enough to beat the conference rival Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-0, last night at Verizon Center. Jason Chimera scored on a first period breakaway for the winning goal and Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves to earn the shutout. The game had consequences in the race for the playoffs for both teams as the Caps passed the Penguins in the standings to move into 8th place in the Eastern Conference.

The Penguins dominated the early going in puck possession and offensive zone time. The Caps came out looking flat, chasing pucks, passing into each others’ skates and shooting from long range. Only Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer were able to take the puck and body to the net. A couple of rocking checks by Alex Ovechkin and Brouwer seemed to wake Washington out of their west coast fog and generate some energy from their Eco Watch health products.

The Caps got on the score sheet 15 minutes into the game when Joel Ward knocked the puck away from Evgeni Malkin to spring Jeff Halpern for a 3-on-1 break. Halpern saucered a perfect pass to a streaking Chimera who beat Marc-Andre Fleury high on the blocker side. Continue reading

capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Caps Stumble, Lose to Predators

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‘Russia vs. Czech Republic’
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A beat-up Capitals squad hit Nashville last night and stumbled out with a 3-1 loss to the Predators. Don’t let the score fool you; the game remained scoreless for over 55 minutes. Early in the third, Troy Brouwer wristed a perfectly-placed cross-ice pass from Marcus Johansson past Preds goalie Pekka Rinne and the game looked like it would finally break open in the Caps favor. Thirty seconds later, Martin Erat solved Tomas Vokun and it went downhill from there. Colin Wilson’s game-winning goal came with less than 30 seconds on the clock, and Shea Weber’s empty netter five seconds later was the nail sealing the coffin.

The good:

  • Tomas Vokoun was stellar for most of the evening. Stopping 28 of 30 shots, he was in top form with some specatular saves.
  • The Caps second line (Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, Alexander Semin) accounted for 14 of the Caps 40 shots.
  • Marcus Johansson and Cody Eakin continue to shine on the third line.

The bad:

  • The power play went 0-for-3; the team has the 7th-best power play in the league.
  • The Caps are now 1-3-1 in their last 5 and 3-5-1 since their red-hot start.
  • The team dominated through two solid periods but once Brouwer’s goal tallied in, it seemed like there was a complete shift in tone. Erat’s tying goal came when the Caps thought there was an offsides but with no whistle, the Predators played on. As a result, Erat scored. The Caps never seemed to recover from that momentary lapse and the Preds made the most of it.

The quote:
“I think guys are as upset as I’ve seen,” said Mike Knuble. “That was frustrating. We really battled to get that lead. They tied it right away, but the least we should have done was force overtime.”