capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Late Caps Rally Torpedoes Senators

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courtesy of clydeorama

The Capitals won their first game in regulation under new coach Dale Hunter, and their second victory since the bench boss’ debut. Like the last win, this one came against the Ottawa Senators. We’d also like to take a moment to welcome back Alex Ovechkin, whose goal last night was reminiscent of seasons past, when he actually played like a superstar.

The game wasn’t an easy win; the Caps had to rack up four goals in the third period in order to finish the comeback. But a win is a win right now, with the Caps having stumbled their way down the Southeast Division standings.

The good:

  • Ovechkin showed up on the score sheet after a five game drought; he scored on a beautifully skilled play in the third period to give the Caps a 3-2 lead.
  • Returning veteran Jeff Halpern knocked in his second of the season, putting the Caps on the scoreboard.
  • Troy Brouwer had his second Gordie Howe hat trick of his career, assisting on Halpern’s goal, scoring the team’s fourth marker, and taking on Jesse Winchester in the first period.
  • Nicklas Backstrom’s power play goal in the third ended an 0-for-24 slide in the special teams department; it was also the team’s first road PPG in over a month.
  • The Caps had 44 shots on goal.

The bad:

  • Inconsistent play kept Ottawa in the game, even late in the third.
  • The Caps still racked up the penalties, giving the Senators seven chances throughout the game (not counting Brouwer’s fisticuffs).
  • The power play still sputters; the Caps had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:47 in the first period but failed to take advantage of it.

The quote:
“I glad [sic] we got the win and of course it’s nice it to get a goal, finally. Last couple of games I tried to score, but this time it worked.” Alex Ovechkin, on ending his goal drought.

capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Senators Outlast Capitals in Overtime

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courtesy of ‘Ghost_Bear’

The Caps have claimed the top slot in the Eastern Conference and dominated their division. Despite sitting in a relatively safe spot for the playoffs – which begin in a little over two weeks – the Capitals have made a point to tell the fanbase they’re not going to take it easy these last few games.

Saying it is one thing. Proving it is another.

The Ottawa Senators came into Verizon last night riding a four-game win streak; the Caps were sitting with two losses. Ottawa hasn’t clinched a playoff spot just yet, even though they’re a pretty sure bet for fifth seed. But both teams are looking to hold the balance of rest and form during the last few games of the season; go into the playoffs after a stressful stretch run and a team could flame out early from exhaustion. It’s a balancing act that requires teamwork and a delicate coaching touch.

Last night, however, the Caps just couldn’t pull off that balancing act. Senators captain Alexei Kovalev scored on the power play in overtime with just 19 seconds remaining, giving the Caps their third loss in a row and the Senators a much-needed boost to extend their win streak to five. Continue reading