Quick Links

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Blackhawks


3 reasons why the Caps beat the Blackhawks

The Capitals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period on Wednesday, but there were still some nervous moments in the second period. Still, Washington was able to prevail over the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2. Here's why.

The top line

All three players on the Caps’ top line scored in the first period as the Caps jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Nicklas Backstrom opened up the scoring with his first goal in 22 games. Three minutes later, Wilson threw a puck on net that caught goalie Anton Forsberg off-guard. Just 29 seconds after that, Forsberg was able to stop a breakaway from Wilson, but he could not stop the rebound shot from the trailing Ovechkin. Ovechkin, Backstrom and Wilson combined for seven points in the first 20 minutes alone and chased Forsberg from the net less than 16 minutes into the game.


Braden Holtby and the penalty kill

Chicago made a real push to get back into this game after Washington took the 3-0 lead. Lance Bouma scored less than two minutes after Ovechkin extended the deficit to three. The Blackhawks fired a total of 39 shots at Braden Holtby, with 16 in each of the first two periods. The Caps also faced two power plays in the second period while the score was still 3-1. Had Chicago scored on either opportunity, they would have taken momentum and this would have been a very different game.

Lance Bouma’s second period penalty

You wouldn’t expect a run of the mill interference call in the second period to matter all that much with the score already 3-1, but it did. The Blackhawks came out swinging in the second period. The Caps…did not. When Bouma’s penalty was called, Chicago had 15 second period shots on goal while Washington had only one. The next goal in this game was going to be crucial to the outcome and it sure felt like the Blackhawks were going to get it. Bouma’s penalty, however, put the Caps squarely back in control. Despite facing a Chicago penalty kill ranked fourth in the league, Washington made short work of it as Brett Connolly scored to extend the Caps’ lead to 4-1. At that point, the outcome was no longer in doubt.


Quick Links

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


Quick Links

Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Alex Ovechkin further cemented his place in NHL history, John Carlson stayed hot and Braden Holtby was good when called upon as the Caps downed the Stars, 4-3, at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory was Washington’s fifth in the past six games. It also marked the Caps’ first win over Dallas in D.C. since 2006.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season and the 602nd of his career in the second period to give the Caps a short-lived 3-2 edge in the second period.

The goal put Ovi back atop the league as he seeks a seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. It also pushed him past Jari Karri and into sole possession of 19th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin has now victimized Kari Lehtonen 22 times, which is tied for the most goals he’s scored against a single netminder. (Henrik Lundqvist has also given up 22 goals to No. 8). Ovi also had a couple of secondary helpers.

2-John Carlson, Capitals

Carlson scored the game-winner 4:59 with left to play, blasting a one-timer past Lehtonen to put the Caps ahead 4-3.

Carlson also notched an assist, which allowed him to stay even with Dallas’ John Klingberg. Klingberg had two assists. Both players ended the game with 61 points—tied for the most among all NHL defensemen.    

3-Alexander Radulov, Stars

From his first shift, it was apparent that Radulov was determined to leave his mark on the game. And he did just that, recording a goal, an assist and boarding minor that bloodied Caps defenseman Michal Kempny. Radulov’s goal—a redirection of a John Klingberg shot—was his 26th and it evened the score, 2-2, in the second period.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.