Quick Links

After being prodded, Capitals 'take out the best'


After being prodded, Capitals 'take out the best'

Following Tuesday night’s gutsy come-from-behind 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, Barry Trotz could have raved about the play of Philipp Grubauer (39 saves), the clutch performance of Justin Williams (game-winning assist) or the triumphant return of defenseman Brooks Orpik (five hits, 1 assist, plus-1 in 16:43 of ice time).

Instead, Trotz harped on how he had to call a timeout late in the second period to prod his players to play dump-and-chase, grind-it-out hockey against a team that won two of the last four Stanley Cups by playing dump-and-chase, grind-it-out hockey.

“I was just trying to get everyone’s attention,” Trotz said, accusing his team of playing “easy and light” in the first period. “We needed to start playing north.

“I used the term during the playoffs last year. We didn’t want to go through that game, we wanted to go around it. Once we decided we had to go through the game I thought we were a much better hockey team.”

Trailing 1-0 late in the second period, Andre Burakovsky took his coach’s advice and drove the lane to redirect a hard pass from Dmitry Orlov past Jonathan Quick for his 12th goal of the season.

“We talked about it between the first and second period, that we need to get more bodies to the net,” said Burakovsky, who has 17 points in his last 14 games. “I was just trying to crash the net and obviously it was a sick pass from Orlov and he just hit my stick. The only thing I had to do was hold my stick on the ice.”

The Caps outshot the Kings 12-9 in the third period and netted the game-winner with 2:02 remaining when Williams found Evgeny Kuznetsov at the side of the net for a slam dunk.

“it’s tough to miss him when he’s standing right in front of the net,” Williams said of his 21st assist of the season. “I tried to get it over there as quick as possible and give him an empty net because he gave me one earlier that I couldn’t convert on.”

Kuznetsov celebrated with a goofy twirl of his glove and wave to fans behind the glass.

“It was just emotion,” Kuznetsov said of his 16th goal. “It happens, you can’t control that.”

Despite getting outplayed for most of two periods, the Caps (41-10-4, 86 points) said they were happy to get out of Verizon Center with two points in regulation, improving their record to 15-1-1 in their last 17 games in Chinatown.

“We were kind of excited to play against these guys,” Burakovsky said. “They already got two Cups and we’ve got none. We’re trying to be the best team in the league and if we want to be the best we have to take out the best. It felt like a playoff game. It was a fast game and we battled it through and had a big two points.”

RELATED: Kuznetsov's go-ahead goal lifts Capitals over Quick and Kings

Quick Links

Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).


The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.


The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Taylor Chorney


The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

Quick Links

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.


A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.