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Battered and bruised Caps manage late win over Red Wings

Battered and bruised Caps manage late win over Red Wings

The Caps lost three players in the first period but earned the win 1-0 with a late third-period goal.

How it happened: The Caps played with only nine forwards for the last two periods of the game, but still managed the win as Jay Beagle broke a scoreless tie with 5:11 remaining regulation. Braden Holtby also came up big for the Caps with 25 saves en route to his 24th career shutout.

What it means: The short-term gain is a win and two points. The long term effects are yet to be seen as the Caps will have to evaluate the health of T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller and Andre Burakovsky who all left in the first period due to injury. Heading into Friday's game, the Caps had zero man-games lost this season. That perfect streak now looks to be very much in jeopardy.

Dropping like flies: The first period was not kind to the Caps as five players left down the tunnel to the locker room. T.J. Oshie took the worst of an open-ice collision with Riley Sheahan and slowly made his way over to the bench. Tom Wilson was sent head-first into the boards by Danny DeKeyser on a hit that received a five-minute major for boarding. He left for the locker room, but returned soon after. While skating with the puck, Lars Eller took two hits from Tyler Bertuzzi and did not return after that shift. Late in the period, Burakovsky was seen doubled over on the bench and went to the locker room soon after. Finally, Justin Williams took what he believed to be a slew foot from Tomas Tatar. He immediately got up and tried to fight Tatar, but the Detroit winger wasn’t having it. Williams was assessed a minor for roughing and then he went back to the locker room and Alex Ovechkin served the penalty. Of those five players, Oshie, Eller and Burakovsky did not return to the game.

Power play struggles continue: The Caps scored two power play goals Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but neither came at 5-on-4. They failed to strike with the extra man again on Friday despite having two opportunities including a five-minute major to work with in the first period. The last time the Caps scored a goal at 5-on-4 was on Oct. 29 against the Vancouver Canucks. With no goal tonight, that extends their 5-on-4 slump to 10 games.

Beagle to the rescue again: Beagle is having an incredible season and he continued that with another clutch performance on Friday. Positioned right in front of goalie Jimmy Howard, Beagle was in perfect position to knock home a rebound off of a Dmitry Orlov shot for the game's only goal. It was Beagle's second game-winning goal of the season, tying a career high, and fourth goal overall.

Look ahead: The Capitals continue their five-game home stand on Sunday with a matinee matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets. On Wednesday, they welcome the St. Louis Blues and then close out the homestand on Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.

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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.

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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.