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Caps bounce back with rout of Bruins


Caps bounce back with rout of Bruins

The Capitals set an unrealistic goal this season – going the entire season without back-to-back losses -- and so far they’ve met it.

The Caps followed a sloppy 5-2 loss in Manhattan on Tuesday night with a hard-fought and much cleaner 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins Thursday night at Verizon Center, improving their record to 9-3-0 overall and 4-0-0 following losses.  

“You’re able to climb the standings when you do that,” said Caps fourth-line left wing Brooks Laich, whose first goal of the season early in the second period stood up as the game-winner.

“You can’t lose two or three in a row. You get passed by a couple teams. I think if you win two out of three every week you end up with the Presidents’ Trophy.”

(In case you’re wondering, the longest the Caps have ever gone without consecutive losses was back in the 2007-08 season when they went 47 games without back-to-back defeats. That team erased a 6-14-1 start to reach the playoffs for the first time with Alex Ovechkin).  

On Thursday night, the Caps’ ninth win in 12 games moved them past the New York Islanders and into a first-place tie with the New York Rangers (7-2-2) atop the Metro Division standings. They have now beaten the Bruins in four straight meetings dating back to last season and Braden Holtby, who struggled in Tuesday night’s loss in New York, has allowed just one goal to the Bruins in those four wins.

 “When you take a guy out of rhythm, sometimes they need a game to get back in rhythm,” Trotz said of Holtby’s three-day break before the Rangers game. “If you look at Holts’ record if he gets more than two days off he’s a little bit shaky on that first start, or the team is, one of the two. But if he gets two or less it’s pretty darn good.”

Holtby stopped 28 of 29 shots, including a left pad stop on Jimmy Hayes when the score was knotted at 1-1 on goals by Hayes and Alex Ovechkin.

Laich gave the Caps the lead with a dirty goal 4:10 into the second period when he gained position in front of the net and got a piece of Dmitry Orlov’s heavy shot from the point. Laich’s line with Michael Latta and Tom Wilson spent much of the night in the offensive zone and the result was Laich’s first goal of the season.

“I love it, man. Best day of my life,” Laich said. “I still consider myself a two-way player, not just a penalty killer or defensive assignment player. I put a lot of pressure on myself to produce. It’s frustrating when pucks don’t go in and I’ve tried to keep on the road and don’t jerk the vehicle one way or the other.”

Orlov also played one of his strongest games of the season, recording one shot, one assist, two hits and two takeaways in nearly 15 minutes of ice time.

And so now the Caps will move on to their next game, a date with Mike Babcock’s Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. 

MORE CAPITALS: Ovechkin, Laich score as Capitals blow out Bruins

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Wilson and Backstrom shine in Caps 3rd straight win

Tarik's 3 Stars: Wilson and Backstrom shine in Caps 3rd straight win

Tom Wilson scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom recorded four helpers and the assistant coaches chipped in with a big assist in Montreal, where the Caps earned a 6-4 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night.

The win was Washington’s third in a row and seventh in eight games as they close in on another Metro Division title. Caps Coach Barry Trotz, meantime, claimed victory No. 200 in Washington; his next win will equal Bruce Boudreau for second all-time in franchise history.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Tom Wilson, Capitals

Wilson’s all-around game continues to blossom…and the Caps’ big winger continues to fill up the scoresheet. At Bell Centre, he scored back-to-back goals less than four minutes apart in the first period to put the Caps in command. Wilson also missed an empty net in the closing seconds by just a few inches. The soon-to-be 24-year-old now has 13 goals—six more than his previous career high.  

2-Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom notched four assists and, as usual, he did it quietly. And they weren’t cheapies—three of the four helpers were of the primary variety. Backstrom, who has four goals and 12 assists in his last 12 games, has now notched four or more points 20 times in his career. It was also his 11th-career four assist game.

3-Leonhardt and Ohashi, Capitals

That’s right, I’m giving the third star to assistant coaches Brett ‘Stretch’ Leonhardt and Tim Ohashi. They quickly spotted that the Habs were offside on their second goal. And, after a coach’s challenge, the refs agreed. Instead of 2-0, it remained 1-0 and the Caps took full advantage of their second chance, scoring the game’s next four goals.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

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


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


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

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


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.