Quick Links

Caps extend win streak after shootout win in Carolina

Caps extend win streak after shootout win in Carolina

A back and forth contest ended in a 4-3 shootout win for the Caps over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

How it happened: Jeff Skinner put Carolina on the board less than six minutes into the game as he positioned himself in behind Matt Niskanen and right in front of Philipp Grubauer. Derek Ryan got him the puck and he was able to tip it in. Alex Ovechkin responded in the second period with a beautiful snapshot to beat Cam Ward after John Carlson launched the quick breakout to Nicklas Backstrom. A Justin Williams deflection gave the Caps the lead later in the second, but Justin Faulk tied the game just 2:18 later to finish off a 2-on-1 off a bad turnover from Backstrom.

Backstrom took an early holding call in the third period and Teuvo Teravainen took advantage with a deflection through the five-hole of Grubauer. T.J. Oshie would tie it up to force overtime as he deflected down a shot from Dmitry Orlov past Ward.

The game would go on to a shootout where Oshie, Mr. Automatic, and Evgeny Kuznetsov would both score to give the Caps the win.

What it means: The win extends the Caps' win streak to six games, their longest streak of the season. Washington is now 4-5-2 within the Metropolitan Division. They are now 17-0-0 when scoring three or more goals this season.

Turning point: Carolina was not setting on their heels playing prevent defense after taking the 3-2 lead in the third period. They were in control of the play and taking it to Washington. That all changed with Oshie's goal, his 10th of the season oand second since returning from a shoulder injury five games ago.

Power play points: The Hurricanes came into Friday’s game with the top-ranked penalty kill in the NHL at 92.3 percent. They had not allowed a power play goal in the month of December, a stretch of seven games. The Caps ended that streak on Friday with Ovechkin's second-period tally. Washington scored one goal on their two opportunities of the game. Carolina, meanwhile, went 1 for 6 on the man advantage. The one goal proved crucial as it gave Carolina the lead in the third period.

More help for Grubauer: Grubauer has posted a 5-1-1 record this season. Both regulation losses have come in Carolina. The last time these two teams met was Nov. 12 and Grubauer was held out to dry as Washington allowed 38 shots and fell 5-1. Friday's game did not start much better. Grubauer saved 27 of the 30 shots he faced on the night and kept the game within reach for the Caps early after a sleepy start from Washington. He also stood tall in his first shootout of the season, without allowing either of Carolina's opportunities to beat him.

Hot streaks: Kuznetsov extended his point streak to six games with an assist. In that stretch, he has eight points after managing only nine points in the first 23 games of the season. Ovechkin's goal was his second in three games. This after a seven-game goal drought. Williams has also put his offensive drought behind him with yet another goal. He is the team's hottest scorer with five goals in his past five games.

Look ahead: The Caps have a quick turnaround as they host the Montreal Canadiens Saturday at Verizon Center. Then they take their first trip to Philadelphia to face the red-hot Flyers on Wednesday and return home to host Tampa Bay in the last game before the winter break.

Quick Links

Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps


Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps

On Sunday, Michal Kempny was a defenseman struggling for a spot in the lineup for a team poised to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. On Monday, he became potentially an important piece on the roster of the first place Capitals.

The last few days have been quite the whirlwind for Kempny who tallied an assist for Chicago on Saturday in a 7-1 blowout against what is now his current team. While the Blackhawks may have gotten the better of Washington that night, Kempny is excited about the postseason opportunity that now lies in front of him.

"Nobody knows what's happening in Chicago, but I'm really happy and I'm really glad that I can be here," Kempny told reporters on Tuesday after his first skate with the team. "There is option of play a playoff and I'm very happy for it."


The 27-year-old Czech defenseman played only 31 games for the Blackhawks this season, but considering Washington's need to shore up its defense before the trade deadline and the team's willingness to give up a third-round pick to acquire him, it is likely he will have a much more significant role with the Caps.

"I thought that I [was] going to get more space on the ice and more ice time, but I didn't play more than half games," Kempny said of his decision to originally sign with Chicago. "But now I'm here and I'm really glad that I'm here. Washington is amazing city and great organization and I hope I will get a chance to access myself on the ice more than in Chicago."

Kempny will not play in Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but did say he expects to play Thursday when the team visits the Florida Panthers.

When he does get into the lineup, it is unclear just how big a role he will play initially or how the team foresees utilizing him going forward. He is a left-shot defenseman and did tell reporters he prefers to play on that side. It seems unlikely the team would acquire him just to put him on his offside.

As of now, however, everything regarding his role in Washington is up on the air.

"I need everything settle down a little bit," he said. "New teammates, new people around here."


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.


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, Michal Kempney, 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.


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.