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Oshie flashes offensive brilliance in Caps win


Oshie flashes offensive brilliance in Caps win

Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at Bell Centre:

How it happened: T.J. Oshie scored once in regulation and netted the only goal of the shootout to give the Caps their second win of the preseason. Alex Ovechkin and Andre Burakovsky also scored for the Caps and Justin Williams picked up a pair of assists. The Caps owned a 43-25 advantage in shots.

Another Dan-dy: Caps goaltender Dan Ellis stopped all 12 shots he faced, plus three more in the shootout, to extend his scoreless streak to 2½ periods of hockey in the preseason. Ellis has not yet allowed a goal in two exhibition appearances.

Holtby allows three: Caps starting goaltender Braden Holtby allowed three goals on 13 shots in two periods of work against the Canadiens.

Ovi on the PP: Alex Ovechkin netted his first goal of the preseason on a power-play strike set up by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Williams. Ovechkin led the Caps with six shots and delivered three hits.

Whistle happy: The Caps and Canadiens were called for 17 penaties in the game, resulting in 7:08 of power-play time for the Caps.

Ice time leaders: Defenseman John Carlson led all Caps skaters with 25:04 of ice time, including 4:49 on the man-advantage. Connor Carrick logged 21:36 of ice time, recording four shots, four hits and three blocked shots. Center Derek Roy won eight of 12 faceoffs.   

Roster cuts: The Capitals have released 17 players from their training camp roster on Thursday. Forwards Travis Boyd, Cole Wilson, Derek DeBlois, Miles Koules, Kevin Elgestal, Garrett Mitchell, Max Sauve, Nathan Walker Austin Fyten, Dustin Gazley, Caleb Herbert, defensemen Joey Leach, Connor Hobbs, Joey Leach, Bobby Shea, Erik Burgdoerfer and goaltenders Marek Dekanich and Taran Kozun. The Caps’ roster is now at 44 and must be down to 23 by the start of the regular season.


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Tarik's 3 stars: Caps come up empty on an emotional night in Florida


Tarik's 3 stars: Caps come up empty on an emotional night in Florida

Vincent Trocheck scored on the power play with 18.7 seconds remaining and the Panthers escaped with a 3-2 victory on an emotional night in Sunrise, Fla.

Trocheck’s goal was Florida’s second in the final four minutes…and the Caps were left to lament yet another incomplete performance. Washington has now lost three of its last four games and fell to 4-5-2 in February.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Vincent Trocheck, Panthers

Trocheck did what Trocheck does in the third period: The Florida forward scored a clutch goal in the final seconds, redirecting a Jonathan Huberdeau shot through Brooks Orpik’s legs and past Braden Holtby. Eller was in the penalty box when Trocheck scored his 13th third period goal of the season.

2-Andre Burakovsky, Capitals

After losing a goal to Eller in the first period, Burakovsky made sure he didn’t go home empty handed. No. 65 scored on the power play in the second period to put the Caps ahead 2-1. It was Burakovsky’s third goal in six games. He also earned a secondary assist on Eller’s redirection score.   

3-Braden Holtby, Capitals

Following a handful of un-Holtby-like performances lately, Holtbeast roared Thursday night at BB&T Center. He made at least one game-saving stop in each period: an arm save on Trocheck in the first period; a pad stop on Denis Malgin in the second and another extended pad stop on Evgenii Dadonov in the third. Holtby finished with 30 stops.

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

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4 reasons why the Panthers beat the Caps


4 reasons why the Panthers beat the Caps

The Caps looked like they had the win as they led 2-1 late in the third period, but things went off the rails in the final four minutes of the game in a 3-2 loss for Washington.

Here's how the Caps lost.

An emotional start for Robert Luongo

Before the game, Roberto Luongo took the mic during an emotional tribute to the victims of the tragic Stoneman Douglas school shooting. As a writer, it was hard to get into the game after that. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for Luongo to focus after that. But he did. He started off the game very well, making several strong saves. Washington scored late in the first period after an offensive cycle of over a minute that completely wore out the Panthers' skaters. Otherwise, Luongo was brilliant turning aside 13 of the 14 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes.

Another shaky start for Braden Holtby

This was the best game we have seen from Braden Holtby in a while as he made a number of phenomenal saves in the second and third period. In the first, however, he continued to struggle. Maxim Mamin scored his first career NHL goal and point as a puck trickled through Holtby and Mamin was able to slam it home. Holtby was dealing with a screen, but reacted late to the initial shot and late to Mamin.

Aleksander Barkov splitting Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson

With a 2-1 lead, the Caps looked like they had control. But with less than four minutes remaining, Aleksander Barkov was able to split Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson to set up Nick Bjugstad for the game-tying goal. Ovechkin was backchecking and Carlson stepped up on him and then...nothing. It looked as if both players thought the other would take Barkov and Ovechkin let up at the same time Carlson skated past giving Barkov a lane to the net.

A late penalty to Lars Eller

With the game tied late, the Caps were exerting their will in the offensive zone with the cycle that had been dominant all game long...and then Lars Eller tried to set a pick on Bjugstad, knocking him to the ice. It was an obvious interference call with just 42 seconds remaining in the game. Florida would score 22 seconds later to deny Washington not only the win, but even a point.