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Jakub Vrana ruins Blues' banner night with overtime winner

Jakub Vrana ruins Blues' banner night with overtime winner

The night began with a celebration of the St. Louis Blues' Stanley Cup and a banner raising. It ended with the Capitals celebrating a 3-2 overtime win. The Blues came out swinging with all the energy you would expect for the defending champs, but the Caps battled back from a 2-0 deficit with Jakub Vrana scoring the overtime winner.

Here are six reasons the Caps won.

Ovechkin pulls one back

The Blues came out with all the same energy the Caps showed in their banner-raising just one year ago. Sammy Blais scored just 53 seconds into the game and Alex Pietrangelo added a power play goal about seven minutes later. St. Louis was in complete control until Ovechkin got the Caps on the board.

John Carlson skated the puck into the offensive zone and backhanded to Ovechkin who skated in on the right. Ovechkin wound up for the slap shot and Jay Bouwmeester skated up to block the shot. Ovechkin faked the shot to get around Bouwmeester, who was completely beat, then fired a quick shot past Jordan Binnington.

The game was all St. Louis at that point. Pulling that one goal back late in the first was a huge turning point in the game.

Holtby comes up big to start the second

The start of the second period looked a lot like the start of the first, with the Blues coming out with a lot of energy. St. Louis fired four shots on goal in the first three minutes of the period and would have taken back control of the game if not for some stellar saves from Braden Holtby.

While fighting off a Blues’ power play, Holtby made an absolutely clutch toe save on a deflected puck. The puck wasn’t heading on net, but it was headed to the side of the crease where a Blues forward was crashing down looking for the loose puck. It may not go down as a save for Holtby, but it saved the goal and maybe even the game as it prevented St. Louis from taking a 3-1 lead.

Caps take control in the second

After Holtby came up big early, the Caps began to take control for the first time in the second period. They held the Blues without a shot on goal for over 13 minutes. During that stretch, Jonas Siegenthaler forced a tripping penalty and Dmitry Orlov scored on the resulting power play to tie the game at 2.

A late breakaway save

With under two minutes left to go regulation in a tie game, Holtby saw the reigning Conn Smythe winner Ryan O'Reilly bearing down on him on a breakaway. Feeling the pressure behind him, O'Reilly went backhand on the shot and Holtby was there with the pad for the huge save.

O'Reilly couldn't get much height on the shot allowing Holtby to save it with the pad, but it was still a huge save by Holtby in that moment to preserve the tie.

Vrana's jets and shots

Vrana was one of the Caps' best players on the night. Through 60 minutes he was held without a point, but his efforts were finally rewarded when it mattered most. In overtime, the Blues were doing a good job keeping Vrana and Co. to the perimeter, but as the Caps cycled, Vrana turned on the jets with the puck to get just a little bit of separation which he used to fired the game-winner past Binnington.

Lars Eller

How would the Caps look without Evgeny Kuznetsov for three games? Just fine.

Eller moved into Kuznetsov's spot on the second line and recorded two assists on the night. You can't lose a player as good as Kuznetsov and not miss his skill, but if there were any fears the second line would take a major step back with Eller there, he put those fears to rest on Wednesday.

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How to watch Capitals vs. Sabres NHL 20 simulation

How to watch Capitals vs. Sabres NHL 20 simulation

Monday night was supposed to be another night of Capitals action with a game against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately due to the NHL’s hold on the season in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the show can not go on as originally planned. 

However, with some minor adjustments to the presentation, there is still a way to keep things going. 

Monday night at 7 p.m. ET the Capitals will be taking the ice to play the Sabres as planned, only this time it will be virtual ice on an NHL 20 simulation. 

In partnership with Monumental Sports Network, NBC Sports Washington will be airing all Wizards and Capitals games in simulated NBA 2K20 and NHL 2K20 games. The format of these games includes watching the simulated versions of Caps games based on the existing schedule with the bonus of commentary from NBCSW’s experts. 

To make things even more fun, in between the simulation and the re-air of the simulation, there is a chance to relive a classic Caps game. So don’t forget to stick around and re-watch Dowd and the Capitals dominate the Penguins from earlier this season. 

Here's everything you need to know to watch. 

When: Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m. ET

Where:

  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms
  • Monumental Sports Network via its website www.monumentalsportsnetwork.com or via any of its available apps on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox.

Broadcast schedule: 

7:00 PM: NHL 20 Simulation: Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (P)
8:00 PM: NHL Classics: Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins (R) 
10:30 PM: NHL 20 Simulation: Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (R)

Starting lineups: 

Capitals: TBD
Sabres: TBD

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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It’s official, Tom Wilson’s puppy Halle now has an Instagram account

It’s official, Tom Wilson’s puppy Halle now has an Instagram account

You should be used to seeing Capitals’ winger Tom Wilson’s puppy Halle by now, but you’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future. 

The black lab mix officially has an Instagram account and it’s the cutest thing that you’ll ever see.

Her favorite things are pine cones and digging holes and the account features some adorable content.

From the first day that Halle met her momma Taylor Pischke. 

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The day I met my new fur momma ❤️

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To what looks to be one of her first baths.

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Instagram vs. Reality #nationalpuppyday

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And even serving two minutes in time out. C'mon just look at those puppy eyes. 

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Serving two minutes in the sin bin #unsportsmanlikeconduct

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The Instagram account is run by her furparents of course. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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