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Capitals push Toronto to the brink with emotional overtime win in Game 5

Capitals push Toronto to the brink with emotional overtime win in Game 5

Final score: Washington Capitals 2, Toronto Maple Leafs 1

How it happened: The story that will grab all the headlines and all the attention happened late in the first period when Nazem Kadri caught Alex Ovechkin with a hip check right to the knee.

Ovechkin had to be helped off the ice. T.J. Oshie would score on the resulting power play to put the Caps up 1-0. Ovechkin would shockingly return for the start of the second and play the remainder of the game. It would be Toronto, however, who would strike in the second period as Matthews netted a rebound goal to tie the game at 1.

Both teams were held scoreless in the third period forcing the fourth overtime in five games this series and Justin Williams finished off the Leafs just 1:04 into the extra period.

What it means: With the win, the Caps have retaken the series lead and have pushed the Maple Leafs to the brink of elimination. They will have a chance to finish the series in Game 6 in Toronto. According to Elias, when a series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 holds a series win percentage of 78.1-percent.


Caps goal: T.J. Oshie (power play) from Nicklas Backstrom and Kevin Shattenkirk at 18:15 in the 1st period. A dangerous hit from Kadri to Ovechkin put the Caps on the power play and a fired up Caps team made the Leafs pay. A wrister from Backstrom beat Andersen, but hit the post. Luckily for Washington the puck went right to the stick of Oshie who backhanded in the goal. Caps 1, Maple Leafs 0

Maple Leafs goal: Auston Matthews from William Nylander and Zach Hyman at 6:00 in the 2nd period. Nylander took the puck from behind the net and spun around for the quick shot. The Caps lost the rebound in the scrum, but Matthews didn’t He scored on the rebound as Holtby and the Caps tried to locate the puck. Caps 1, Maple Leafs 1

Caps goal: Justin Williams from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson at 1:04 into overtime. Caps 2, Maple Leafs 1

3 Caps stars

1. Justin Williams: Williams had the only shot in overtime and he made it count.

2. Braden Holtby: The Caps netminder had his best game of the series. He was not dominant, but he made several key saves. It was the first time this series that he looked like the Holtby we all know.

3. Alex Ovechkin: The man is indestructible. Regardless of whether you thought the hit form Kadri was dirty or not, it looked rough. Those are the kind of hits that end a player’s season. Instead, it just ended Ovechkin’s first period.

Look ahead: The series now turns back to Toronto for what could be a decisive Game 6 on Sunday. Should a Game 7 be necessary, it will be in Washington on Tuesday.

Watch the game? Tell us what you thought!

MORE CAPITALS: Kadri's hit on Ovi: Dirty or not?

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Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

The Capitals may not be participating in Stadium Series this year, but the team is embracing outdoor hockey around Washington for spirited game day fun.

The Caps are hosting Rock The Rink skates at The Wharf, Penatgon Row, Rockville Town Square and The Avenue at White Marsh on select game days from January to March 2020. Fans attending these events can wear Capitals jerseys or gear to get either $5 off admission or free skate rentals.

The Wharf

Jan. 18 at 1 p.m., Jan. 31 at 6 p.m., and Feb 17. at 1 p.m.

Transit Pier will boast a Capitals-paneled ice rink with an ice resurfacer, trivia contests, giveaways, along with a DJ. The Capitals Campire will also boast Adirondack chairs around a fire to roast marshmallows for smores in front of a 14-foot jumbotron screen to watch the Capitals games. 

Pentagon Row

Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and March 9 at 6 p.m.

These skates will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants. The Caps games will also be on at surrounding bars. 

The Avenue at White March

Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.

This event will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants.

Rockville Town Square

Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. and March 5 at 6 p.m.

In addition to the above fun, Rockville native and Capitals hockey ambassador Haley Skarupa will be there on Jan. 31. You can watch the Capitals game at local bars as well. 

Fans attending these events or using local outdoor rinks this season are encouraged to post about it on social media by tagging @capitals and using the hashtag #RockTheRink to enter themselves for a chance to win prizes.

Caps slept through the first 40 minutes, they did not give Holtby much help though he was bad in his own right and Vrana sure did show something with the game-winning goal.

As for no penalties...not so much.


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Caps pull off inexplicable comeback win with five-goal third period

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Caps pull off inexplicable comeback win with five-goal third period

Down 4-1, the Capitals scored five goals in the third period for the incredible 6-4 comeback win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick pulling him in a tie with Steve Yzerman for ninth all-time in goals.

Here is how the Caps won.


Ovechkin was hot coming in with five goals in his past two games. He scored midway through the first period, getting a great pass in stride from Nicklas Backstrom to launch him behind the defense. Just as the defense closed in he fired a wrister past Semyon Varlamov to make it 1-0.

There is...pretty much nothing positive to say after that until the third period. There was a great 5-on-3 penalty kill, but it was essentially negated as they allowed a goal soon after. The Islanders built a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes and it looked all but over.

But after Carl Hagelin made it 4-2, Ovechkin pulled the Caps to within one, pulling the vintage back-to-front Ovechkin curl-and-drag before passing to the front where the puck deflected off the boot of Ryan Pulock and in.

After Jakub Vrana made it 5-4, Ovechkin added the empty-netter for the knockout punch.

With three goals, Ovechkin now has 34 on the season. He passed Mario Lemieux and tied Steve Yzerman for ninth all-time in goals. Incredibly, this is the first time in his career Ovechkin has three straight multi-goal games.


Just what exactly lit the fire under the Caps butts for that third period will probably be a talking point after the game. Was it Devon Toews doing the bird celebration after he scored to make it 4-1? Was it pulling Braden Holtby and starting Ilya Samsonov in the third period? Was it something Todd Reirden or one of the players said?

Whatever it was, it was a different Caps team that took the ice for the third period.

Hagelin's turnaround

As great as Ovechkin's performance was -- and it was epic -- it might not happen without the Carl Hagelin's early third-period tally.

The comeback was sparked by Hagelin's goal that came less than three minutes into the final frame. A great pass by Richard Panik set Hagelin up on the doorstep and he hit it home.

That goal made it 4-2 and a two-goal deficit seems a lot less daunting than a three-goal one.

Shaky Varlamov

Once Ovechkin made it 4-3, you could smell the blood in the water. Washington had gotten to Varlamov and the flood gates were open.

Dmitry Orlov took the puck up to the top of the faceoff circle and fired a slap shot that Wilson managed to get a stick to and deflected it through Varlamov to tie the game.

About three minutes later, Vrana intercepted a pass and fired a quick shot to beat Varlamov far-side for the 5-4 lead.

Varlamov faced 10 shots in the third period and allowed four goals. The fifth came on an empty net.