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Capitals take down scorching hot Calgary Flames, 4-2

Capitals take down scorching hot Calgary Flames, 4-2

Final score: Washington Capitals 4, Calgary Flames 2

How it happened: The Caps and Flames traded first-period goals as Evgeny Kuznetsov finished off a slick pass from Andre Burakovsky, but Calgary responded with a rush goal by Sean Monahan. Things looked even in the second period until T.J. Oshie gave the Caps the lead, and Kevin Shattenkirk added another goal with less than three seconds left in the second to put the Caps up by two. Troy Brouwer pulled Calgary within one in the third, but Alex Ovechkin provided the insurance tally on the power play for the win.

What it means: The Capitals extended their point streak to four games including three wins. This is just the second loss Calgary has suffered in the past 14 games. With the win, Washington maintained its hold over first place of the Metropolitan Division.

Goals

Caps goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov from Andre Burakovsky at 6:47 in the first period. Lars Eller harassed Johnny Gaudreau in the neutral zone until Burakovsky stole the puck and started the rush. He then found Kuznetsov with pass who slickly slid the pass into the net. Caps 1, Flames 0

Flames goal: Sean Monahan from Alex Chiasson and Johnny Gaudreau at 10:06 in the first period. Kevin Shattenkirk pinched deep into the offensive zone to grab the puck along the wall, but Chiasson beat him to it and chipped it up to Monahan. He passed to Gaudreau to start the two-on-two rush. Brooks Orpik pinched too far over to Gaudreau leaving Monahan wide open for the pass which he deposited into the top corner. Caps 1, Flames 1

Caps goal: T.J. Oshie from Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin at 15:51 in the 2nd period. Backstrom retreated to the top of the right circle and found Ovechkin through traffic with the cross-ice pass. Ovechkin made the quick pass to the slot and Oshie finished off the tic-tac-toe play by burying the puck into the net. Caps 2, Flames 1

Caps goal: Kevin Shattenkirk (power play) from Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin at 19:57 in the 2nd period. An Ovechkin shot deflected off of Deryk Engelland allowing Shattenkirk to step up for the close shot. Elliott looked like he had it tucked in his armpit, but the puck dropped and began to trickle past the line. Caps 3, Flames 1

Flames goal: Troy Brouwer from Kris Versteeg and Deryk Engelland at 15:04 in the 3rd period. Engelland decided to join the rush and just as he was being forced into the corner by Karl Alzner, he spun around for the pass that found Brouwer open in the slot for the tip-in. Caps 3, Flames 2

Caps goal: Alex Ovechkin (power play) from Nicklas Backstrom and Kevin Shattenkirk at 17:09 in the third. Ovechkin took the pass from Shattenkirk in the office and was given plenty of time to place the puck into the corner. Caps 4, Flames 2

3 stars

1. Alex Ovechkin: The Great 8 got the power play goal, plus registered an incredible 11 shots on goal to keep the pressure up on Elliott all night.

2. Nicklas Backstrom:  Ho-hum, just another three-assist night for Backstrom.

3. Brian Elliott: Don't let the score fool you. This game was close because Elliott had a fantastic night. He was very solid in the net despite giving up four goals as he turned aside 36 of the shots he faced on the night.

Look ahead: Washington hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday in a critical game for control of the Metropolitan Division. They then close out their three-game home stand on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

Tell us what you think:  This is the first time the Flames have lost with Brian Elliott in net since Feb. 18 and just their second loss in 14 games. After the win, do you think the Caps are now completely back on track after that four-game skid?

More Capitals: Wendy's Frozen moments: Capitals season in pictures

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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

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.

Motivation

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.

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