Capitals

Quick Links

Caps tie series at 2-2 behind Tom Wilson's heroics

Caps tie series at 2-2 behind Tom Wilson's heroics

Final score: Washington Capitals 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 4

How it happened: The Caps jumped out to another strong start with early goals from T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin. Zach Hyman responded 42 seconds after the Caps took a 2-0 lead, however, giving Washington fans a feeling of déjà vu from Game 3. Tom Wilson then made a game, and perhaps series saving play as he swept a trickling puck off the goal line and then sprinted to the offensive zone to deflect in a Lars Eller shot. In just a few seconds, Wilson had prevented the Leafs from tying the game at 2, then gave the Caps a 3-1 lead. He would add his second goal of the game just 2:23 later to give Washington a 4-1 lead. 

And that was just the first period.

Toronto pulled one back with a power play goal from James van Riemsdyk in the second period. The Caps killed off  1:57 of a 2-man advantage to hold on to the lead, but Auston Matthews would strike in the third to pull the Leafs within one. Oshie would score his second of the game to try to sald the game away, but Tyler Bozak would score with less than 30 seconds remaining to make the Caps sweat. Washington, however, would hold on for the win.

What it means: With the win, the Caps earned a 2-2 series split and regained home-ice advantage. The Caps are now just two wins away from winning the series and two of the remaining three games will be in Washington.

Goals

Caps goal: T.J. Oshie from Nicklas Backstrom and Nate Schmidt at 2:58 in the 1st period. A Schmidt shot hit off the boards and took a nice bounce towards the front of the cage where Backstrom was able to tip it to Oshie for the open net. Caps 1, Maple Leafs 0

Caps goal: Alex Ovechkin (power play) from Kevin Shattenkirk at 4:34 in the 1st period. The Caps kicked the puck back to the blue line on the power play where Shattenkirk corralled it and fed Ovechkin for the one-timer from the top of the office. Caps 2, Maple Leafs 0

Maple Leafs goal: Zach Hyman from Jake Gardiner and William Nylander at 5:16 in the 2nd period. A falling Gardiner fired a shot from the blue line that was deflected in by Hyman just 42 seconds after Ovechkin’s goal. Caps 2, Maple Leafs 1

Caps goal: Tom Wilson from Lars Eller and Dmitry Orlov at 13:41 in the 2nd period. A shot from Morgan Rielly trickled past Braden Holtby but Wilson made the diving save with his stick before the puck could cross the line. Wilson then sprinted down the offensive zone trailing Eller. Eller wheeled around the net and fired a shot that Wilson deflected in for the goal. Caps 3, Maple Leafs 1

Caps goal: Tom Wilson from Andre Burakovsky and Brooks Orpik at 16:04 in the 2nd period. A simple pass along the boards from Orpik in the defensive zone trickled through the Leafs to spark a two-on-one with Burakovsky and Wilson. Burakovsky passed it off to Wilson who buried the goal. Caps 4, Maple Leafs 1

Maple Leafs goal: James van Riemsdyk (power play) from Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly at 5:39 in the 2nd period. The Leafs worked the perimeter on the power play and van Riemsdyk called his own number. The shot deflected off the stick of Dmitry Orlov and into the net. Caps 4, Maple Leafs 2

Maple Leafs goal: Auston Matthews from Connor Brown and Matt Hunwick at 12:00 in the 3rd period. Holtby shifted left to save an innocent looking shot, but it deflected and landed at the feet of Matthews on Holtby's right. That left the net wide open for Matthews to score. Caps 4, Maple Leafs 3

Caps goal: T.J. Oshie from Nicklas Backstrom at 12:59 in the 3rd period. Burakovsky took the puck into the offensive zone by himself and was swarmed by Leafs. But no one could corral the bouncing puck and the Caps forecheck took possession with Backstrom feeding Oshie all alone for the five-hole goal. Caps 5, Maple Leafs 3

Maple Leafs goal: Tyler Bozak from Williams Nylander and Mitch Marner at 19:33 in the 3rd period. Washington failed to clear the puck leading to added pressure fromt he Leafs. A shot by Marner deflected to the slot where Nylander tapped it to Bozak who netted the goal. Caps 5, Maple Leafs 4

3 Caps stars

1. Tom Wilson: Wilson had the game of his life in his hometown. Not only did his diving save prevent Toronto from tying the game at 2, he also scored twice. He has been the best player on the ice in both of Washington's wins this series.

2. T.J. Oshie: The top line was great on the forecheck and provided plenty of offense. Oshie himself tallied two goals.

3. Alex Ovechkin:  Ovechkin continued his nearly point-per-game playoff pace with a first period goal to put the Caps up 2-0. He registered five hits, was relentless on the forecheck and was always around the crease looking for deflections and rebounds.

Look ahead: The series heads back to Washington for Game 5 on Friday and then will head back to Toronto for Game 6. Should both teams split those games, Game 7 will be in Washington on Tuesday.

Watch the game? Tell us what you thought!

Quick Links

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.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

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

usatsi_13926114.jpg
USA TODAY sports images

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.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: