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Kuznetsov shuts down McDavid as Caps extend home win streak to 13

Kuznetsov shuts down McDavid as Caps extend home win streak to 13

Final Score: Washington Capitals (41-12-7) defeat the Edmonton Oilers (33-21-8) 2-1 at Verizon Center on Friday night.

How It Happened: The Capitals were unable to set the NHL record for most consecutive home games with at least five goals scored, but they did just enough to best Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who stood on his head for much of the game. The Capitals were at their strongest when getting out on the rush, which in turn didn't allow the Oilers' top line of Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon and phenom Connor McDavid to get settled looks on offense.

What It Means: The home victory means the Capitals' home win streak extends to 13 games, dating back to a Dec. 29 shootout loss to the Devils.The 13-game win streak ties a franchise history. After dropping back-to-back games last week, the Capitals are now streaking again.

Scoring Summary:

Capitals Goal: Dmitry Orlov ran out of real estate in the left corner, which forced him to shovel a pass backwards to Tom Wilson. The third-liner stepped in with space availableand unleashed a wrister past Cam Talbot to give the Caps a 1-0 lead 12:22 of the first period.

Oilers Goal: Early in the second period, the Capitals attempted to clear the puck out of their end.A miscommunication between Andre Kuznetsov and Justiun Williams resulted in an easy interception from Andrej Sekara who then left it for Leon Draisaitl, who put it passt Braden Holtby for the equalizer at 0:35 of the second period.

Capitals Goal: Justin Williams tallied his 19th goal of the season thanks to a brilliant slapshot from the right wing early in the third period. The Capitals had a sustained offensive possesion, with Karl Alzner finding Williams trailing behind. He left it for the savy veteran, who burried past Talbot for the 2-1 lead.

Three Stars of the Game:

3 - Branden Holtby: Holtbeast didn't pitch a shutout, but 30 saves on 31 shots isn't too shabby. For every dazzling save Cam Talbot made, Holtby answered, especially during a rocky second period where the Capitals had issues controlling the puck on offense. Holtby finished strong as well, turning back numerous shots with the Oilers going 6-on-5 for the final 120 seconds.

2 - Evgeny Kuznetzov: While he didn't register a point against the Oilers, Kuznetsov was rock solid on defense and thwarted all of McDavid's output.He was physical on offense and defense and set up his linemates well. Kuznetsov was no slouch on offense, putting three shots on set.

1 - Justin Williams: The elder statesman led all players with four shots on goal, and burried the game-winner in the third period. Williams now hasa 19 goals on the season, and has provided the Caps' with countless late-game pick-me-ups.

Looking Ahead: The Capitals have a quick turnaround as they head to Nashville to take on Filip Forsberg and the Nashville Predators.

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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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