Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, and Minnesota Wild. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of January 2nd though 8th.
- Sunday, January 2nd, 2022 – New Jersey Devils v. Washington Capitals
- On Sunday the Caps would open up the week with their second matchup against the Devils, and in the first period the Caps would start off on the wrong foot as the Devils would strike twice in a 1:14 span near the midway point of the period. First Yegor Sharangovich would net his seventh of the season to give the Devils the 1-0 lead, then a 74 seconds later Damon Severson would score to grow the Devils lead to two. Late in the period Lars Eller and former Capital Jonas Siegenthaler would go to the box for slashing and tripping respectively to give us four on four hockey. While at four on four John Carlson would let one rip from the faceoff dot to get the Caps on the board and cut their deficit to one.
- In the second period the Devils would build their lead 22 seconds into the period as Nico Hischier would notch his fifth of the season to give the Devils their two goal lead back. Shortly after the goal Nick Jensen would go to the box for holding giving the Devils their first powerplay of the game. The Capitals would be effective in killing the penalty, and then later in the period Nic Dowd would go to the box for roughing, but he would take PK Subban with him. However, Subban would get a double minor for roughing thus giving the Caps their first powerplay of the game… which they did nothing with.
- Then in the third period Nic Dowd would strike to get the Caps back within one with a very pretty goal that showed off his hand eye coordination, and while celebrating Subban would cause a ruckus as he attempted to slewfoot Garnet Hathaway when he was driving to the net on the play. No penalty was called on Subban. Late in the period Conor Sheary would be the beneficiary of a beautiful Lars Eller pass, after McKenzie Blackwood would casually pass the puck away, and would bury home the puck to tie the game three and send the game to overtime.
- In the extra frame Hischier would net his second of the game to give the Devils the 4-3 overtime victory over the Capitals. The Caps would net register a shot on goal in 2:56 of overtime that would be played.
- This game was a very dull game to watch. In the second period alone the Caps were outshot 12 to 5 by the Devils. Good fight by the Caps in the third period to tie the game up and send the game to overtime. Caps just gotta figure out how to win in overtime again. They still haven’t won a game during the five minute 3v3 frame.
- Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Montreal Canadiens
- Postponed due to Canadian Attendance Restrictions
- Friday, January 7th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. St. Louis Blues
- For the first time since October 2019 the Washington Capitals would travel to St. Louis to take on the Blues for the first game of their mid-west back to back. In the first period it would be a fast start for both teams as the Caps would get the get the first couple of chances. The Blues would follow-up with some chances of their own, especially a chaotic one that saw Ilya Samsonov scrambling to keep the scoreless. Ville Husso would make a spectacular save on Brett Leason, but 2:02 into the game Daniel Sprong would snipe one top shelf to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. The Caps would keep up the pressure past the halfway point of the period, and were outshooting the Blues 10 to 3, but it would be Torey Krug would net his sixth of the season to tie the game at one for the Blues. As the period would wind down the Blues would go to the box with less than 30 seconds left in the period to give the Caps the game’s first powerplay.
- The Capitals would open the second period with 93 seconds of powerplay time, but they would do nothing with it. No surprise there. Later in the period the Caps would go shorthanded, but they would kill off the Blues first powerplay of the game to keep the game tied at one. Then 9 minutes into the period Pavel Buchnevich would score on the Blues first shot of the period to give the Blues the 2-1 lead. With less than three minutes left Ilya Samsonov would kick out a juicy rebound and Oskar Sundqvist would pounce to give the Blues the two goal lead. Then with less than a second left in the period Ivan Barbashev would score to give the Blues a commanding 4-1 lead.
- To start the third period the Caps would put Zach Fucale between the pipes ending Samsonov’s night. To open the period the Caps would get their second powerplay opportunity, but, as expected, they did nothing with the powerplay opportunity. Later the Blues would go on the powerplay after Nick Jensen would get called for holding, but the Caps would kill the penalty. With five minutes left in regulation the Caps would get another powerplay opportunity, and for some reason they would pull Fucale for the extra attacker, and it would bite them in the ass as Pavel Buchnevich would hit the empty netter for his second of the game to give the Blues the 5-1 victory over the Capitals.
- Great first 10 minutes, awful final 50 minutes. Powerplay is still worthless.
- Saturday, January 8th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Minnesota Wild
- To close out the week the Capitals would head to Minnesota to face the Wild, and in the first period the first eight minutes would have a lot of back and forth between the two teams, and then Marco Rossi would go to the box for holding to give the Caps the first powerplay of the game. While on the powerplay the Caps would have good zone time for the first half of the powerplay, but overall they would do nothing with the extra man advantage. The Caps and Wild would continue to do a lot of back and forth, and then Nick Jensen would go to the box for high sticking to put the Wild on the powerplay.
- To start the second period the Wild would have 50 seconds remaining on their powerplay, but the Caps would apply great pressure to kill the penalty, and then utilize that momentum they created from killing the penalty to generate scoring chances with Connor McMichael deflecting Nick Jenson’s point shot past Kaapo Kahkonen to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. Soon after the Caps would go back to the powerplay, and Evgeny Kuznetsov would unleash a bomb to grow the Caps lead to two. the Caps would only need four seconds of powerplay time to get the goal. The Caps would then be swarming in the Wild’s zone to give them their third powerplay of the game. With their third powerplay opportunity, the Caps would get some scoring chances, but they would not be able to capitalize on this one. As the period would continue so would the trips to the penalty box for the Wild as Mats Zuccarello would go to the box for tripping. They wouldn’t score on the powerplay, but they would gain another one, but but before they did the Caps did an own goal when they accidentally threw an errant pass that would go into their own net as the goalie was pulled for the extra attacker during the delayed penalty. And for the fourth time the Caps would not do anything with the powerplay.
- Then in the third period it would be a very quiet period, but with 35 seconds left in regulation Mats Zuccarello would get one past Zach Fucale to tie the game at two and send the game to overtime. In the extra frame it would be a little aggravating to watch as the Caps had good control, but they didn’t pull the trigger. They had at least 3-4 solid chances that they passed on. In the shootout Kevin Fiala and Frederick Gaudreau would score for the Wild to take the 3-2 victory over the Capitals.
News and Notes
- No major news this week for the Capitals.
- The powerplay is still a problem (1 for 9 for the week), and the Caps still can’t win in overtime. I’m not going to beat this dead horse even more than I have.
Monday, January 10th, 2022 – v. Boston Bruins – 7p ET
TV: TVAS, NBCSWA, NESN
Saturday, January 15, 2022 – @ New York Islanders – 2p ET
TV: MSG+, NBCSWA