Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, and Ottawa Senators. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of January 16th though 22nd.
- Sunday, January 16th, 2022 – Vancouver Canucks v. Washington Capitals
- To kick off a new week the Washington Capitals would host the Vancouver Canucks, and in the first period The Caps would generate some really solid scoring chances, but then Tyler Motte would get called for delay of game to put the Caps on the powerplay. With 22 seconds left on the powerplay Alex Ovechkin would bomb a body blow past Thatcher Demko to score on the powerplay and give the Caps the 1-0 lead. After the goal the Canucks would surge a bit and would draw a penalty with nine seconds left in the period to give them the powerplay to start the second period.
- Going into the second period it would be a bad start for the Caps as the Canucks would strike 33 seconds into the period with an Elias Pettersson powerplay tally to tie the game at one for the Canucks. Two minutes after the goal things would get chippy as both Matt Irwin and Kyle Burroughs would get double minors for roughing. Then shortly after tying the game Pettersson would strike again as he would backhand one from behind the goal line and off of Ilya Samsonov to give the Canucks the 2-1 lead. This goal would swing the momentum fully to the Canucks, and they would control most of the play as a result. The Caps would get some scoring opportunities, but Demko would stand tall to keep the Caps from getting back onto the scoreboard. Late in the second period Garnet Hathaway would take an ill-advised penalty and as a result Bo Horvat would strike on the powerplay to give the Canucks the 3-1 lead.
- Then in the third period the Caps would continue to fight, and as a result of their hard work they would draw a penalty against the Canucks. 27 seconds into the powerplay Tom Wilson would strike to get the Caps back within one. However, after scoring the goal Hathaway would go back to the box for elbowing and giving the Canucks their third powerplay opportunity, but the Caps would be up to task and kill the powerplay opportunity for the Canucks. With less than five minutes left in regulation the Caps bench would be called for too many men on the ice, but the Caps would once again shut down the Canucks on their second powerplay of the period. With Samsonov pulled JT Miller would ice this game with his 12th of the season to give the Canucks the 4-2 victory over the Capitals.
- Overall it was a good start for the Caps and their powerplay was a perfect 2/2 for the first time in who knows how long, so that was great. Giving up the powerplay goal early in the second period really hurt the Caps as that got the Canucks back into the game.
- Tuesday, January 18th, 2021 – Winnipeg Jets v. Washington Capitals
- Finishing up their homestand the Capitals would host the Winnipeg Jets as they look to get back into their winning ways. In the first period it was a bad start for the Caps as Dmitry Orlov would get called for slashing, and as a result the Jets would jump on the Caps as Kyle Connor would strike 40 seconds into the powerplay to give the Jets the 1-0 lead. Then 1:18 later Cole Perfetti would strike to score his first career NHL goal to grow the Jets lead to two. After the poor start for the Caps they would start to get their legs into the game, and draw a penalty against Neal Pionk for slashing. While on the powerplay the Caps would not score, Alex Ovechkin would score a fantastic goal off an amazing play with Garnet Hathaway to get the Caps back within one.
- In the second period would see the Jets start the period with an abbreviated powerplay due to a late Tom Wilson penalty in the first period, but this time around the Caps would shut down the Jets extra man advantage. Moments after killing the penalty Dmitry Orlov would strike to tie the game at two for the Caps. Late in the period both teams would trade powerplay opportunities, but neither team would strike to take the lead.
- Then in the third period Aleksai Protas would get a fortunate bounce off of Connor Hellebuyck and Nate Schmidt to give the Capitals their first lead of the game. However, momentum would swing the Jets way as Nic Dowd would get called for a late penalty, an after the penalty would expire Pierre-Luc Dubois would score to tie the game at three and send the game to overtime.
- In the extra frame Tom Wilson would only need 26 seconds to score and give the Capitals their first overtime victory of the season. Wilson would be the benefactor of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s wizardry to knock the rebound into the net for the 4-3 victory.
- An awful start to the game, but once the game was ten minutes old the Caps would start to get into the groove of things. Best player hands down was Kuznetsov. His masterful skating was creating lots of space and opportunities, and would eventually lead to the game winner in overtime. When Kuznetsov is on his game, he is unbeatable.
- Thursday, January 20th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Boston Bruins
- On the road the Capitals would travel to Boston to take on the Bruins, and in the first period Evgeny Kuznetsov would strike less than five minutes into the game to give the Caps the 1-0 lead, but fifty seconds later David Pastrnak would strike to tie the game at one. Later in the period the Caps would get two powerplay opportunities, but they would not be able to capitalize on either extra man advantage. At the end of the first period the game would remain tied at one with the Bruins having the shots advantage outshooting the Caps 10-5.
- In the second period the Caps would go back on the powerplay early in the period, but for the third straight powerplay of the game the Caps would not register a shot. Shortly after the Caps extra man advantage expired the B’s would go on one of their own, and Pastrnak would be set loose on a breakaway and would knock in the puck past Vitek Vanecek to give the Bruins the 2-1 lead on the powerplay tally. The Caps would go back on the powerplay, but once again would do nothing with it, however, after the powerplay ended Lars Eller would strike to tie the game at two for the Caps.
- Then in the third period the Caps would go shorthanded, and after killing off the penalty the B’s would still continue to surge as Jake DeBrusk would score, but it wouldn’t be called until Toronto stopped pay for an official review which saw the puck go past Vanecek and barely, but enough, get over the goal line to take the 3-2 lead. However, a little over 30 seconds later Nicklas Backstrom would net his first of the season to tie the game at three. Then late in the period Nic Dowd would get called for tripping putting the B’s on the powerplay, and with 11 seconds left on the extra man advantage Charlie McAvoy would snipe one past Vanecek to give the Bruins the 4-3 victory over the Capitals.
- Overall this was not the best game for the Caps. Their powerplay was non-existent, they were outshoot in all three periods and could only must a max of 6 shots per period. However, with that said, the Caps did show good fight and stayed in the game, but that late penalty really killed them in this one.
- Saturday, January 22nd, 2022 – Ottawa Senators v. Washington Capitals
- Back at home the Capitals would host the Ottawa Senators, and in the first period the Sens would strike first as Thomas Chabot would score 82 seconds into the game as he would blast one from the point through a crowd past Vitek Vanecek to take the 1-0 lead. The Caps would be held shot less until late in the period when the would go on the powerplay. On the extra man advantage the Caps would generate four shots on goal, but would not be able to capitalize on the opportunity.
- In the second period former Capital Zach Sanford would strike to grow the Sens lead to two. Late in the period the Caps would go back on the powerplay, but once again they would not capitalize on it. Better period overall for the Caps as they generate 16 shots on goal compared to five in the first period.
- Then in the third period Alex Ovechkin would strike 99 seconds into the period to get the Caps on the board. Moments later the Caps would go shorthanded as Justin Schultz would go to the box for cross checking. The Sens would not take advantage, and shortly after the Caps killed off the penalty Ovechkin would net his second of the game to tie the game at two. The rest of the period neither team would score so this one would go to overtime which would see Nicklas Backstrom with great patience as he would score to give the Capitals the 3-2 victory over the Senators.
- Poor start for the Caps luckily did not doom them. Fact they went the first 17 minutes without generating a shot on goal was concerning, but as the game went on the Caps would get better. Vanecek was spectacular in net, and despite all of the injuries/COVID protocols the Caps are dealing with, they pulled out a needed two points.
News and Notes
- Dmitry Orlov Suspended Two Games
- Orlov was suspended for two games on Wednesday after kneeing Winnipeg forward Nikolaj Ehlers on Tuesday night. While no penalty was called on the play it was evident that Orlov was going to for the hit on Ehlers, and resulted on a knee on knee collision that resulted in Ehlers being injured.
- In my view after watching the play over, it is kneeing and the suspension was justified.
- Caps Finally Win in Overtime
- The Caps finally won in overtime as Tom Wilson would strike 26 seconds into overtime to defeat Winnipeg, and then Nicklas Backstrom would strike against Ottawa to give the Caps their first two overtime victories of the season. Hopefully with these two victories the Caps have finally shaken their overtime woes.
- The Powerplay…
- 30th in the NHL… 30th. Blaine Forsythe has got to go!
Monday, January 24th, 2022 – v. Vegas Golden Knights – 7p ET
TV: TVAS, NBCSWA, ATTSN-RM
Wednesday, January 26th, 2022 – v. San Jose Sharks – 7p ET
TV: NBCSCA, NBCSWA
Friday, January 28th, 2022 – @ Dallas Stars – 7p ET
TV: BSSW, NBCSWA