Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of January 30th though February 5th.
- Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Pittsburgh Penguins
- In Pittsburgh it would be a rivalry night as the Capitals would take on the Penguins, and in the first period the Caps would find themselves shorthanded but Nic Dowd would strike with the shorthanded tally to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. However, the lead would go away as 36 seconds later Evgeni Malkin would score on the powerplay to tie the game at one, and then on another powerplay Bryan Rust would strike to give the Pens the 2-1 lead and full blown momentum in the period. Now it should be noted that before the Pens first goal there was a collision between Vitek Vanecek and Kasperi Kapanen, and after Malkin scored Vanecek would be pulled (potentially by a concussion spotter) which would put Ilya Samsonov into the game. The Caps would get a powerplay opportunity of their own, and Dmitry Orlov would bank in Conor Sheary’s rebound to tie the game back up at two. The Caps would then receive another powerplay opportunity, but despite some good zone time they would only get one quality shot on goal as this game would go into the first intermission tied at two.
- In the second period the Caps would find themselves in penalty trouble. First Nic Dowd would go to the box 26 seconds into the period, but the Caps would kill off that penalty, however, a delay of game penalty would put the Pens back on the powerplay and Rust would strike to get his second of the game and retake the lead for the Penguins. The Caps would respond as Dowd would deflect the puck past Tristan Jarry for his second of the game, and after a coach’s challenge for goalie interference and would have the goal disallowed on what would be a rather bad call. Later in the period the Caps would go back to the penalty kill for the fifth time this game, and the Caps would kill off their second straight penalty to keep themselves down by one. In the final minute of the period Daniel Sprong would score while crashing the net to tie the game at three for the Caps. The second period would see the Pens dominate the Caps in the shot department 23-7, but the goal in the final minute would give the Caps life with the game going into the intermission tied at three.
- The third period would be a very quiet period as the game would go to overtime tied at three. In the extra frame Orlov would net his second of the game in the final minute to give the Capitals the 4-3 victory over the Penguins.
- I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the greatest game for the Caps, but they got the victory and that’s the important thing. The Caps penalty kill was not very good as the Pens would score on their first three, but to see Dowd score shorthanded, and the Caps shut down the Pens on the final two powerplays was good for the Caps to stay in the game. The Caps powerplay was a good 50 percent, but they should of had a lot more powerplay opportunities than they did. Dowd’s second goal should have counted. That was a standard play in front of the net and was clearly a goal. How that got overturned is beyond me. But now the Caps need to shift their focus to Wednesday night as they take on the Edmonton Oilers at home before the All Star break.
- Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022 – Edmonton Oilers v. Washington Capitals
- In their final game before the All Star Break, the Capitals would host the Edmonton Oilers, but they would do it without their captain Alex Ovechkin who would test positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day. In the first period the Oilers would strike fast and often as Leon Draisaitl would strike 90 seconds into the game to take the 1-0 lead, and then goals from Evander Kane and Connor McDavid (on the powerplay) would give the Oilers the 3-0 lead in the first 5:07 of the game and have Ilya Samsonov pulled after giving up the three goals on four shots faced. Once Pheonix Copley got in the net to relieve Samsonov the Caps would settle into the game and 2:36 after the McDavid goal Lars Eller would score to get the Caps on the board.
- In the second period the Caps would really come into their own as they would outshoot the Oilers 11 to 5 for the period, and Conor Sheary would strike to bring the Caps back within one of the Oilers. The Caps would get their first powerplay of the game and we would see John Carlson in Ovechkin’s spot, but it wouldn’t matter as the Caps would spend more time in their own zone than in Edmonton’s.
- Then in the third period Evgeny Kuznetsov would strike early in the period to tie the game at three. The Caps would get two more powerplay opportunities, but once again they wouldn’t do anything with them. Not having Ovi available shouldn’t of mattered, especially since they’ve been doing the powerplay without Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie too. Just need to change the system to accommodate for the players you don’t have and to utilize the players you do have, but Blaine Fosythe won’t do it and as a result the Oilers would get a shorthanded tally from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the second powerplay of the period to give them the 4-3 lead. Before regulation time would run out Nugent-Hopkins would get the empty netter for his second of the game to give the Oilers the 5-3 victory over the Capitals.
News and Notes
- That’s All Star Stanley Cup Champion Tom Wilson!!
- Metro Division Wins the All Star Game
- The Powerplay. Fire Blaine Forsythe already.
- Sure the Caps went 1 for 2 against Pittsburgh, but it was the 0 for 3 against Edmonton that was the real indicator that Blaine Forsythe needs to go because of his inability to adapt and change the powerplay to the players he has rather than the players he prefers. It’s just painful.
Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 – v. Columbus Blue Jackets – 7p ET
TV: BSOH, NBCSWA
Thursday, February 10th, 2022 – @ Montreal Canadiens – 7p ET
TV: TSN2, RDS, NBCSWA