Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators, and Philadelphia Flyers. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of February 13th though 19th.
- Sunday, February 13th, 2022 – Ottawa Senators v. Washington Capitals
- On super Bowl Sunday the Washington Capitals would play host to the Ottawa Senators in a battle between the two nation capitals, and in the first period the Caps would go shorthanded early as Conor Sheary would go off for hooking, but the Caps would be up to the task and keep the Sens off the board. However, the Caps would go to the powerplay off of a Brady Tkachuk slashing penalty, and 26 seconds into the powerplay Alex Formenton would strike shorthanded to give the Sens the 1-0 lead. After failing to rebound from the failed powerplay opportunity Adam Gaudette would score to grow the Sens lead to two. With 11 seconds left in the period Formenton would go to the box to put the Caps back on the powerplay to start the second period.
- In the second period the Caps would start strong as Nicklas Backstrom would score 46 seconds into the period while on the powerplay to bring the Caps back within one. The period would be a stronger showing for the Caps, but they would then put themselves into penalty trouble as John Carlson would go to the box for an illegal hit to the head, and then Dmitry Orlov would go to the box for tripping (and a very questionable one at that) to give the Sens the two man advantage. The Caps would be up to the task though as they would kill off both penalties, and then draw a powerplay of their own as Artem Zub would go to the box for cross checking. Unfortunately the Caps would not do anything with the powerplay despite some good zone time, but after the powerplay expired Brady Tkachuk would score to give the Sens their two goal lead back.
- Then in the third period Tom Wilson would throw a really nice clean hit behind the Sens net and would then drop the gloves with Nick Paul to try to get the Caps some energy, but Connor Brown would do a nice snipe past Ilya Samsonov to give the Sens the three goal lead. Shortly after going down by three Conor Sheary would head back to the box and Garnet Hathaway would get called for Interference to give teh Sens their second two man advantage of the game, but once again the Caps would kill off the two man advantage. Late in the period the Caps would get the powerplay one last time, but they would not be able to score and ultimately fall to the Senators 4-1.
- Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Nashville Predators
- Hitting the road the Capitals look to bounce back against the Nashville Predators, and in the first period the Preds would swarm the Caps early, but Samsonov would keep the Predators off the board. Then moment later Joe Snively would charge the net to tap in a Conor Sheary cross slot pass to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. The Caps and Preds would both get some more chances, but both Ilya Samsonov and Juuse Saros would be up to the task as the Caps take the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
- Heading into the second period the Caps would be without defenseman Justin Schultz due to an upper body injury, and it would be a very stop and go period as it would be whistle filled to start the period, but Michael McCarron would head to the box to give the Caps the first powerplay of the game. However, after a decent start to the powerplay, the Caps would not do anything of note with the man advantage. Later in the period the Caps would go on the penalty kill as Snively would head to the box. The Preds would not have the powerplay for very long as Mikael Granlund would trip Nick Jenson to give us some 4 on 4 hockey followed by an abbreviated Caps powerplay that wouldn’t get anything generated for the Caps. Late in the period it would look like Luke Kunin would tie the game, but the puck would hit nothing but post as the Caps would remain in the 1-0 lead. Samsonov would continue to make some big saves to keep the Predators off of the scoreboard.
- Then early in the third period the Preds would finally get one past Samsonov as Roman Josi’s shot would hit off of Michael McCarron and trickle into the net to tie the game at one, but it remain tied for only about 45 seconds as Nick Jenson would strike to reclaim the one goal lead. Then the Caps would go on the powerplay once again as Yakov Trenin would go to the box for tripping. On the man advantage Alex Ovechkin would net his 30th of the season to to grow the Caps lead to two. Then later in the period Granlund would go back to the box to put the Caps on the powerplay, and the Preds would kill of the penalty to keep the Caps lead at two. Late in regulation Jenson would go to the box, and with the goalie pulled the Preds would turn their powerplay into a two man advantage, but the Caps would kill the penalty and then Ovechkin would net his second of the game when he would hit the empty netter to give the Capitals the 4-1 victory over the Predators.
- Thursday, February 17th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Philadelphia Flyers
- To close out the week for the Caps they would head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers, and in the first period it would be a bit of a snoozer. In the opening minutes of the game Michal Kempny would get called for tripping to put the Flyers on the powerplay. However, the Caps would do some good penalty killing as they would keep the Flyers off the board. As the period would go on it felt like Philly was really controlling the play, but with 85 seconds left in the period Kempny would strike for his first of the season to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. The goal would also be Kempny’s first since 2019.
- Going into the second period it would still feel a little bit of a snoozer, but we’d get some fireworks as Scott Laughton and Trevor van Riemsdyk would both get five minute majors for fighting, but it would be a two for instigating and a ten minute misconduct to van Riemsdyk that would put the Flyers on the powerplay for the second time this game, and this time the Flyers would strike as Gerry Mayhew would score to tie the game at one with the powerplay tally. However, it would stayed tied for long as the Flyers would go into penalty trouble as Isaac Ratcliffe would go to the box for interference and then Cam Atkinson would go to the box for delay of game to give the Caps the two man advantage. The Caps wouldn’t strike while on the two man advantage, but they would strike on this extended powerplay as Joe Snively would get the rebound and knock it into the net for his fourth of the season and to give the Caps their one goal lead back. But in the final minute of the period the Flyers would tie things back up as Travis Sanheim would roof one past Ilya Samsonov to send the game to the second intermission tied at two.
- Then in the third period the Caps would get themselves into penalty trouble as Kempny would go to the box for holding and then Tom Wilson would go to the box for tripping to give the Flyers their own two man advantage, but the Caps would be up to the task as they would kill off both penalties, and then draw a penalty against Scott Laughton to give them the powerplay, but the Caps would not be able to capitalize on the opportunity. Then with six minutes left in the game Nic Dowd and Keith Yandle would both get matching minors for roughing, and as soon as both penalties expired Mayhew would net his second of the game to give Philly the 3-2 lead. However, 54 seconds later Garnet Hathaway would have a John Carlson point blast redirect off of him and past Martin Jones to tie the game at three and then Hathaway would strike again 1:45 later to give the Caps the 4-3 lead. Then Carlson would get a lucky bounce of his own as he would clear the puck off the boards, but it would take a weird bounce/deflection (that required video review) and go into the empty net to give the Capitals the 5-3 victory over the Flyers.
News and Notes
- Ovechkin Make History
- With Alex Ovechkin’s 30th goal of the season on Tuesday night in Nashville, Ovechkin would become the first player in NHL history to score 30 goals for 16 seasons with the same team. Ovechkin would also become the second player in NHL history to record 16 season with 30 goals only trailing Caps Alumni and Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Gartner (17).
- The powerplay is showing some life now, but I’m still reserving judgement for now as to whether or not it’s actually getting better. Overall the powerplay still looks very static, and needs more overall movement to mix things up a bit, but there were glimpses this week that there is still some life in it.
Thursday, February 24th, 2022 – @ New York Rangers – 7p ET
TV: ESPN, SN, TVAS
Saturday, February 26th, 2022 – @ Philadelphia – 1230p ET
TV: NHLN, NBCSP, NBCSWA