Capitals Weekly – Surviving the West

Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and Arizona Coyotes. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of April 17th though April 23rd.

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  • Monday, April 18th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Colorado Avalanche
    • To start off the second to last week of the regular season the Capitals would continue their five game road trip as they would head out west to take on the Colorado Avalanche. In the first period Garnet Hathaway would open things up for the Caps as he would net his 14th of the season with a great individual effort to strip the puck and then blast it past Darcy Kuemper to give the Caps the early 1-0 lead. Shortly after the goal Justin Schultz would go to the box for hooking, but the Avs would not be able to make most of their opportunity with the extra man as the Capitals would kill off the Penalty. However, late in the period Valeri Nichushkin would score his 22nd of the season to tie the game at one for the Avalanche.
    • In the second period things would be rather quiet until about the midway point of the period when Martin Fehervary would get called for holding to put the Avs on their second powerplay, but it would only last 22 seconds as Cale Makar would get called for interference against Lars Eller. Unlike the past two games for the games, there would be no high octane scoring while playing 4 on 4. After the penalties would expire Nico Sturm would get called for tripping, and less than a minute into the powerplay Alex Ovechkin would knock home the puck from the doorstep to regain the lead for the Caps as he would pick up his 48th goal of the season.
    • Then in the third period Artturi Lehkonen (someone the I would have loved to have seen the Caps pick up at the deadline), would jam home the puck, but would do so by pushing both Ilya Samsonov’s leg and the puck into the net. The Caps woulkd challenge for goalie interference, because it was as you’re not allowed to push any part of the goalie into the net to get the puck in the goal, but for whatever reason the call on the ice stood and Lehkonen would tie the game at two. As a result of the failed challenge the Caps would go on the penalty kill, which they would kill off successfully. 33 seconds after killing the penalty Marcus Johansson would score to give the give the Capitals the 3-2 victory, and become the first team from the Eastern Conference to defeat the Avalanche at home this season.
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  • Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Vegas Golden Knights
    • In Vegas the Capitals would continue their road trip as they would take on the Golden Knights, and in the first period the Caps would swarm the Knights and as a result Evgeny Kuznetsov would tap in a loose puck in the crease to give the Caps the early 1-0 lead. Then later in the period Alec Martinez would shoot one through a crowd past Ilya Samsonov to tie the game at one. Shortly after Martinez’s tally the Caps would strike with a John Carlson tally, but Tom Wilson would be shown offsides before the goal, and the goal would be overturned through a coach’s challenge to keep the game tied at one.
    • In the second period the Knights would pull Robin Lehner in favor of Logan Thompson, which was a very odd move for the Knights. Garnet Hathaway would go to the penalty box 40 seconds into the period for tripping to put the Knights on the first powerplay of the game. The Caps would do quick work on the penalty kill and 17 seconds after the Knights powerplay would end Alex Ovechkin would net his 49th of the season to give the Caps the 2-1 lead. Late in the period Evgenii Dadonov would go to the box for hooking to give the Caps their lone powerplay of the game.
    • Then in the third period the Caps would start the period with 57 seconds of powerplay time, but the Knights would kill it off and Evgenii Dadonov would get a body blow through Samsonov to record his 20th goal of the season, and to tie the game at two for the Knights. Seconds later Nic Dowd would go to the box for tripping and then former Capital Chandler Stephenson would score 23 seconds into the powerplay with a redirect in the slot through a stickless Samsonov to give the Knights their second goal in less than a minute to take the 3-2 lead. Later in the period Alex Ovechkin would net his second of the game to earn his 50th of the season to make history as he becomes the first player age 36 or older to record 50 goals in a season and tied Wayne Gretzky and the late Mike Bossy with his 9th NHL season with 50 or more goals. With Ovechkin’s goal the Caps would tie the game to force overtime.
    • In the extra frame Shea Theodore would dangle his way through the Caps and score 2:09 into overtime to give the Golden Knights the 4-3 victory over the Capitals.
  • Friday, April 22nd, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. Arizona Coyotes
    • To close out the week the Capitals would end their five game road trip with a late one in Arizona as they would battle the Coyotes. In the first period there would be some great pace between both teams to start the game. The Caps would go to the powerplay first as Michael Carcone would go off for slashing, and while on the powerplay the Caps would get a couple good looks, but the Yotes would do a great job of killing off the penalty to keep the game scoreless. However, at the 11:33 mark Conor Sheary would tuck home the puck to give the Caps the 1-0 lead.
    • In the second and third periods the Caps would go on three consecutive powerplays, but the Yotes would keep the Caps off the board on all three to goa perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill for the night. However, with 36 seconds left in regulation John Carlson would get the empty netter to give the Caps the 2-0 victory over the Coyotes.

News and Notes

  • Caps are Back in the Playoffs!
    • Thanks to some help from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night against the New York Islanders, the Capitals would clinch the final berth in the Eastern Conference for the 2022 Stanley cup Playoffs.
  • Ovi Keeps Making History
    • On Wednesday night in Vegas Alex Ovechkin would net a pair of goals to reach the 50 goal plateau for the ninth time in his career. By reaching the 50 goal plateau he did two things. One, he became the oldest player to reach 50 goals in a season. Second, he would tie Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most seasons with 50 goals at nine.

Storylines

  • Where will the Caps land in the East?
    • With four games left in the regular season the Caps look to see where they will land in the standings to setup their first round match up. Could the Caps face Carolina, New York Rangers, or Florida Panthers? That all depends on how these last four games go, and also depends on what the Pittsburgh Penguins decide to do too.

Upcoming Schedule

04-24-22 TOR v. WAS

Sunday, April 24th, 2022 – v. Toronto Maple Leafs – 7p ET

TV: NBCSWA, SNO

04-26-22 NYI v. WASTuesday, April 26th, 2022 – v. New York Islanders – 7p ET

TV: ESPN

04-28-22 WAS v. NYIThursday, April 28th, 2022 – @ New York Islanders – 7p ET

TV: NBCSWA, MSG+, TVAS

04-29-22 WAS v. NYRFriday, April 29th, 2022 – @ New York Rangers – 7p ET

TV: NBCSWA, MSG

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