Welcome to the Capitals Weekly as we look back at the past week for the Washington Capitals as they took on the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers. Plus we take a look at news and storylines that took place during the week of April 24th though April 30th.
- Sunday, April 24th, 2022 – Toronto Maple Leafs v. Washington Capitals
- On Sunday night the Capitals would begin their final stretch of the regular season as they hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs for Fan Appreciation Night (which was kind of weak compared to past seasons). In the first period TJ Oshie would open up the scoring 5:34 into the game to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. Later in the period the Leafs would tie the game at one when Ilya Lyubushkin would lob the puck through a crowd and take a favorable bounce past Vitek Vanecek. After the Leafs would tie it Justin Holl would go to the box for roughing. While on the powerplay the Caps would get some looks and about 2-3 solid shots on goal, they would not convert on the extra man advantage as this game would remain tied at one after one.
- In the second period both the Caps and the Leafs would have goals waived off so we would only have a pair of penalties on the scoresheet instead. First Tom Wilson would go to the box for tripping, and then late in the period Lyubushkin would go to the box for holding.
- Then in the third period things would not start ok for the Caps as Alex Ovechkin would charge onto the net for a scoring opportunity, but Erik Kallgren would make the save on Ovi, and also trip him up and send Ovi awkwardly into the boards. From my view at the game it looked like an innocent play where Ovi charged the net and incidental contact was made which sent him to the boards, however, after watching replays (which weren’t available in the arena) Kallgren definitely swings his stick towards Ovechkin’s legs which trips him up and causes him to crash into the boards awkwardly. While goalies are given the benefit of the doubt with these types of plays, that probably should have been called for tripping on Kallgren. So low and behold Ovi would be pulled from the rest of the game due to an “upper body” injury, and for precautionary reasons isn’t a bad idea either. Shortly after the injury to Ovechkin the Caps would respond as they would get goals from Lars Eller and Marcus Johansson to grab a two goal lead less than five minutes into the period. However, the lead would not remain as at 12:36 the Caps would let Ilya Mikheyev skate around them and snipe a shot past Vanecek to bring the Leafs back within one. Then Eller would go to the box for holding to put the Leafs on the powerplay, but the Caps penalty killers would be up to task to keep their one goal lead. However, in the final minute of regulation Jason Spezza would benefit from a fortunate bounce as he would be able to knock the puck past an unsuspecting Vanecek to tie the game at three and send the game to overtime.
- In the extra frame the Caps would get a powerplay opportunity when the Leafs would get called for too many men on the ice, but time would expire for the overtime period and would bring us the shootout. In the shootout Evgeny Kuznetsov would do Kuznetsov things to score for the Caps, but Spezza would strike to keep the Leafs in it. Then in the seventh round Alexander Kerfoot would score to give the Maple Leafs the 4-3 victory over the Capitals.
- Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 – New York Islanders v. Washington Capitals
- In their final regular season game at home the Capitals would play host to the New York Islanders for the first game of their home and home series. In the first period the Caps and Isles would start off a little slow, but with some action as well. Then midway through the first period Conor Sheary would strike to give the Caps the 1-0 lead off of a great deflection in the slot area. However, the Caps would take the first penalty of the game as Lars Eller would go off for high sticking, and on the powerplay the Isles would tie up the game with a Ryan Pulock tally.
- In the second period the Caps would get two powerplay opportunities as Matt Martin would go to the box for closing his hand on the puck and Oliver Wahlstrom would be called for high sticking. On both powerplay opportunities the Caps would get good zone time on them, but their execution was very lackluster as the game remained tied at one after 40 minutes of play.
- Then in the third period the game would fall of the rails for the Caps. First Tom Wilson would get called for holding to put the Isles on their second powerplay of the game. and at the 2:56 mark Noah Dobson would strike on the powerplay to give the Isles the 2-1 lead. Then while the Caps were on a powerplay thanks to an Andy Greene tripping call it would be a massive fumble behind the net by Ilya Samsonov that would allow Casey Cizikas to strip the puck and score a shorthanded tally from his backside to grow the Isles lead to two. The Caps would get one last crack at the powerplay thanks to an Adam Pelech tripping call, but the Caps would look listless on it. Then in the final five minutes of regulation Anders Lee would score to give the Islanders the 4-1 victory over the flat and listless Capitals.
- Thursday, April 28th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. New York Islanders
- In the second game of their home and home series the Capitals would travel to Long Island to take on the Islanders, and in the first period around the midway point of the period Axel Jonsson-Fjallby would get called for slashing, and on the first powerplay of the game Brock Nelson would strike with the one timer to give the Isles the 1-0 lead. After the goal things would get weird as Adam Pelech would go to the box for tripping, but then four seconds later John Carlson would get called for unsportsmanlike conduct to nullify the Caps powerplay before it could even begin. After those two penalties owuld be called Justin Schultz would get called on a very weak tripping call to give the Isles the 4 on 3 man advantage which would see Anders Lee redirect a Mathew Barzal shot past Vitek Vanecek to give the Isles the 2-0 lead.
- In the second period there would be no scoring but the penalty shenanigans would continue to take place. Midway through the period Zach Parise would get called for slashing, but again four seconds later Casey Cizikas would flop to have Nicklas Backstrom called for interference in what would be a week call to nullify the Caps second chance at a powerplay. Then with 21 seconds left in the period Adam Pelech would get two cross checking penalties in one sequence to give the Caps a four minute powerplay.
- To kick off the third period the Caps would be on the powerplay for 3:40, but they would not score despite getting a few zone time. However, as soon as the powerplay expired Jean-Gabriel Pageau would fly down the wing and snipe the puck past Vanecek to give the Isles the 3-0 lead. Shortly after the goal Garnet Hathaway would get called for boarding to put the Isles on the powerplay, and the Isles would strike again for the third time while on the period as Kyle Palmieri would blast it past Vanecek from the slot to grow the Isles lead to four. The Caps would go back to a four minute powerplay as Oliver Wahlstrom would get two minors for slashing and roughing along with a ten minute misconduct as he would assault Hathaway. While on the extended powerplay the Caps would not do much as the Isles would kill off the double minor, and then create chaos as Jensen would bump into the net to cough up the puck to the Isles as Josh Bailey would strike to give them the 5-0 lead. However, in the final minute of the game Axel Jonsson-Fjallby would score to end the shutout bid of Semyon Varlamov, but ultimately the Capitals would fall to the Islanders 5-1 in another listless effort.
- Friday, April 29th, 2022 – Washington Capitals v. New York Rangers
- To finish off the 2021-22 regular season the Washington Capitals would battle the New York Rangers just like they did to open the regular season, but this time at Madison Square Garden. In the first period the first half of the period would be rather quiet, but in the second half it would be a penalty filled half. Evgeny Kuznetsov would go to the box for high sticking, but the Rangers would get a penalty of their own as Frank Vatrano would go to the box for slashing. Later in the period Ryan Lindgren and Nic Dowd would go to the box as both men would be called for roughing. At the end of the period it would remain scoreless.
- In the second period Patrik Nemeth would go to the box for holding to give the Caps their second powerplay of the game, but they would not be able to capitalize and Filip Chytil would score to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead. However, 35 seconds later Justin Schultz would score to tie the game at one. After tying the game the Caps would draw a penalty against Kevin Rooney to get back on the powerplay which would see the John Carlson strike from the point to give the Caps the 2-1 lead. Late in the period Alexis Lafreniere would score to tie the game at two for the Rangers. Then in the final minute of the period Ryan Strome would go to the box for tripping.
- Then in the third period the Caps would start the period with an abbreviated powerplay, but they would not be able to capitalize on the opportunity. At the 6:42 mark of the period Dryden Hunt would score to give the Rangers the 3-2 lead. Later in the period Nic Dowd would go to the box for hooking to put the Rangers on the powerplay. The Rangers would not strike on the powerplay and then in the final four minutes of the game Barclay Goodrow would go to the box for hooking, and while the Caps were on the powerplay they would not score and the Rangers would go on to win 3-2 to finish the regular season.
News and Notes
- No Noteworthy News
- To finish off the season the Caps didn’t try too hard after clinching their playoff berth, and will now take on the Florida Panthers for the first time ever in the playoffs.
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022 – @ Florida Panthers – 730p ET
TV: NBCSWA, BSFL, SN360, TVA Sports, ESPN 2
Thursday, May 5th, 2022 – @ Florida Panthers – 730p ET
TV: NBCSWA, BSFL, SN360, TVA Sports, TBS
Saturday, May 7th, 2022 – v. Florida Panthers – 1p ET
TV: NBCSWA, BSFL, SportsNet, TVA Sports, ESPN
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