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Caps Win Out Weekend Against Preds and Rangers

The Capitals welcomed the the Nashville Predators to Verizon Center for the first time since the 2011-2012 season. The game featured the first time that Martin Erat played against his old team in Washington, and the first time Matt Hendricks returned to D.C. since he left in the offseason. It also saw Patrick Wey play his first NHL game. The Caps were looking for a win after a disappointing lose at home to the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday. Nashville was also still missing their #1 goaltender Pekka Rinne who has been on IR for the past several weeks.

The Caps didn’t take long to start off the scoring. 6:44 into the first, Troy Brouwer put them in front when his backhanded trickled past Marek Manzanec’s right pad. Manaznec was fighting off a Eric Fehr slapshot and couldn’t find the puck before Brouwer. Alex Ovechkin doubled the Capitals lead when his league leading 9th powerplay goals. Three seconds into the man advantage Ovechkin’s slapshot beat Manazec blocker side, Mananec got a piece of it but not enough to stop in. 2-0 Caps with 6:51 left in the first. Karl Alzner finished up the Capitals scoring in the first with a seeing eye slapshot from the point ending his 62 game goalless streak. Nashville had the last say in the period, with 23 seconds left in the period Roman Jusi puts a wrist shot top shelf over Braden Holtby’s glove. Spoiling a otherwise fantastic first period for Holtby.

Nate Schmidt holding his first NHL goal puck
Nate Schmidt holding his first NHL goal puck
(Photo by Chris Gordon)

A scoreless second period sent the teams into the third 3-1. The second period did see its fair share of stops by both netminders. Then 3:19 into the third, Nate Schmidt scores his first ever NHL goal. Martin Erat’s pass to Joel Ward ended on the tape of Schmidt,and a bomb of a slapshot later put the Caps back up three. The three goal lead was short lived as Nashville only needed 23 seconds to score a goal of its own. Eric Nystrom wicked wrister beat Holtby blocker side, and with a little luck it hit the pipe and stayed in. The final tally of the game came from another Eric, when Eric Fehr scored 14:50 into the third.

The 5-2 win put the Caps at 15-12-2 on the season, putting them back in second in the Metropolitan Division. They have a quick turnaround as they play the New York Rangers Sunday at 7pm in New York. They hoped to have a better outing than they did last time as they were blanked 2-0. Don’t forget to get your free wings at Glory Days with your ticket stub.

The Capitals were victorious over the Rangers Sunday to a score of 4-1. Coming into the game the Rangers had shutout the Capitals for 9 straight periods. Both teams were on the back end of double headers but you wouldn’t have known that if you were just watching the game Sunday night. Philipp Grubauer got his second start in the NHL giving Holtby the night off. Grabauers only other game was last season against the New York Islanders, he lost 5-2.

The Capitals opened up the scoring in the 2nd period when Jason Chimera scored a goal on a loose puck in the crease. Henrik Lundqvist thought he had it covered as he laid on his back but his effort proved to be too weak. The goal ended his 10 period shutout of the Capitals. It only took 24 more second for the Capitals to double their lead on a goal by Steve Olesky. His shot fluttered in from the point and beat a screened Lundqvist, his first of the season. The final tally of the period came from a Mikhail Grabovski penalty shot. The Rangers turned it over in the offensive zone and Grabovski was hooked on his way in. His goal on the penalty shot was a hard slapshot that beat Lundqvist glove side.

Grabovski #84 scores on penalty shot against Lundqvist #30 (GIF by welshhockeyfan)
Grabovski #84 scores on penalty shot against Lundqvist #30
(GIF by welshhockeyfan)

With under three minutes left Nate Schmidt put in his second of his career, a slapshot that beat Lundqvist glove side as well. It was with just under two minutes left when the shutout was spoiled by a Benoit Pouliot goal. He deflected a Michael Del Zotto shot. The goal was review and it stood.

The two win weekend made it four out of the last five for the Capital. They remain second in the Metro division and will return to play tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Thomas Flaherty

Thomas Flaherty

I am from a small town just a bit northwest of Baltimore Maryland. I love the Capitals (especially writting about them). Feel free to Laich my articles Orlov them, your choice
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