Author Topic: CAPS Week 12: Dec 19 - Dec 23  (Read 1482 times)

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Offline Senators2005

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CAPS Week 12: Dec 19 - Dec 23
« Topic Start: December 19, 2006, 06:15:07 PM »
This thread Dedicated to the Following Games:

DEC 19 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
DEC 22 vs. New Jersey Devils
DEC 23 @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Offline Senators2005

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CAPS Week 12: Dec 19 - Dec 23
« Reply #1: December 19, 2006, 06:16:19 PM »
Caps Take on Tampa Bay
Dec. 19 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at Verizon Center
Time: 7:00 pm
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: WTEM 980 AM

Tampa Bay Lightning (14-17-2)
Washington Capitals (15-10-7)

Tampa Bay comes to town on Tuesday for the middle match of a three-game homestand. Washington is 7-1-1 in its last nine games while the Lightning is 1-7-1 in its last nine.

When the Caps last saw the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Nov. 28, the Bolts were riding a season-high three-game winning streak while Washington had dropped six straight (0-4-2). The two teams have reversed fortunes since then. The Caps? record in their last 10 games is second only to that of Anaheim among all NHL teams over the same span. The Lightning?s mark of 2-7-1 in its last 10 is worse than every other team in the league with the exception of St. Louis.

Washington comes into Tuesday?s game on the heels of a four-point weekend. The Caps took a 3-2 overtime decision from Atlanta on Friday, and then turned back the Flyers 4-1 on Saturday. The Caps are five games above the break-even point for the first time since they concluded the 2002-03 regular season 10 games over at 39-29-8-6.

With 10 regulation losses on the season, the Caps are tied for third fewest in the conference and sixth fewest in the league.

Tuesday?s game is a divisional tilt, but Caps coach Glen Hanlon downplays the idea of any four-point games.

?I don?t believe in four-point games,? he declares. ?There are 164 points to get, and you try to get 92 [or more]. It doesn?t matter where they come from. That?s a ploy for teams that lack motivation. I don?t have that problem.?

The Capitals are nestled among a tight cluster of teams in the Eastern Conference standings. Washington is tied for sixth with 37 points. But the Caps are five points off the pace for the Southeast Division lead and second in the conference. At the other end of the conference spectrum, they?re also only seven points away from Tampa Bay in the 13th spot.

After Tuesday?s game, the Caps will play their next six games as part of three sets of back-to-back games. Washington is 10-4-4 in games that are not part of back-to-back sets this season.

The Capitals? power play unit stands 19th in the NHL with a 16.4% success rate. Washington?s penalty killing outfit has crept up to 13th in the league with a kill rate of 83.2%. The Caps have killed 42 of 47 (89.4%) opposition power plays in the last nine games.

After finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference in 2005-06, the Lightning currently occupies the 13th spot in the conference standings. The Lightning?s lone win in its last nine games was a thorough 8-0 thumping of the Atlanta Thrashers on Dec. 7. Tampa Bay is coming off a 3-2 loss to Carolina on Saturday, its fourth straight regulation loss.

Goaltending was a problem for the Lightning last season, so the Bolts picked up a pair of new netminders ? Marc Denis and Johan Holmqvist ? this season. But that duo has not been the answer.

The Lightning has allowed 3.21 goals per game this season, 22nd in the NHL. Last year?s edition of the Bolts surrendered 3.12 goals per game, the 18th best mark in the circuit.

Tampa Bay?s power play struggles have contributed to the team?s tailspin. The Lightning?s extra-man unit has converted only six of 53 (11.3%) chances in its last nine games.

Penalty killing has also been a problem. After a strong stretch in which it killed 20 of 21 (95.2%) of opposing power plays over a seven-game stretch, the Lightning has killed off only eight of its last dozen (66.7%) shorthanded situations covering the last four games. The Lightning can take some measure of comfort in the fact that it is the NHL?s least penalized team, with an average of just 10.7 penalty minutes per game.

Lightning general manager Jay Feaster recently hinted that he was seeking a deal of some sort to spark his team. Feaster indicated that he is pleased with the play of his big three forwards ? Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis ? and said that a team with a $44 million payroll should not be a sub-.500 team.

St. Louis and Richards are running 1-2 among all NHL forwards in average ice time per game. Lecavalier is sixth in that department. St. Louis is fourth in the league?s scoring race, and Lecavalier is ninth.

For the season, the Lightning?s power play ranks 21st in the NHL with a 15.9% success rate. Tampa Bay?s penalty killing corps ranks last in the league with a 75.7% kill rate.

Offline Senators2005

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CAPS Week 12: Dec 19 - Dec 23
« Reply #2: December 20, 2006, 04:02:00 AM »
FINAL at Verizon Center:

Tampa Bay 5
Washington 4



Lecavalier's 200th goal helps Lightning hold off Capitals

WASHINGTON (AP) -- On the verge of giving away a big lead in what would have been a fifth consecutive loss, Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella called a timeout and gathered his players for a pep talk.

The gist of his message? "We're playing well," center Tim Taylor recounted. "Control yourselves." With that positive reinforcement, Tortorella pounded his palms together and sent his club back onto the ice to finish off a victory.

Vincent Lecavalier scored his 200th career goal and assisted on Martin St. Louis' 21st and 22nd of the season Tuesday night, and Tampa Bay held on to beat the surging Washington Capitals 5-4.

"This was an opportunity for us to be able to handle a situation. It's something that we've struggled with," said Tortorella, whose team improved to 5-8 in one-goal games. "In these type of situations, when you do get the win like we did, maybe it springboards you to something else."

That's just the sort of thing that happened for Washington after the teams' previous meeting, Nov. 28 at Tampa. The Capitals won 5-2 behind Olie Kolzig's career-high 48 saves to end a six-game winless drought and start a 7-1-1 roll heading into Tuesday. That loss also began a 1-7-1 slide for Tampa Bay.

But the teams' fortunes switched on this night, with the Lightning outshooting Washington 29-9 through two periods while taking a 5-2 lead that drew loud boos from the announced crowd of 10,417.

"I don't know if we were overconfident going into the game or thinking that we're better than we really are. We didn't show that team enough respect and as a result we were looking at a 5-2 deficit," Kolzig said. "We came close, but because we dug ourselves that big a hole we couldn't ultimately come out of it."

The Lightning had dropped four straight games entering Tuesday, wasting a lead in each of the last three.

"For the first time after a game in a little bit, we get to feel good about ourselves," Taylor said. "We've had a lot of things go bad in the last 10 to 15 minutes of hockey games."

This time, Washington's Kris Beech and Bryan Muir scored in the third period to make it a one-goal game with about 7 1/2 minutes left. But after the timeout, Lightning goalie Marc Denis managed to hold on for only his second win in his last 12 starts.

"They were back in the game, feeling good about themselves and threw everything but the kitchen sink at us," St. Louis said.

It didn't start that way.

The Capitals have been dominant early in games lately, outscoring opponents 14-4 in the first period of the previous nine games. But Washington came out flat Tuesday, outshot 17-5 and outscored 3-1 in the opening period -- the lone bright spot for the hosts was Alex Ovechkin's fifth goal in three games and 23rd of the season. He wheeled around the net, as though looking for someone to pass to, then stopped near the circle, paused and threaded the puck past Denis.

Lecavalier, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1998, scored his 19th of the season on a first-period power play as Tampa Bay went 3-for-5 in extra-skater chances.

That helped build the three-goal lead that nearly vanished.

"With all the bad bounces we got in the third, we still held on and got the victory," St. Louis said. "We've been on the other side, in terms of result, for a while now."

Offline Dave B

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CAPS Week 12: Dec 19 - Dec 23
« Reply #3: December 20, 2006, 08:15:04 AM »
I hate St Louis that runt.  

Goddam eminger coughing up tthe puck for the 5th goal

Offline UMDNats

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CAPS Week 12: Dec 19 - Dec 23
« Reply #4: December 20, 2006, 11:16:38 AM »
I had front row seats, pretty sweet at the end.
Almost tied it up.
Those first 2 periods killed us.

Offline Dave B

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« Reply #5: December 20, 2006, 11:43:43 AM »
Ovechkin nailed that dude behind the net, who was slow to get up, that led to the Muir Goal.  

Zubrus hittin the post. So frustrating.

Offline Senators2005

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CAPS Week 12: Dec 19 - Dec 23
« Reply #6: December 22, 2006, 03:38:11 PM »
Devils Make First District Visit
Dec. 22 vs. New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center
Time: 7:00 pm
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: WTNT 570 AM

New Jersey Devils (18-12-3)
Washington Capitals (15-11-7)

Friday brings the New Jersey Devils to the District for the first of two meetings this season. The tilt between the Capitals and the Devils closes out a three-game homestand for Washington.

The suddenly smarting Capitals will recall a pair of players from their AHL affiliate in Hershey for Friday?s game. Left wing Alexandre Giroux and defenseman Jeff Schultz will journey south from Hershey to the District to join the Caps for Friday?s game. Giroux was recalled earlier in the week, and he played 6:48 in his Capitals debut (and second NHL game) against Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Giroux is tied for second in the AHL with 21 goals in 28 games. He is tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals, he ranks among the league?s top 10 scorers and is plus-12 defensively. Schultz was recalled briefly earlier in the month, but he did not see any game action with Washington. Schultz has three assists and is plus-8 in 27 games for the Bears this season.

The Caps are coming off a 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. A late and furious comeback in that game was not enough to produce a standings point, as the Caps were undone by three early power play goals.

It was only the second time in 33 games this season that the Caps had been nicked for more than two power play goals in a game. The first was in a 7-1 loss to Toronto on Nov. 24, and one of the extra-man tallies in that game came while the Maple Leafs were enjoying a two-man advantage.

Last season, the Caps allowed more than two power play goals in two of their first three games of the season. During the 2005-06 season, Washington surrendered three or more power play goals in 19 of its 82 games.

The Caps were nicked up for the game with the Lightning, but they may be even more nicked up for Friday?s dance with the Devils. Forwards Donald Brashear, Matt Bradley and Richard Zednik missed Tuesday?s game, and only Brashear has even a chance of playing Friday. Caps captain Chris Clark also has an undisclosed injury.

Defenseman John Erskine missed Tuesday?s game and could be joined on the sidelines Friday by fellow blueliner Bryan Muir, who has an undisclosed ailment.

Caps coach Glen Hanlon believes the absence of some of those players played a role in Washington?s lackluster performance in the first 50 minutes of the Tampa Bay game. That contest was the first this season in which neither Erskine nor Brashear was in the lineup.

?I honestly believe that we missed Erskine and Brashear,? says Hanlon. ?I think that was a huge part of our [loss]. No one took liberties with us, but it seemed like two big, mature NHL guys who weren?t in our room.?

Erskine?s absence was especially noticeable on the penalty killing unit.

?You have forwards who are penalty killing specific,? notes Hanlon, ?maybe John Erskine has found a role in the NHL being a real good penalty killer with just short little spurts. He has got a real good stick and he adheres to the system. I thought we really missed him a lot on our kills.?

Washington is 15th in the league with a power play conversion rate of 17%. The Capitals rank 17th in the NHL in penalty killing with a snuff rate of 82%.

Although they have lost four of their last five games (1-3-1), New Jersey is 6-3-2 in its last 11 games. Along with the Rangers, Islanders and Penguins, the Devils are one of four teams vying for positioning in the NHL?s Atlantic Division.

Regardless of the economic system in place, the Devils remain one of the NHL?s elite franchises. Over the past 15 years or so, few teams have drafted and developed players as well as New Jersey has, and the results are easy to see. The Devils have made the playoffs 15 times in the last 16 seasons and have gone on to win the Stanley Cup three times, most recently in 2003.

New Jersey has piled up 100 or more points in eight of the last nine seasons, and has not attained fewer than 95 in any of those nine campaigns.

The 2006-07 Devils are still reaping the benefits of the team?s stellar drafts of the last century. Fourteen of the players currently on New Jersey?s roster were drafted or signed originally by the Devils and have never played an NHL game in another team?s uniform. Those players are the products of 10 different drafts dating as far back as 1990 (Martin Brodeur) to as recently as 2004 (Travis Zajac). New Jersey has been able to make career Devils out of five players drafted more than 10 years ago (Brodeur, Sergei Brylin, Jay Pandolfo, Patrik Elias and Colin White).

The Devils have done well on special teams this season. The Devs are seventh in the league with a 19% success rate on the power play. New Jersey is fourth in the NHL with a penalty killing rate of 87.3%.

Notes: New Jersey is tied for the NHL lead with eight shorthanded goals allowed.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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« Reply #7: December 22, 2006, 04:40:05 PM »
The Devils have the worst arena in the NHL, so it's no wonder they play well on the road.

Offline Senators2005

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« Reply #8: December 23, 2006, 01:41:13 AM »
Final at Verizon Center

New Jersey 4
Washington 1



Devils hand Ovechkin, Caps second straight loss
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The New Jersey Devils shut down Alexander Ovechkin, continued to click on the power play and pulled themselves out of a funk.

Patrik Elias' tip-in snapped a second-period tie and the Devils beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Friday night.

Travis Zajac and Zach Parise had power-play goals for the Devils, who have scored with a man advantage in a season-high five straight games. New Jersey has nine power-play goals during its streak, seven over its last three games.

"When we struggle with our special teams, we struggle badly," said New Jersey coach Claude Julien, whose team had lost four of five games. "Special teams have come around, the power play's been a lot better and the penalty kill has been very good. Especially on the road, those things have a tendency to make a difference."

Chris Clark scored for Washington, which has dropped two straight after going 7-1-1.

Ovechkin was limited to five shots and had his point-scoring streak snapped at a season-high eight games. But it took a spectacular save by Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur with 3:18 left in the game to keep Ovechkin pointless.

Brodeur blocked Clark's shot from between the circles and Ovechkin darted in from the left wing to pounce on the rebound. But Brodeur, who made 35 saves, slid to his right, gobbling up Ovechkin's attempt in front of the crease.

"If not for Brodeur, we probably score six, seven goals," said Ovechkin. "He did an unbelievable job, he saved an unbelievable puck."

Brian Gionta also scored for the Devils, who have beaten the Capitals five straight times. Scott Gomez and Sergei Brylin had two assists each.

New Jersey thwarted four Washington power plays -- they've killed 18-of-19 opponents chances over four games -- and kept pace with the Capitals' ploy of double-shifting Ovechkin to generate more offense.

"He's dangerous and the guys did a good job on him," Brylin said of Ovechkin. "It's like against any other great player. You've got to be sharp because he's going to try to beat you one-on-one."

The Devils exploited a bad clearing attempt by goaltender Brent Johnson to take a 1-0 lead on Zajac's power-play goal 5:31 into the second period. Zajac had three whacks at the left post before finally scoring his seventh goal.

Clark tied it about four minutes later, snapping Zubrus' rebound past Brodeur from the edge of the left circle.

Elias put New Jersey up with 1:06 remaining in the second. The Devils worked the puck around the perimeter before Brad Lukowich unleashed a low wrist shot from the left point. Elias tipped the puck and it slithered under Johnson.

Gionta's goal 4:51 into the third gave the Devils a two-goal lead. No one picked up Gionta on a two-on-two rush and he scored off a Gomez pass. At 9:52, Parise got his 12th goal, scoring from the right wing for a 4-1 lead.

Offline Dave B

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« Reply #9: December 23, 2006, 11:41:43 AM »
In the words of Mr Slave "Jeesssusssss Chriiiiisst"

Offline ColtonWillems

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« Reply #10: December 23, 2006, 01:18:43 PM »
Boo, why couldn't you beat the Devils! give us Rangers fans some room to breathe.

Offline Senators2005

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« Reply #11: December 24, 2006, 04:13:18 AM »
Final at Air Canada Centre

Toronto 2
Washington 3



Capitals hold off Maple Leafs' rally for win in Toronto
TORONTO (AP) -- Washington coach Glen Hanlon credited enforcer Donald Brashear for stopping a Toronto rally.

SundinMats Sundin scored the fourth penalty-shot goal of his NHL career in the Maple Leafs' 3-2 loss to the Capitals. That ties Sundin with Joe Sakic and David Vyborny for the third-highest highest total in league history. The only players with more penalty-shot goals than Sundin are Pavel Bure (seven) and Mario Lemieux (six).

Alexander Ovechkin scored his 24th goal, Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves and the Capitals held on for a 3-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Mats Sundin scored twice in the third period to rally Toronto. He scored on a penalty shot at 3:16 and again just 14 seconds later.

After Washington called a timeout, Brashear and Toronto's Wade Belak quickly followed with a fight that got the crowd on its feet.

"Brashear did a good job in his scrap to settle things down," Hanlon said.

Alexander Semin and Dainius Zubrus also scored power-play goals for the Capitals.

Toronto had several chances to tie it, but Sundin missed the net on a partial breakaway and Kolzig had several impressive stops in the third. The Leafs had a power play late in the period, but Washington killed it.

Kolzig noticed a different Toronto team after the Leafs were booed off the ice trailing 3-0 at the end of the second.

"It was a case of Toronto not wanting to be embarrassed in their own building on Hockey Night in Canada," Kolzig said. "They came out a little harder in the third. They made it close, but not close enough."

Before the game, Toronto announced center Michael Peca will miss at least three months after breaking his right leg and suffering ligament damage in Friday's game in Chicago. Peca collided with Chicago defenseman Jim Vandermeer.

Toronto also was missing Alexei Ponikarovsky (separated shoulder) and Kyle Wellwood (hip flexor).

"Peca is arguably one of the best defensive forwards in the league, but a lot of teams fight through injuries," Sundin said. "We're a bubble for a playoff spot. We need to have more desperation. We need more urgency."

Ovechkin entered the day tied for second in the NHL in goals. He scored the first of Washington's three power-play goals in the second by putting a rebound past Andrew Raycroft at 12:01. In six career games against the Maple Leafs, he has seven goals -- six on the power play -- and two assists.

Semin assisted on Ovechkin's goal and, just 1:28 later, beat Raycroft on the glove side.

Zubrus made it 3-0 at 18:27 after skating backward from behind the net and putting a shot past Raycroft.


Offline Senators2005

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« Reply #12: December 24, 2006, 04:24:21 AM »
This was a great game - the score is a little decieving though...Frickin Sundin with 2 scores in the matter of 14 seconds.  Almost threw my beer at the television on that one.  Despite Beninati and Laughlin's objections...I think the penalty shot was a good call.  But who cares - another win for the Caps.   8)


Offline UMDNats

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« Reply #13: December 24, 2006, 01:27:20 PM »
Schultz looked pretty decent from what I saw (1st period - I was in Detroit and found a TV with it on) for his NHL debut.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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« Reply #14: December 25, 2006, 11:05:28 PM »
Paul Maurice must have the most uncomfortable britches on earth right now...Leafs Nation is most unhappy, from the sounds of it.  At least the annual playoffs 'Battle of Ontario' looks unlikely to repeat itself.  

Anyone going to the Montreal game this week and rooting for both teams?  I sure won't be...*kaff, kaff*

Offline Senators2005

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« Reply #15: December 25, 2006, 11:29:20 PM »
Quote from: "Ali the Baseball Cat"
Paul Maurice must have the most uncomfortable britches on earth right now...Leafs Nation is most unhappy, from the sounds of it.  At least the annual playoffs 'Battle of Ontario' looks unlikely to repeat itself.  

Anyone going to the Montreal game this week and rooting for both teams?  I sure won't be...*kaff, kaff*
Actually yeah - I'll be there - thinking of splurging my Christmas money and getting lower bowl seats!   :shock:  :lol:

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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« Reply #16: December 25, 2006, 11:36:28 PM »
check out Craig's List...lots of people are out of town this week, especially K Street lobbyists who are in Aspen and can't use their section 100 tickets.  Why pay retail?

Big game tomorrow in Buffalo...if anything dirty happens to #8, Brashear is certain to dismembowel someone.

Offline Senators2005

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« Reply #17: December 25, 2006, 11:38:42 PM »
Quote from: "Ali the Baseball Cat"
check out Craig's List...lots of people are out of town this week, especially K Street lobbyists who are in Aspen and can't use their section 100 tickets.  Why pay retail?
never done that before...have to take a look....thanks for the tip.