Capitals hold on to beat Rangers for 10th win in 11 games
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON – Capitals players and coach Peter Laviolette sounded as if they'd lost after holding on to beat the New York Rangers 5-4 Sunday. Washington has won 10 of 11 games to move two points up on the second-place New York Islanders and looks primed for another deep playoff run. “If there’s a trend, we want to address it,” said Wilson, who has five points in four games since returning from a seven-game suspension. And their best players are producing: Ovechkin has 11 goals in 11 games and leads the team with 18; Kuznetsov has 12 points in 10 games and Jakub Vrana picked up his first point in five games. Keith Kinkaid made 17 saves for the Rangers, who have lost back-to-back one-goal games after a three-game winning streak.
Ovechkin scores twice, red-hot Capitals shut out Devils 4-0
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates his goal with the bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Friday, March 26, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin scored twice, Ilya Samsonov made 24 saves and the Washington Capitals rode their best players to a 4-0 victory Friday night and two-game sweep of the New Jersey Devils. Ovechkin has scored 10 times in his past 10 games and has a team-best 17 goals this season. “He’s probably the hottest guy in the league now, but it seems like every shot he takes is dangerous. Thank you, team.”With Ovechkin rolling, the Capitals have won nine of their past 10 games and are back atop the East Division.
Ovechkin scores 2 in final 7 minutes, Capitals beat Rangers
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates his first goal of an NHL hockey game during the third period against New York Rangers defensemen Ryan Lindgren (55) and Adam Fox (23), Friday, March 19, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin scored twice in the final seven minutes to continue his goal streak and rally the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory against the New York Rangers on Friday night for their seventh win in a row. Ovechkin tied it on a rebound with 6:42 left and put the Capitals ahead on a nearly identical play with 3:33 remaining. He has scored in five consecutive games and has seven goals in the past seven. I can’t be missing seven games.
Ovechkin matches Esposito with 717th goal; Caps rout Sabres
Ovechkin matched Phil Esposito for sixth on the NHL list with his 717th goal and the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-0 on Monday night. Vitek Vanecek stopped 23 shots for his first NHL shutout and improved to 4-0-1 against the Sabres. Backstrom’s 11th goal of the season came in his 984th game with the Capitals, passing Calle Johansson for second-most games in franchise history. Hutton made 24 saves for Buffalo, which is 0-9-2 in its past 11 games, the third-longest skid in team history. AdThe Sabres recalled center Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad and sent defenseman Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad.
Capitals' Ovechkin fined $5K for spearing Bruins' Frederic
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) checks Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)NEW YORK – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was fined $5,000 by the NHL on Thursday for spearing Boston Bruins rookie Trent Frederic, an amount that is the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement. Ovechkin was given a minor penalty for slashing and Frederic one for cross-checking on the play. The two players exchanged shoves minutes earlier and Frederic dropped his gloves but nothing transpired. Frederic and Capitals tough guy Tom Wilson fought during a game in Washington earlier this season.
Washington Capitals take 3-0 lead, beat NJ Devils 5-2
Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway (21) scores a goal past New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)NEWARK, N.J. – Based on recent results, the Washington Capitals are getting used to coach Peter Laviolette's new system. Lars Eller, who added the third goal in a big opening period, thinks Washington is hitting its stride in a 5-1-1 run that followed a four-game losing streak. AdNico Hischier and Pavel Zacha each scored for the second consecutive game for New Jersey, which has lost four of five. Ad“I believe it hit the shield and pushed the shield into his face so that that actually is a good thing,” Ruff said. So we still have a lot to learn, a lot to clean up and a lot we can improve on.
T.J. Oshie scores twice, Capitals come back to beat Devils
Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON – T.J. Oshie scored twice to end a lengthy drought, Alex Ovechkin had a late power-play goal and the Washington Capitals came back from down two to beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 on Sunday. Anderson and New Jersey's Aaron Dell each hadn't started an NHL game in more than 11 months. The Capitals and Devils each played at home Saturday afternoon, so this adjustment was possible. Samsonov got two minor league rehab starts but hasn't played an NHL game since Jan. 17.
Crosby plays 1,000th game as Penguins top Islanders 3-2
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH – It was one special day for Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby — from the beginning to the very end. Crosby had two assists in his 1,000th NHL game, and the Penguins beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Saturday night. “Every win is good, but to get it for (Crosby) on his 1,000th game is special,” Letang said. Crosby entered his 1,000th game with the eighth-most points in NHL history through 1,000 games. 87 jersey to recognize their captain before his 1,000th NHL game.
Laughton's 1st hat trick lifts Flyers past Capitals, 7-4
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON – Scott Laughton scored his first career hat trick, Sean Couturier had two goals in his first game back following a rib injury and the Philadelphia Flyers pulled away for a 7-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday. “It’s a big win after losing those two games the way we did to Boston,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. Laughton completed his hat trick to give the Flyers insurance on another rebound after Anderson’s pad save of Farabee, and Couturier added a late empty netter. MILESTONESFlyers: Van Riemsdyk contributed his 100th assist across two stints with the Flyers on Laughton's second goal. AdUP NEXTThe Capitals and Flyers meet again in Washington on Tuesday night.
Bruins erase 3-goal deficit against Capitals, win 5-3
Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates his goal with the bench during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Washington. Buoyed by their top scorer's first two goals of the season and a big rookie's fight against one of the toughest players in hockey, the Bruins erased a three-goal deficit to beat the Washington Capitals 5-3 on Monday night. “In the box, I was like a little kid in there just jumping around when we scored,” Frederic said. The Capitals had front-row seats for Pastrnak's breakout performance in his second game after undergoing offseason hip surgery. Former Bruins captain Zdeno Chara scored in his second game against his old team.
Ovechkin returns, scores in OT as Capitals beat Bruins
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his game-winning goal in overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Washington. In his first game since Jan. 19, Ovechkin scored in overtime to help the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 Saturday night in a showdown between the top teams in the NHL’s East Division. After Ovechkin missed the previous four games because of COVID-19 protocols, the high-scoring forward showed his career-long flair for the dramatic by beating Tuukka Rask with a perfect shot 28 seconds into overtime. “It was fun,” said Ovechkin, who also had an assist while being eased back in with 14 minutes of ice time. The Capitals beat the Bruins for the 17th time in 19 regular-season games dating to 2015.
'Sloppy' hockey is the name of the game early in NHL season
San Jose's Erik Karlsson (65) handles the puck against Minnesota Wild's Nick Bjugstad (27) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. San Jose won 5-3. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)With an outbreak delaying the Dallas Stars' opener, Rick Bowness got to watch a lot of hockey in the first couple of nights of the NHL season. “It was entertaining hockey, but it was a little sloppy,” Bowness said. “We’re staying in 5-star hotels, get to play hockey, so I can’t complain,” defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. Ad___Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno___More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Shorthanded Capitals beat Sabres 4-3 in home opener shootout
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON – Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist, Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves through overtime and the short-handed Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shootout Friday night in their home opener. Vanecek was perfect in the shootout to pick up his second victory of the season as defenseman John Carlson scored the shootout winner. Buffalo rookie Dylan Cozens scored his first NHL goal on a top-shelf snipe past Vanecek in the second period. Eric Staal and Riley Sheahan each scored his first goal since joining the Sabres. Linus Ullmark made 29 saves and was spotless in the shootout until Carlson beat him.
Canes' season paused, while Caps play on without 4 regulars
For Peter Laviolette, his Washington Capitals will keep playing for the next week without four prominent players who broke the rules. There's no indication the Capitals are being shut down, though they will have to play the next four games without captain Alex Ovechkin, No. The NHL defers to local authorities, and the minimum four games for the Capitals players relates to the District of Columbia's quarantine regulations. The Hurricanes have so far had three games postponed because of their outbreak and won't play for at least a week. I think that’s really what we’re going to find out.”___AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard and Stephen Hawkins contributed.
Ovechkin on COVID list, Caps fined $100K; Canes games off
Five players from the Carolina Hurricanes also are on the list and that team’s games were called off by the league through “at least” Saturday. The postponements were announced Wednesday, a day before the Hurricanes were set to host the Florida Panthers in their home opener. This is the first instance this season of Capitals players appearing on the NHL’s COVID-19 list, which could include those who test positive, have a potential exposure or face quarantine requirements. The league didn’t specify which team prompted that night’s postponement, although four Hurricanes players — Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jaccob Slavin and Teuvo Teravainen — were added to the daily COVID-19 list later Tuesday afternoon. Their past five games have been postponed during a stretch in which six Wizards players tested positive for the illness caused by the coronavirus and three others were sidelined after contact tracing determined they might have been exposed.
Guentzel's winner lifts Penguins by Capitals 4-3 in shootout
DeSmith figured Ovechkin would try to fire one past him rather than deke his way to the net. DeSmith stayed upright as Ovechkin closed in and felt the familiar smack of rubber hitting him and not the net. “I thought our guys played hard in the second and third against a really good team,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. While Sullivan remains confident Jarry will be fine, he turned to DeSmith to help get Pittsburgh going. Washington went 1 for 4 on the power play, a tap-in goal by Backstrom in the second that gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead.
Longtime Bruins captain Zdeno Chara leaves for Capitals
Longtime Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara signed with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a stunning move less than a week before most NHL teams open training camp. The Bruins haven't opened camp without Chara since 2005, the first season after a yearlong lockout. “The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players, and I respect their decision,” Chara posted on Instagram. “I'm proud that we were able to return the Stanley Cup to Boston,” Chara said in his post thanking the Bruins and their fans. Instead, Chara and the Capitals will face the Bruins eight times in the realigned East Division after the season opens Jan. 13.
Lundqvist to Caps, goalie carousel spins in NHL free agency
Lundqvist signed with the Capitals when free agency opened Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)Nets around the NHL will look very different next season after a flurry of musical goaltenders in free agency. "You saw the goalie carousel take place," said San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, who traded for goalie Devan Dubnyk this week. 1 goalies.”After trading Dubnyk to San Jose, the Minnesota Wild signed former Flames goalie Cam Talbot to an $11 million, three-year deal. After losing series to them in 2009 and 2011, Lundqvist eliminated the Capitals three times: 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Familiarity breeds respect among NHL East playoff teams
TORONTO, ONT Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper took exception to the Columbus Blue Jackets being referred to as a blue-collar team. Is that a positive or a negative? Cooper said Monday, a day before his Eastern Conference second-seeded Lightning open the first round of the NHL playoffs against the seventh-seeded Blue Jackets. Thats in the history books forever, Cooper said, noting how both teams have made various changes to their lineups. Id call them a really good team.Familiarity is breeding respect among the East opponents entering the first round. The Islanders hold a 5-2 playoff series edge over Washington.