NHL playoffs full of lopsided scores, lacking comebacks
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Alex Brandon)The NHL playoffs are missing the close games and comebacks that seemingly come annually with all the postseason intensity. “The score of the game doesn’t matter if it’s 2-1 triple-overtime or a little more lopsided,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. That is one game.”HURRICANES at BRUINS, Carolina leads series 2-1 (12:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN)Carolina and Boston are managing injury concerns. WILD at BLUES, Minnesota leads series 2-1 (4:30 p.m. EDT, TBS)The St. Louis Blues have taken another hit to their blue line. “We have to look at it 2-1,” Kings center Phillip Danault said.wftv.com
Vanecek, Wilson lead Capitals past Islanders 2-0
Vanecek picked up his seventh win of the season and his third career shutout as the Capitals snapped a four-game skid (0-2-2). The Islanders lost track of Wilson when the Capitals broke over the blue line and a spinning Aliaksei Protas zipped a pass to Wilson, who was all alone between the circles. Vanecek preserved the shutout when he denied Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom on a stuff-in opportunity with 2:30 remaining in the third period. The 26-year-old goaltender is in his second season with Washington after the organization selected him in the second round of the 2014 NHL draft. The Capitals have had 11 rookies appear in a game this season, the most by Washington since the 2013-14 season.wftv.com
No timetable for injured Backstrom to play for Capitals
Capitals-Backstrom Hockey Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) in action during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Washington. Backstrom says he's taking hip injury rehab slowly and has no timetable on when he'll be able to play. Backstrom has not skated during training camp and seems like a long shot to play in the season opener Oct. 13 or soon thereafter. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass)ARLINGTON, Va. — (AP) — Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said Saturday he’s taking his hip injury rehab slowly and doesn't know when he’ll be able to play. “I have no timetable here," Backstrom said in his first public comments since camp started.wftv.com
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.