Every Monday, GNGHockey will recap the past week for the Washington Capitals.
Here is everything that happened for the week of Dec. 4…
Washington Capitals (18-11-1, 37 points, 2nd in Metropolitan)
Monday, Dec. 4th – vs. San Jose Sharks (4-1 Win)
Following a huge win against a Metropolitan foe (CBJ), the Capitals looked to defend home ice against San Jose on Monday night.
The game was scoreless for the majority of the opening frame, due to strong play from both goaltenders, until Devante Smith-Pelly deflected a John Carlson shot from the point with just over three minutes to go, giving the Caps a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
Alex Ovechkin got the next goal of the game, rushing past Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon for a breakaway, which he shoveled past Martin Jones on the backhand to give the team a 2-0 lead. The Caps nearly made it 3-0 less than a minute later when a John Carlson one-timer beat Jones. However, the shot could not best the crossbar, so the game remained 2-0. With just about eight and a half minutes left in the period, the Sharks cut the lead to one when an unfortunate bounce off the end boards ended up right on the tape of Timo Meier, who beat Philipp Grubauer high to the blocker side. With less than a minute to go on the power play, it looked as if the Caps scored twice, but both were waved off by the referee. After a brief and awkward moment of players standing around, the referee called the play dead and decided to review the shots. The first shot, a Brett Connolly backhand, clearly beat Jones high on the blocker side and the refs correctly allowed the goal, making the score 3-1 in favor of Washington.
In the third, Grubauer kept the score 3-1 with a couple of magnificent saves with just over 15 minutes to play. Later on, with just under eight and a half minutes to play in the game, Jakub Vrana buried a puck that squirted out to him in the slot, giving the Caps a 4-1 lead that would carry until the end of the game.
Wednesday, Dec. 6th, 2017 – vs. Chicago Blackhawks (6-2 Win)
Following a convincing win over San Jose, Washington looked to keep up their winning ways against the Blackhawks.
The Caps did a great job pressuring the Hawks early and, with just over eight minutes left in the first period, Alex Ovechkin found a wide open Nicklas Backstrom in the slot, who ripped a wrister past Anton Forsberg to open the scoring. The first period ended with the Caps up 3-1, with additional goals from both Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin, as well as a goal from Lance Bouma for Chicago.
The score remained the same for most of the second period, until Brett Connolly finally scored with just under a minute and a half to go, giving the Caps a 4-1 lead.
Washington made the score 5-1 midway through the third period on a nice shot from Evgeny Kuznetsov that beat J.F. Berube to the glove side. With 3:42 left, the Blackhawks made the score a bit more respectable when Jonathan Toews beat Braden Holtby on a breakaway move between the legs, making the score 5-2. With the net empty, Tom Wilson scored from his own zone, resulting in a dominant 6-2 win for Washington.
Friday, Dec. 8th, 2017 – vs. New York Rangers (4-2 Win)
After a decisive win over Chicago, the Caps looked to keep things rolling against their Metropolitan Division rival, the New York Rangers.
The Caps found the back of the net very quickly – fourteen seconds in, to be exact – when Jay Beagle took a pass in the slot and ripped a shot off the post and in. Despite some scoring chances either way, the two teams would head to the locker room with a score of 1-0 in favor of Washington.
Midway through the second period, a Mats Zuccarello turnover gave Nicklas Backstrom time to place a shot right underneath the crossbar behind Henrik Lundqvist to make it 2-0 Caps. With just under a minute to go in the period, however, Michael Grabner received a beautiful pass from J.T. Miller and beat Holtby low to the blocker side to cut the Washington lead in half headed into the third period.
In the third, the Rangers were the first to score when a Jesper Fast one-timer beat Holtby up high to tie the game at two a piece. With time in the period dwindling down, Tom Wilson poked the puck through a sprawling Lundqvist while on the power play, giving the Caps a 3-2 lead with just over three and a half minutes to play. With just over a minute and a half left, Tom Wilson got a partial breakaway past Ryan McDonagh and slid the puck underneath the Rangers netminder to extend the lead to 4-2, which served as the final score.
Washington Capitals – Monday, 12/11 at New York Islanders; Tuesday, 12/12 vs. Colorado Avalanche; Thursday, 12/14 at Boston Bruins; Saturday, 12/16 vs. Anaheim Ducks