Found March 08, 2013 on
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
It took some time, but the Washington Capitals appear to have finally hit their stride.
Coming off their highest-scoring game of the year, the visiting Capitals look for a season-high fourth straight victory Saturday against a New York Islanders team hoping to bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat to its archrival.
Washington (10-11-1) scored four goals on its first eight shots in less than 8 1/2 minutes of a 7-1 win over Florida on Thursday.
"Of course, it's a little bit luck,'' Washington's Alex Ovechkin said of the early outburst. "But we need that kind of luck right now.''
The Capitals have won eight of 11 since a 2-8-1 start left them wondering if they had enough time to turn this shortened season around.
"We started so bad that it was a big hole to climb out of, and it didn't look good,'' defenseman Karl Alzner said. "We're just happy that we're winning games right now, and we don't want to be a .500 team.''
Though Washington still isn't in playoff position despite its surge, it appears to be on track.
The Capitals have averaged 3.7 goals and allowed 2.0 in the last 11 games after scoring 2.3 per contest and yielding 3.7 in the first 11. They've converted 32.4 percent of their power-play chances and killed 30 of 35 penalties during the winning streak.
In its first 11 contests, Washington went 9 for 42 (21.4 percent) with the man advantage while opponents were 15 of 51 (29.4) on the power play.
"It's all the same stuff we talk about every day," coach Adam Oates told the Capitals' official website. "The conditioning, the schedule, the system - all the stuff we talk about. The guys are playing better and good things are happening sometimes but all in all, in the last three weeks we've only had one bad game."
Braden Holtby made 29 saves Thursday and has a 2.09 goals-against and three shutouts while starting the last 11 games. Mike Ribeiro has recorded three goals with three assists in three games, while Ovechkin has four goals and six assists in the last six after recording 10 points over the first 16 contests.
Ovechkin, who had a goal and two assists Thursday, has 10 goals and five assists in 13 road games against New York (10-11-3). He's recorded six goals and five assists in his past 11 overall matchups with the Islanders, who lost in overtime and a shootout in their last two versus the Capitals.
Though New York is in the midst of a 2-0-2 stretch, it's coming off a disheartening 2-1 overtime loss to the Rangers on Thursday. Evgeni Nabokov was outstanding with 35 saves, but was beaten by Rick Nash's tying goal with 5:23 left in the third period and Marian Gaborik's power-play tally 42 seconds into the extra period.
Some Islanders berated the officials on the way off the ice for what they felt was a questionable hooking call on Michael Grabner in overtime.
"You can't dwell on the referees, you can't dwell on getting one point versus two," coach Jack Capuano said. "We've got to get ready for Washington."
Grabner has a goal in three straight games overall but no points in his last five against the Capitals.
Nabokov allowed seven goals in the last two losses to the Capitals after going 10-1-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average in his first 11 against them.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Washington Capitals got off to one of the worst starts in franchise history during this strike shortened 2013 NHL season. The team started off at a woeful 2-8-1. Since then the team has rattled off an 8-3-0 record and have now pulled within one game of the 500 mark. Much has been made of the Capitals terrible start including the constant negative remarks...
Photo Courtesy of sports.cbsimg.net Going into Tuesday’s game at the Verizon Center, the Boston Bruins had the second most points in the Eastern Conference with a 14-3-2 record. This made them one of the fiercest opponents the Caps had faced all season. It was a tough start to say the least for the boys in Red, going down three goals in the first period. The third period...
At 27 years of age, Washington Capitals star defenseman Mike Green should be in the prime of his career. But the question now is not whether he will regain his Norris Trophy contender form, but how much he will even play at all.
After getting shredded by Mike Milbury on NBC Sports Network between periods of the Washington Capitals-Philadelphia Flyers game, Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin responded to the criticism Milbury handed out.
Quite honestly, this is the best response Ovechkin could have had. Milbury had a short career as a head coach at Boston College, lasting only three months....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- What a way to start: four goals in eight shots.
John Erskine, Wojtek Wolski, John Carlson and Mike Ribeiro all scored before the game was 8 minutes old, and the Washington Capitals climbed out of a tie for last in the Eastern Conference by beating the Florida Panthers 7-1 Thursday night.
Florida's Jacob Markstrom allowed two goals on two shots and was pulled...
So where was this Capitals team for the first month of the season? Two goals in the first 3:10, which chased Panthers’ starting netminder Jacob Markstrom. Then two more on Scott Clemmenson to make it four goals on their first eight shots. Three points each for Alex Ovechkin, Mike Ribiero, and Wojtek Wolski; two points for Steve Oleksy in just his second game; plus ratings handed...
For the second time in as many weeks, the Washington Capitals have recalled rookie goal tender Phillip Grubauer from the AHL Hershey Bears.
Grubauer made his NHL debut on Feb. 27 against the Flyers and stopped all 14 shots. Grubauer came in relief of Braden Holtby. He has recorded a of 8-4-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage in 14 games with Hershey...
What a way to start: four goals in eight shots.
John Erskine, Wojtek Wolski, John Carlson and Mike Ribeiro all scored before the game was 8 1/2 minutes old, and the Washington Capitals climbed out of a tie for last in the Eastern Conference by beating the Florida Panthers 7-1 Thursday night.
Florida's Jacob Markstrom allowed two goals on two shots and was pulled after 3 minutes...
Score is best!!)))aha. (My San Antonio)
The Washington Capitals utterly humiliated the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, dominating them by a 7-1 to win their third consecutive game. Getting goals from seven different players: John Erskine, Wojtek Wolski, Alex Ovechkin, Eric Fehr, Mathieu Perreault, John Carlson, and Mike Ribeiro, as well as 29 saves from Braden...
The Caps gave New York's top line a chance, and they capitalized. (CBS)
The Washington Capitals came crashing back to earth on Saturday, getting beat down by the New York Islanders in Uniondale by a 5-2 score. The Caps tied the game twice after the Isles took the lead – on goals from Joel Ward and Nicklas Backstrom, respectively, - but fell apart after Backstrom’s goal...
Game time: 7 p.m. ETTV: FOX Sports Florida
With growing confidence, the Washington Capitals are playing some of their best hockey of the season.
Their current surge began against the Florida Panthers, and the Capitals can continue it by beating them yet again Thursday night and recording a seventh straight home victory in the series.
Though Washington (9-11-1) and Florida (7-11-5...
Fatigue may have played a role as the New York Rangers' winning streak ended their last time out, while the Washington Capitals also couldn't extend their run in their latest game.
Both teams may be tired Sunday as they continue busy stretches of schedule at Washington, where the Capitals have won four in a row.
New York (12-9-2) battled back to erase a two-goal deficit...