Archive for April, 2011

Caps dominate Rangers in five, face Tampa Bay Lightning in round two

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

The Washington Capitals continue into the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The Caps defeated the New York Rangers five games to one in the first round. They won their first two games at home, 2-1 and 2-0. Then the Caps traveled to New York for games three and four. After falling in game three, 3-2, the Caps got the momentum back after trailing, 3-0, in game four. Then they scored four unanswered goals and the game-winning goal in double over time. With home ice advantage for game five, the Caps had a chance to clinch the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series Saturday, April 23, at the Verizon Center and did so. They defeated the Rangers, 3-1, and sent them packing for the season.

The Caps had almost a week off before knowing who their semifinals opponent would be. There was a whole bunch of scenarios on their possible opponent. At the end of the day, on Wednesday, the Caps learned they would be playing the Southeast Division team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning are in the same division as the Capitals. However, the Caps are back-to-back-to-back to back Southeast Division Champs.

In round two, the Caps continue to have home ice advantage and will play games one and two at the Verizon Center this Friday and Sunday with 7:00 p.m. puck drops. Both games will be aired on Versus. Games three and four are in Tampa Bay back-to-back with 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. puck drops, May 3 and May 4. Game five, if needed, is back at the Verizon Center, May 7,  12:30 p.m., to air on NBC. Game six is scheduled to be back in Tampa, May 9, but game seven is scheduled  in D.C., May 11. Game times and networks are to be announced for the last two games.

During the regular season the Caps played Tampa, defeating them five times and losing to them once. Their biggest regular season win against the Bolts was a 6-0 win Nov. 26. The Caps have the advantage of playing on six days rest. The Bolts will have two days rest.

Caps make pursuit of Stanley Cup an annual rite of spring

Monday, April 11th, 2011

The Washington Capitals ended the regular season with a 1-0 loss to the Florida Panthers at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. The Caps are now fourth-time-in-a-row Southeast Division champions. They ended the regular season with a record of 48-23-11 and with 107 points. That is the third highest point ranking in franchise history. The Caps clinched the number one seed in the Eastern Conference for the second straight year in a row. Last year, they had an early exit in the first round as they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.

The Caps are set to face the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The last time the Caps played the Rangers in the playoffs was two seasons ago. The Caps came back from a 1-3 series and beat the Rangers in game 7.

The Caps host the first two games at the Verizon Center Wednesday, April 13 and Friday April 15. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. April 16, the Rangers host the nationally televised third game at 3 p.m. in Madison Square Garden. NBC will broadcast Saturday’s afternoon game. All evening games will air on TSN and Versus. The fourth game, Sunday April 17, puck drop is 7 p.m. on Garden ice.

Some other stats this season: the Caps gave up 197 goals, as they scored 224. They were 25-8-8 at the Verizon Center this season and 23-15-3 away from home ice.

The Caps leader in goals, assists, and points is, of course, “The Great 8” Alexander Ovechkin who had 32 goals, 53 assists, and 85 points. He also netted 11 game winners on the season. Also, the Caps had three 20-goal scorers. Those included Ovechkin (32), Alexander Semin (28), and Mike Knuble (24).

The Caps look to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.