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Posts Tagged ‘Capitals.’

Capitals stun Blue Jackets with four, 3rd period goals; wins 4-2

 

Alex Ovechkin (file photo)

COLUMBUS, OHIO — If the NHL had a rule where the teams could play only two periods instead of three, the Columbus Blue Jackets would be one of the top teams in the league. They usually out-play teams for the first 40 minutes most of the time.

But the 3rd period is the enemy of the Blue Jackets and it reared its ugly noose around the teams neck again on New Year’s Eve night.

The Jackets leading and dominating the game for 2 periods, saw their 2-0 advantage slip away as Washington scored four goals in a span of 6:40 overall and tying and go-ahead goal in a span of :28 seconds in a 4-2 loss.

Heartbreaking, late game collapses have slowed the Jackets all year long and has fans and media wondering when changes will be made to the coaching staff. Columbus has been outscored 52-26 in the 3rd period this season.

Alex Ovechkin, the star of the Capitals scored the first and last goals in the four-goal period.

A few weeks ago, there was talk around the NHL that Ovechkin was losing his game because he only scored eight goals in the Capitals first 29 games. But he has rebounded to post seven goals in the last eight games, including a six-game points stretch of six goals and three assists.

Winning and scoring late in games is nothing new to Washington, always a Stanley Cup contender. The Capitals have scored 12 third period goals in their past six games. They’ve scored 46 goals overall in the final period this year, one of the best in the National Hockey League.

The disappointed crowd of 18,199 at Nationwide Arena did witness some positive play by the Jackets as they received goals from rookie John Moore and Sammy Pahlsson.

The three stars were: Alex Ovechkin and Dennis Wideman from Washington. Sammy Pahlsson was the Blue Jackets selection.

Columbus head coach Scott Arniel, obviously hearing and feeling the heat from fans and media, walked out of  his post-game press conference after answering only six questions. He was irritated when two reporters pointed out that the team is getting hammered on 4-on-4 play. Arniel said the stats were even, but another reporter said the Jackets are getting outscored 8-1 in 4-on-4 hockey. Then the beleaguered coach walked out of the room.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS POST-GAME DRESSING ROOM PRESS CONFERENCE

49 123 Dennis Wideman Washington Def 4-0n-4 hockey in 3rd period turned the game around for Capitals

49 128 Dennis Wideman Washington def This past week was a crucial time for the Capitals

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS POST-GAME DRESSING ROOM PRESS CONFERENCE

49 133 Derek Mackenzie CBJ center The inability to close out games is the team’s biggest problem

49 134 Scott Arniel CBJ coach Another 3rd period letdown. How much more can the team take

 

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM GAME COVERAGE

 

NHL referee McCreary officiated final game at Washington

 

Bill McCreary (NHL media guide photo)

Veteran NHL referee Bill McCreary officiated his final regular season game at Washington last Saturday as the Capitals were hosting the Buffalo Sabres.

The site was appropriate as McCreary began his four-decades-spanning NHL career by working Capitals home games. His NHL debut as a referee was on November 3, 1984, when the Caps hosted the New Jersey Devils at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. His final games as a referee reads, 1,737.

Regarded as one of the best ever to officiate the game, McCreary holds the League record for most playoff games (297) and most Stanley Cup Final games (44) refereed. He finished his career second on the NHL’s all-time games-refereed list. The native of Guelph, Ontario, is one of only four referees to reach the 1,500 games mark, an accomplishment McCreary registered on February 16, 2008. The quality of his refereeing was recognized by selection to work the post-season 23 times.

McCreary’s long list of accomplishments includes refereeing 15 Stanley Cup Final series (13 consecutive from 1994-2007), the 1991 and 1994 Canada Cups, the 1994 NHL All-Star Game (New York), and the Winter Olympics in 1998 (Nagano), 2002 (Salt Lake City) and 2010 (Vancouver), drawing the gold medal assignment each time.

McCreary will be recognized by his colleagues at a special ceremony held during Officials Training Camp prior to the 2011-12 NHL season.

 

Info courtesy of the National Hockey League

St. Louis Blues improve their goaltending; gets Halak in trade

compiled from staff, St. Louis Blues and NHL reports

The St. Louis Blues now a goalie who fits into their youth movement plans. They acquired Jaroslav Halak, fresh off his surprising playoff run with the Montreal Canadiens.

The Blues picked up the 25-year-old Halak, whose play helped the Canadiens make a surprise run to the Eastern Conference finals, on Thursday for a pair of minor league forwards, Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.

Halak won a pair of Game 7′s and helped Montreal, the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, bounce heavily favored teams Washington and Pittsburgh out of the playoffs. He won three straight games and eliminated the Capitals by stopping 131 of 134 shots.

Both Candiens goalies, Halak and 22-year-old Carey Price, were due to become restricted free agents on july 1, and Montreal decided to keep Price.

Jaroslav Halak St. Louis Blues (nhl)

With the chance to acquire Halak, Blues management made up their minds that they would not continue negotiations on a contract extension with Chris Mason, the 34-year-old starting goalie the last two seasons who can become an unrestricted free agent.

Halak was originally picked by Montreal in the ninth round (271 overall) of the 2003 entry draft. He was 26-13-5 last season and ranked fourth in the NHL in save percentage (.940), ninth in goals against (2.40) and was tied for fifth with five shutouts.

NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference (Friday results)

compiled from staff and wire reports

Tuukka Rask Boston (nhl)

Adam Mair, Jason Pominville and Mike Grier scored in the first 30 minutes for the Buffalo Sabres, who came back from a devastating loss and beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 to force a sixth game in the Eastern Conference first-round series.

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask had outplayed Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, as the Bruins had won three straight tight games.

The Sabres broke through early in this one, with Mair scoring on Buffalo’s first shot. The Bruins didn’t recover.

Alex Ovechkin Washington (nhl)

Terrific goaltending by Jaroslav Halak and a pair of early goals as eighth-seeded Montreal beat Washington, 2-1.

Halak made 37 saves in his return to the net, Michael Cammalleri and Travis Moen scored on two of the Canadiens first five shots.

Alex Ovechkin scored the Capitals only goal in the second period.

National Hockey League Notes

compiled by the megasportsnews.com staff

The Philadelphia Flyers needed three periods, overtime and an exciting shootout in the 82nd game of the season on Sunday to make the playoffs in front of their fans in Philly.

Goalie Brian Boucher stopped Olli Jokinen on the final attempt of the shootout to send the Flyers into the playoffs while eliminating the New York Rangers with a 2-1 victory.

The final game of the regular season felt more like Game 7 of a playoff series. Win and advance; lose and go home.

TEEMU SELANNE AND SCOTT NIEDERMEYER MIGHT BE RETIRING

Teemu Selanne scored the 606th goal in possibly his final NHL game, and Anaheim beat Edmonton 7-2 Sunday night in the league’s regular-season finale.

With no playoffs to look forward to, Selanne and Scott Niedermayer will have plenty of time to decide whether they’ll return for the 2010-2011 season.

Teemu Selanne Anaheim (nhl)

Ducks players and fans didn’t know whether they were bidding farewell to franchise scoring leader Selanne and or captain Niedermayer. Both mainstays of Anaheim’s 2007 Stanley Cup championship team haven’t decided whether they’ll retire or return to the team who missed the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

STAMKOS 51ST GOAL LEADS LIGHTNING TO 3-1 WIN

In Tampa Bay’s 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Sunday, Steven Stamkos chased down a loose puck and got an empty-net goal with 13 seconds left to tie Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for the league lead and share a piece of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.

Sidney Crosby scored twice in the Pittsburgh Penguins win over the New York Islanders. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin remained at 50 after he was held scoreless in the Capitals’ loss to Boston.

PITTSBURGH WINS IN A SHOOTOUT AS CROSBY SCORES 2 GOALS TO FINISH WITH 51

Sidney Crosby finished the regular season with a flourish. Crosby scored twice to reach 50 goals for the first time and added three assists that helped Pittsburgh beat the New York Islanders 6-5 in overtime Sunday.

Crosby’s second-period breakaway gave him 51 goals this season, tying him with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal scorer. It was Crosby’s first NHL crown in that category.

VANCOUVER’S HENRIK SEDIN WINS ROSS TROPHY

Henrik Sedin wins the Art Ross Trophy with 112 points in 82 games, becoming the first Canucks player to win the hardware and he earned it with a 4-point game in the Canucks season finale on Saturday night.

NEW TAMPA BAY OWNER CLEANS HOUSE QUICKLY

The Tampa Bay Lighting are going to start over again.

New Owner Jeff Vinik cleaned house on Monday, firing coach Rick Tocchet and general manager Brian Lawton after the struggling franchise missed the playoffs for the third straight season.

It’s the team’s third coaching change in two years.

The Lightning went 34-36-12 this season and are 53-69-26 since Tocchet replaced Barry Melrose in November 2008.

Since winning the 2004 Stanley Cup championship, Tampa Bay has not advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.