Check out our post-game interviews from Washington Capitals John Carlson, Jay Beagle, Braden Holtby, Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, Karl Alzner, Troy Brouwer and Dale Hunter following the team’s 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Atlanta Thrashers, Braden Holtby, Brooks Laich, Buffalo Sabres, Ed Jovanovski, Florida Panthers, Jay Beagle, Jose Theodore, Marco Sturm, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth, Michelle Kwan, Philadelphia Flyers, Scott Clemmensen, Stephen Weiss, Tomas Fleischmann, Troy Brouwer, Washington Capitals
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Andrej Sekera, Braden Holtby, Buffalo Sabres, Cody McCormick, Dennis Wideman, Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, Jason Pominville, Jay Beagle, Jeff Halpern, jeff schultz, Joel Ward, John Erskine, Jordan Leopold, Karl Alzner, Matt Ellis, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Weber, Minnesota Wild, Nathan Gerbe, Patrick Kaleta, Philadelphia Flyers, Robyn Regehr, Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Tomas Vokoun, Troy Brouwer, Tyler Ennis, Tyler Myers, Ville Leino, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Brett Connolly, Brooks Laich, Chris Pontius, D.C. United, Danny Cruz, Dennis Wideman, Dmitry Orlov, Dustin Tokarski, Eric Brewer, J.T. Wyman, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Jeff Halpern, Joel Ward, Karl Alzner, Keith Aucoin, Keith Aulie, Marcus Johansson, Martin St. Louis; Teddy Purcell, Matt Hendricks, Matthieu Perreault, Mike Knuble, Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos., Tampa Bay Lightning, Tomas Vokoun, Washington Capitals
Tonight, the Capitals head into Wells Fargo Center just two points behind the Flyers for first place in the Eastern Conference. A regulation win for the Caps would place both teams at 96 points with the Flyers having played two less games this season than the Caps.
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Andreas Nodl, Andrej Meszaros, Brian Boucher, Brooks Laich, Dan Carcillo, Danny Briere, Dennis Wideman, Eric Fehr, Jason Arnott, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, jeff schultz, John Erskine, Kris Vertsteeg, Marcus Johansson, matt carle, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green, Mike Knuble, New Jersey Devils, Nicklas Backstrom, Philadelphia Flyers, Scott Hannan, Scott Hartnell, Sergei Bobrovsky, Ville Leino, Washington Capitals, Wells Fargo Center
The Hershey Bears entered Friday night’s matchup against the Adirondack Phantoms seeking their 50th win of the season, and after a seesaw battle, the boys from Chocolatetown escaped from Glens Falls with a 5-4 overtime win.
The Phantoms, the only team in the AHL that can boast of placing three blemishes on the Bears’ record, gave the visitors all that they could handle in the oscillating affair, twice grabbing one-goal leads after falling behind early in the contest.
The Bears took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jay Beagle at 4:34. Beagle pounced upon the rebound of a Mathieu Perreault point blank attempt, and poked the puck behind Phantoms’ netminder, Johan Backlund, to pot his 11th goal of the season.
Less than two minutes after Beagle’s goal, an outstanding individual effort by Alexandre Giroux led to his 34th marker of the campaign, an unassisted tally.
“I was coming from the bench and the guy bobbled,” Giroux said. “The guy in the zone was standing still, so I tried to make a move on him. Then, I didn’t have enough speed to go around the defenseman, so I stopped and took a shot between his legs. I don’t think the goalie saw it.”
Greg Amadio’s cross checking infraction at 9:50 put the Phantoms on their first power play, and ultimately put them on the board for the first time, with defenseman, Marc-Andre Bourdon, lighting the lamp at 11:32.
Steve Pinizzotto’s punishing hit on Bourdon behind the Phantoms’ net, which put Bourdon on his back, resulted in his defensive partner, Sean Curry, taking a double minor penalty on Pinizzotto at 16:02.
Curry’s aggressive actions gave the Bears a golden opportunity to finish out the period on a positive note by potting a power play goal, but Adirondack’s penalty killing unit thwarted those plans and the teams retreated to the locker room after twenty minutes with the Bears leading, 2-1.
The second period belonged solely to the Phantoms, who netted the only two goals of the frame, including a soft goal that went in off of the back of Bears’ netminder, Michal Neuvirth.
“I thought we played well in the first, and came into the locker room with the 2-1 lead,” said Bears’ head coach, Mark French. “I thought in the second, we were dominated physically, and lost a lot of battles and races to the puck.”
In the forgetful second period, the Bears did not officially test Backlund for the first time until 10:25 into the frame. In all, the high-powered Bears’ offense put just three shots on net in the period, with Andrew Gordon garnering the only shot on net by a forward.
Early in the third period, Hershey captain, Bryan Helmer, was whistled off by referee, Jamie Koharski, for a cross-checking penalty on Phantoms’ forward, Stefan Legein. After realizing that he was being penalized, Helmer blew a fuse and drew an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as well as ten-minute misconduct.
“Sure, the guy embellished it,” said Helmer. “He got in my way when I had a chance to get the puck out of the zone, and then they got a great scoring chance because of that. I just lost my cool, and I shouldn’t have done that, but that’s the stuff you learn by.”
With Helmer in the penalty box, Steve Pinizzotto struck with in shorthanded mode, netting his 11th goal of the season, and fourth in short-handed style.
“They tried to dump it in, and they missed the puck,” Pinizzotto said. “Wellar made it a good play by throwing it up to Joudrey, who dove and sent me in on the breakaway, and I beat him low to the glove side.”
Pinizzotto, who of late seems to be able to draw the wrath of his opponents even quicker while sporting the protective cage apparatus that he wears after being injured in a scrap against Albany, wishes he could drop the mitts, but has found another way to contribute by putting up consistent offensive numbers.
“It sucks that I can’t fight, particularly against team like this who want to put on a show for their fans,” Pinizzotto admitted. “The points are starting to come now, which is good, and I feel that I can do a lot to help this team out.”
Ironically, just as Helmer’s first penalty was about to expire, Legein struck on the power to give the Phantoms another one-goal lead.
Amadio, making amends for his earlier actions, drew an interference penalty on Phantoms’ defenseman, Joey Mormina, at 10:37.
While Mormina waited out his sentence, Giroux struck again on the power play at 11:58 to tie up the affair. For Giroux, the multi-goal effort was his second in his last two games played in Glens Falls.
“We know what we have to do when we come here. It’s always a battle and these guys always play really, really hard, and they are particularly intense against our line,” said Giroux.
“I thought all night we moved the puck well, but didn’t shoot enough. Then we were shooting and they were blocking the shots and getting in the lanes; but, on my goal, Miskovic made a great play to Aucoin and he did what he always does, finds me in an open spot.”
Giroux’s goal would be the last of regulation and the teams needed extra time to settle the score in the topsy-turvy battle.
Justice was served for the visitors from the Keystone State when Helmer roofed a wrist shot over the fallen Backlund just 1:33 into the session, giving the Bears their 22nd road triumph of the season.
“I thought the guys played really well in the third period, responding from a bad second period,” said Helmer, who watched the majority of the third period from the penalty box.
“Bourque and Pinizzotto made the play on the overtime goal, and I actually had two chances. The first one I put right in his pads, but I got a second chance, and put it in the net. It’s nice when you can come back and chip in like that.”
Following the same successful formula they utilized during the latter stages of their recent road trip, the Hershey Bears came from behind once again to defeat the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday night at Giant Center, 4-3.
Matthieu Perreault’s double minor penalty for high-sticking Toronto’s Alex Berry at 1:49 gave the Marlies the first crack of the night on the power play.
Hershey’s penalty killing unit, ranked last in the AHL entering the game, successfully killed off the first part of the Perreault sentence and more than half of the second before Toronto’s Andre Deveaux found daylight low to the stick side of Hershey goaltender, Michal Neuvirth, at 5:20, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second period, Steve Pinizzotto’s thunderous check on Toronto’s Jiri Tlusty at 1:20 drew a pool of blood from the head area of Tlusty, and also drew the attention of the Marlie’s Bates Battaglia, a former Washington Capital, who immediately sought retribution on Pinizzotto.
Although Battaglia clearly initiated the battle, referee, Chris Cozzan, apparently saw otherwise, choosing to hand out matching fighting penalties to the combatants. Tlusty did not return to the game.
Ryan Hamilton’s holding penalty in the Hershey defensive zone on Hershey’s captain, Bryan Helmer, led to the Bears finally getting on the board at 3:32, when Alexandre Giroux struck for his 51st goal of the season, and 20th strike on the power play.
With Dean Arsene out of position while trying to exact revenge on Alex Foster, who had nailed Kyle Wilson with a stiff check seconds earlier, the Marlies quickly regained the lead at 4:41 when Todd Perry beat Neuvirth.
Keith Aucoin’s turnover in the Hershey defensive zone, led to Chris Bourque’s holding penalty, and ultimately to Deveaux’s second power play marker of the affair at 9:36, giving the Marlies a 3-1 lead.
Aucoin atoned for his defensive faux pas, beating Marlies’ netminder, Justin Pogge, with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle at 13:22, to cut his team’s deficit to a single goal.
“I tried to get off as quick as I could. I don’t think he (Pogge) saw it right away. I think his defenseman screened him and he saw it at the last second, but it was too late,” said Aucoin.
Immediately after Aucoin’s goal, Kip Brennan, appearing in his first game at Giant Center since February 7th, shook things up a bit when he and former Norfolk Admiral, Jay Rosehill squared off. Brennan’s narrow victory in the tussle seemed to inspire his teammates to score 46 seconds later, tying the game at three.
Pogge contributed to his own demise by turning the puck over to the Bears’ Jay Beagle deep in Toronto’s zone. Beagle backhanded a no-look pass to Andrew Joudrey, who quickly shoveled the puck into the vacated cage at 14:11.
“Actually, I just saw the puck go by me, and I saw the goalie was still kind of in the corner,” said Beagle. “I was going to shoot it and at the last minute, I heard Joudrey yell my name and I dished it to him and he put it home.”
The teams went into the second intermission deadlocked at three, thanks largely to quality saves late in the period by Pogge (on Giroux), and Neuvirth (on Deveaux).
In the third period, there were not a lot of quality scoring chances for either side, and in fact, it was a low probability shot by Oskar Osala that sealed the deal for Hershey. Osala, after gaining the Toronto zone, unleashed a wicked wrister that sailed by the glove hand of Pogge at 8:15.
Osala, when asked if he was surprised that puck found its target, joked that this goal was not unlike many of his previous 22 tallies.
“You always ask me that after I score,” Osala laughed. “I was surprised this time because I was thinking about it, and I kind of knew I was going to shoot back to the far side. Usually, when you have time to think, it doesn’t work, but I think my wrist shot is harder than my slapshot. Coach always bugs me about that; he always tells me not to take slapshots, but to take wrist shots.”
The Bears, steeped in talent this season, proved that they don’t have to always play a full 60 minutes to come out on top as long as they rev it up when their backs are against the wall.
“We didn’t play that good the first period, and Neuvirth made some good saves for us. We came out the second period and played a good 40 minutes to end the game, and that penalty kill at the end was huge.”
Tags: Alex Berry, Alex Foster, Alexandre Giroux, Andre Deveaux, Andrew Joudrey, Bates Battaglia, Bryan Helmer, Chris Bourque, Chris Cozzan, Dean Arsene, Jay Beagle, Jay Rosehill, Jiri Tlusty, Justin Pogge, Keith Aucoin, Kip Brennan, Kyle Wilson, Matthieu Perreault, Michal Neuvirth, Oskar Osala, Ryan Hamilton, Steve Pinizzotto, Todd Perry, Toronto, Toronto Marlies
Friday night in Chinatown feels like a magical place. The air around Verizon Center was practically electric with expectation this evening. After the year the Caps had last year, and their improbable last second playoff berth, the Caps organization has seen 4,000 new year-long season ticket holders, and have seen merchandise sales double. Read the rest of this entry »