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Washington Capitals Weekly Update: April 6 to April 13

Washington Capitals weekly update

It’s time for one of the last Washington Capitals weekly update of the season. The Washington Capitals (38-31-11, 87 points) have two games left in their season. Improbably, they have two possible ways to make the playoffs. The Capitals could either claim the second Wild Card spot or climb to the third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Capitals’ final position in the standings will also be affected by games played after their season ends on Tuesday. Two other Metropolitan teams fighting for a playoff spot are scheduled to face each other in a game that could determine the Capitals’ postseason fate. The New York Islanders will play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, which could hold massive ramifications. Here’s the Washington Capitals weekly update for April 7th to April 13th.

Washington Capitals Weekly Update: April 7-13

On-Ice Results

The Capitals had lost five consecutive games entering the week. Washington earned a 2-1-1 record in its four games and collected standings points for the first time in April. Several individual players reached individual milestones as the 2023-24 season comes to a close. Max Pacioretty played in his 900th career game, Charlie Lindgren made his 100th career start, and John Carlson became the franchise’s all-time leader in goals by defencemen. A week after scoring his first NHL hat trick, Sonny Milano reached 15 goals for the first time in his career. Dylan Strome, who has also set a new career high in goals, reached 300 career points. Alex Ovechkin became the first NHL player to score 30 goals in 18 different seasons.

Tight Game Between Capital Teams

Washington started the week facing the Ottawa Senators. The Capitals held a lead at the end of both the first and second periods, but the game went to overtime. Max Pacioretty scored on the second shot of the game from the bottom of the right circle. Mark Kastelic‘s goal in the first five minutes of the middle period tied the game. Aliaksei Protas got the Capitals’ lead back before the second intermission, ending a month-long personal points drought. Ridly Grieg scored in the middle of the third period to bring the score to a 2-2 tie. Jake Sanderson scored the final goal to win the game for Ottawa. The Capitals also lost Rasmus Sandin to injury in the game. He did not return to the ic after taking a hit at the end of the first period.

A Split Road Trip

The Capitals played the Detroit Red Wings next as part of a short road trip to two of the league’s Great Lakes teams. In the lowest-scoring game the Capitals have been part of this month, Washington claimed a 2-1 win. Neither team scored in the first 30 minutes. Dylan Strome scored the first goal of the game with less than three minutes left in the second period. Alex Ovechkin added to the lead in the final minute of the middle period. Lindgren saved all but the last of Detroit’s 43 shots on goal.

Washington then traveled to play the Buffalo Sabres, a team which had beaten it 6-2 only nine days prior. Once again the Capitals could only manage two goals. Connor McMichael put the Capitals on the board in the middle period after Buffalo had already scored twice. The Sabres added two goals in the third period, including an empty-net strike. Tom Wilson scored his 18th goal of the season with a minute left to play.

A Weekend Win

On Saturday, the Capitals faced its strongest opponent of the week in the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game was tied at two after the first period, but the first intermission came slightly early. Nick Jensen was injured with 1:31 remaining in the period and was taken off the ice, unconscious, on a stretcher. Jensen’s close friend Nic Dowd fought Michael Eyssimont, who leveled the hit that hurt Jensen, in the second period. In the third period, John Carlson restored the Washington lead on the power play and Dowd added insurance for a 4-2 Washington win.

Injury Updates

As mentioned above, the Capitals lost two defenders to injury this week. Rasmus Sandin was hit in the final play of the first period on Sunday against Ottawa. He did not travel on the short road trip and is not expected to play in either of the final two games of the regular season. He is officially considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The Capitals recalled Lucas Johansen on Monday. During Tuesday’s game in Detroit, the ESPN broadcast referred to Sandin’s ailment as a “head injury.” 

Nick Jensen also sustained an upper-body injury on Saturday when he hit the boards head- and neck-first. He was unconscious for several minutes while team medical staff worked to keep his body immobile due to the risk to his spine. He later regained consciousness and left the arena with his family. Jensen did not have to be transferred to a hospital despite the “scary situation” of his injury, head coach Spencer Carbery told media postgame.

Main photo by: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


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