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The Joker needs Batman and Batman needs the Joker. As such, the Capitals lost to their Metropolitan Division little brother the New York Rangers 3-2, despite studly prince of the pipes Henrik Lundqvist being absent.
Here's Friday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Jay Beagle got his first goal since returning from injury, and he was a firecracker strapped to a jackrabbit all night. This dog will hunt, monsignor.
- Minus: Losing to the Rangers. Kick me in the face.
And now, this...
Magic Mike does a routine in the stands pic.twitter.com/bdmXTwDKou— CAPITALS HILL (@CapitalsHill) March 5, 2016
Ten more notes on the game:
- Good ol' Jespers' Rink Jesper Fast got the scoring going early, beating Braden Holtby in the immediate aftermath of a miscommunication between the goalie and the entire Caps defense. Dmitry Orlov and Brooks Orpik stood agawk as the Rangers jumped out to the lead.
- With only a minute left in the first, former Coyote and current human Keith Yandle put the Rangers up 2-0. This led to much consternation, teeth-gnashing, and jokes.
- During the intermission, I talked with Craig of PuckBuddys live on Periscope! You can watch it here, where we talk Caps, my press box outfit (my shoes are Goodwill), and I drop an F-bomb.
- Halfway through the second period, your favorite canine and mine Jay Beagle scored perhaps the least goal-looking goal of the season, poking the puck past a cyclone-sized scrum in the crease and scoring, apparently. The call took a lengthy video review to decided, and a subsequent Rangers coach's challenge to confirm. That said, of course it was in: Beagles always chase biscuits.
- With under a minute left in the second period, American-built wrecking ball T.J. Oshie got his just reward for an entire night of bruising physical play, ripping home a wrister from the high slot and tying the game like square knots before the final intermission. It was Oshie's 19th on the season, and it's safe to say: he was a good pick-up.
- Just seventeen seconds into the third period, unconfirmed devil and possible shape-shifter Derek Stepan gave New York the 3-2 lead.
- That would be enough to give the blueshirted boobies the win in Washington.
- It was another on again, off again night for totally-not-a-spy Dmitry Orlov. The kid continues to tantalize on offense, adding a compelling extra facet to what the Capitals can do, especially on the power play. But blueliners are paid to play defense, and it looks like Orlov has been taking some night classes at the Mike Green School Of Why Don't You Play Forward?
- One of the better lines of the night was fourth line of Daniel Winnik - Mike Richards - Jay Beagle. All three are darn good hockey players, and both Winnik and Beagle are way more dynamic in the important little ways than they get credit for. Winnik - at least at first blush - certainly appears to be an upgrade over our beloved Brooks Laich.
- The Capitals are in the middle of playing four games in five days, so, you know...consider that, too. I can barely play four games of backgammon in five days, let alone professional hockey.
"Did the Caps Give Up the First Goal?" is the new "Is the Pope Catholic?"— Capitals Outsider (@CapsOutsider) March 5, 2016
And Man looked up to the heavens and cried, "Why, why reward the unjust?" But there was no answer, and all joy is fleeting. The Rangers pick up the two points, and Caps fans are left pointing to the conference standings and sniffling, "Scoreboard." Next up is the Boston Bruins Saturday night in Boston.