Caps By The Numbers: Three First Period Goals Put Capitals on the Cusp

With some lucky bounces off the post and some great conversions, the Washington Capitals are one win away from lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup. Vegas had some early chances with James Neal ringing one off the post with a wide-open net, but Lady Luck was standing with Washington. TJ Oshie broke the scoreless tie with a power play goal off his foot to his stick and in, while Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly added the other first period markers. John Carlson got the fourth goal in the second before Vegas scored two in the third from James Neal and Reilly Smith to cut the lead in half. After scrappiness from both sides mean a lot of open ice due to penalties– which allowed Michal Kempny and Brett Connolly to get some goals to end it 6-2 in Game 3 and put the Caps up 3-1 in the series. Evgeny Kuznetsov had four assists.

With all the tropes about the Capitals in the playoffs, one more remains– being up in a series three games to one; but not being able to close it out. They’ll have three chances now, but the hope is to get it done on Thursday in Game 5 back in Vegas.

ea9cc1a36dd84e4f9c183e8f2e370497_front.jpg

Fifteenth win means a #15 gets profiled from Washington Capitals history. When it comes to long-time Capitals, this #15 is one of them who only spent five seasons in DC, but has been with the organization much longer than that. To this day, he still is an amateur scout of the Caps and could have had a hand in forming the team you see one win away from a Stanley Cup. This time, we talk about Alan Haworth.

Haworth came to the Caps from the Sabres, who were not at all patient with their young forward. Haworth was a bit undersized, but did fit in well with the transitioning Capitals of the mid-80s. Haworth was a solid scorer for the Caps, notching 20 goals each of his five seasons, maxing out at 34 goals in the 1985-86 season. Haworth was part of “The Plumber Line” with Craig Laughlin and Greg Adams due to their blue collar work ethic, while creating many scoring opportunities.

Yet, like Rick Green before him, Haworth was a part the help grow the Capitals for the future. Haworth was part of a deal with the Quebec Nordiques that brought Clint Malarchuk and future captain Dale Hunter to the Capitals. Haworth played only one season with Quebec before going to Switzerland and ending his playing career with SC Bern.

After his playing career, Haworth got into the hockey ops side of things and, as I said, has been a scout with the Caps since 2009-10 and has been overseeing some things when it comes to the future of the Caps; something he indirectly did with his presence and by getting traded.

Caps By The Numbers: Five Unanswered Give Caps 2-0 Series Lead

2376.jpg

After a quick start thanks to a Tom Wilson tipped-goal 28 seconds in, the Caps fought through some adversity after the Lightning netted two power play goals from Brayden Point and Steve Stamkos. However, this Caps team didn’t give up and scored the last five goals of the game to notch a 6-2 victory and leave Tampa with a 2-0 series lead. The win was the seventh win on the road for the Caps this playoffs, tying a team record set in 1998. Along with Wilson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Lars Eller, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alex Ovechkin, and Brett Connolly had goals. Eller, Kuznetsov, Ovechkin, Wilson, and John Carlson had multi-point games.

The Caps are in double-digits for wins this players, so it’s time to look at a former #10 in Caps history.

This entrant was a two-time member with the Capitals, but made his name more known when wearing #10. Bobby Carpenter garnered a lot of attention with his selection in the 1981 NHL Draft, being the first player to go into the NHL right out of high school when he took the ice for the Capitals. While he did have some clashes with his head coach Bryan Murray, the short time in his first stint was something the Caps needed from a young player in their line-up.

Right off the bat, Carpenter was able to get the offense going for the Capitals with two straight 30-goal seasons in 1981-82 and 1982-83. While he had a drop-off in his stats in his third season, the 1984-85 season was the real big break-out for Carpenter, as he led the team in goals with 53 and was only behind Mike Gartner in points (95). It was Carpenter’s highest output in goals and points. Carpenter was the first US-born player to put up 50 goals in a season.

However, the clash between him and coach Murray reached a boiling point during the 1986-87 season. Murray and the Capitals had communication issues, chief among them was Carpenter– who said that Murray panicked too much behind the bench and held him back from being a bigger part of Washington’s offense. Carpenter sat out waiting to be traded as the Caps struggled without him before getting dealt to the Rangers for Mike Ridley and Kelly Miller.

Carpenter re-sign with the Caps ahead of the 1992-93 season, but donned #11 after Miller took over the #10 role. On his second stint, Carpenter was only able to register 11 goals and 28 points over 68 games.