The Washington Capitals sent fans home Wednesday evening celebrating a third consecutive win. From the first goal coming just 1:12 minutes into the game, to the 5th and final goal in the third period, it was a night of hits, penalties, and new milestones. Andre Burakovsky returned to the line-up, taking Stanislav Galiev out as a healthy scratch. Holtby was in the net and made it through warm-ups without incident (here’s looking at you J Will)!
The First Period started off with a bang as Justin Williams took a shot from John Carlson and converted into a goal (assists Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov). Jets Bryan Little would win the faceoff against Michael Latta, leading to the Jets first goal of the night. About seven minutes later the Jets Andrew Ladd would score their second goal, 1-2 Jets. Not to be outdone, Alexander Ovechkin made good on a power play opportunity from his office to end the second all tied up (2-2), with a little help from his friends, John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom.
The Second Period began with the teams on even footing and a chance for either team to take the lead. At 6:24 into the game Tom Wilson was drawn into a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct with Jets player Anthony Pelusco. The penalty started 4 on 4 but would evolve to a 4 on 3 as Ovi was sent to the box for a hooking call. With Jay Beagle, John Carlson, and Chorney’s help, the Caps extinguished the Jets engines with no scoring. And then a thing of beauty happened: Nate Schmidt passed to Nicky who tipped it in for his eighth goal of the season. 3-2 Caps! Do you remember that player we used to love watch—you know Mathieu Perreault? Well Matty P said thank you to the Caps for the trade by scoring at the 13:53 mark for his second goal of the season tying the game up again (3-3). And then Kuzy did that thing of magic he is becoming known for as he rounded the net and dropped the puck to Orlov and just like that scored his third goal in a row! 4-3 Caps.
The Caps started The Third Period with a lead they were determined to keep. There was a lot of activity in front of the net with Washington outshooting the Jets. The Russian domination of the team showed through again as Kuznetsov backhanded a pass from Marcus Johansson to seal the deal. 5-3 Caps. The phone booth was roaring with excitement and nothing else seemed to matter after that. In fact, Holtby kept our company out of the net for the rest of the night. Even with an empty net and an extra man, Winnipeg couldn’t come back.
The visiting Winnepeg Jets did their best to steamroll Holtby but he was having none of that with 23 saves. The best part of watching the Caps play is the complete team effort to score and keep the lead. Coming up the Caps will need to find a way protect Tom Wilson from targeted fights and avoid giving the opponents the edge. That said, they are playing a physical game and the defensemen are clearly playing a more offensive game—compliments to Coach Trotz for steering them in a new direction. The fourth line continues to develop with Michael Latta, Tom Wilson, and Brooks Laich with a combined total of five shots on goal, plenty of hits, and scoring chances. We now have a winning streak as we prepare to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
Ovechkin had seven of the Cap’s 15 shots on goal in the first period (NHL)
Backstrom has had seven points in the last five games. (NHL)
Holtby surpassed Henrik Lundqvist for NHL wins and is .01 behind King H in goals against average in the NHL.
Carlson surpassed the Rod Langway Caps record for points scored by a D-man (CSN)
Don’t forget to get your Caps Canine Calendar at the game Friday. Find them in the store and Section 104.
Special thanks to @capsYapp and @btwntheblueline for feeding us info while we are out of town. Photos by Brittney Marcum (IG: @bamitsbrittney93) It takes a Caps Community!!