The Capitals started off slow in the first but picked up the speed enough to score two goals. That said, their shots on goal was way down–six shots the first and second period as they lagged behind the Leafs. The night before they had a total of 37 SOG against the Pens. The March schedule is going to be a tough one, but a good prep time for the playoffs. In the end, they managed to carry their third period lead to the end of the game.
First Period: Puck Trouble Leads to Scoring Glory!
The Caps began the period with what has become the normal slow start, and with a penalty that sent Brooks Oprik to the box. Thankfully the Leafs failed to make good on the man advantage. A second power play chance for the Leafs was also killed off. And suddenly the gates open up with a wrist shot by Chorney followed almost immediately by Ovi to make it 2-0 Caps. With a power play, the Caps close out the period with the lead.
- Goals: Taylor Chorney assisted by TJ Oshie and Evegeny Kuznetsov; Alex Ovechkin assisted by Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie.
- Penalties: Brooks Orpik for delay of game; Jay Beagle for delay of game; TJ Oshie for checking Nikita Soshnikov. Frank Corrado called for tripping against Marcus Johansson.
- Score: 2-0 Caps
Second Period: Lackluster Play
The Caps started the period with the remainder of their power play but did not score. The Leafs; however, scored shortly after to cut the lead in half. And, another Caps penalty, followed by a Leafs goal, and a Caps PP–great attempts but no goal on the PP. After that, things slowed down to a what seemed like a crawl on the ice. By the end of the period the Leafs were outshooting the Caps 22-12. A little tussle between Karl Alzner and Leo Kamarov as a penalty was called on Nazem Kadri for cross checking;
- Goals: Nikita Soshnikov, assisted by Nazem Kadri and Matt Hunwick.
- Penalties Jason Chimera for hooking, Matt Niskanen for roughing against Nikita Sosnikov who was called for interference and an extra two minutes for roughing. Nazem Kadri at the 20:00 mark for crosschecking.
- Score: 2-1 Caps
Third Period: Closed the Deal
The Caps started the period with a power play that the Leafs managed to block. Leafs would manage another goal to tie up the game. There were a couple of close calls in which the Leafs could have grabbed a good lead. Alzner took a wicked hit by Soshnikov into the boards which took the Caps to the PP. Niskanen successfully shoots one right past the goaltender for the Caps point advantage. 3-2 Caps
- Goals: Colin Greening assisted by Peter Holland and Connor Carrick. .TJ Oshie assisted by Nicklas Backstrom and Matt Niskanen (We believe this goal was credited to Oshie although we can’t find any official record).
- Penalties: Nikita Soshnikov for boarding.
- Final score 3-2
Congrats to Marcus Johansson for his 400th Career NHL Game!!
And yes, it was salute Brooks Laich night. He was touched and we wiped away a tear. And let’s not forget that Connor Carrick, who has been part of this franchise for 3 years, faced his old mates too. Change is hard and the Caps will need to keep making adjustments as they draw closer to the playoffs.