The Nashville Predators made their one and only visit to the Verizon Center this season. It was Jay Beagle’s 300th NHL game and the Capitals spent the night celebrating 25 years of Craig Laughlin as a CSN analyst. They played a great defensive game and Braden Holtby was dynamite–as usual. And there is no underestimating the magic of Evgeny Kuznetsov as he time and again creates opportunities for his teammates to score. Daniel Winnik benefited the most with two goals for the night. Good production all around.
First Period: Solid Start
The Caps had a good start in the first period – holding back the Predators. They were keeping Predators goaltender Carter Hutton company early in the game. Jay “Top Line” Beagle and Jason Chimera both had some quality chances on Huttton. The Capitals penalty kill was successful late in the period. Capitals outskated and outshot the Predators 11-4. It seems like those bad first periods are a thing of the past (hopefully).
PENALTIES: Nicklas Backstrom (hi-sticking)
SCORE: Game tied 0-0
Second Period: Winnik’s First (and Second) in Red!
While on the power play, Predator Filip Forsberg opened the scoring. Then, Daniel Winnik scored his first goal as a Capital. Amazing slap pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Braden Holtby collected a goalie point. The Capitals went on the power play but did not convert. Kuznetsov does his signature pass (no look behind-the-net) to T.J. Oshie, who got the Caps the 2-1 lead. In the final minute of the period, Winnik scored his second goal as a Capital. Winnik also collected his 200th NHL point on the second goal.
GOALS: Filip Forsberg scored his 29th of the season (assists: Roman Josi and Shea Weber); Daniel Winnik scored his fifth of the season (assists: Evgeny Kuznetsov and Braden Holtby); T.J. Oshie scored his 22nd of the season (assist: Evgeny Kuznetsov); Daniel Winnik scored his sixth of the season (assist: Dmitry Orlov)
PENALTIES: Taylor Chorney (tripping); Ryan Johansen (tripping); Ryan Johansen (cross checking)
SCORE: Caps lead 3-1
It took 36 seconds for Kuzy to make another crazy pass, this time to Andre Burakovsky. Kuznetsov had a hat trick of assists in this game. The game got more physical as the time ticked down for the Predators. In the final minute of the period, the Caps had a 5-on-3 man advantage. Johansen had a hat trick of penalties in this game. It was not a one-game goal for the Caps, who won 4-1.
GOALS: Andre Burakovsky scored his 15th of the season (assist: Evgeny Kuznetsov)
PENALTIES: Alex Ovechkin (hi-sticking); Craig Smith (holding the stick); Mike Ribeiro (game misconduct); Ryan Johansen (roughing); Shea Weber (delay of game)
SCORE: Caps win 4-1
There is no doubt that this is a “creative” and “intelligent” team to quote Coach Trotz. Tonight was the 51st win of the season for the Capitals and 43rd win for Braden Holtby. Holtby is one win closer to the single season wins record held by Martin Brodeur (48).
Practice: 11:30am on Saturday at Ketter Capitals Iceplex.
Game: Sunday at 6pm against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center.