Strong Third Period Propels Caps Past Jackets
On Monday, March 28, 2016, the Washington Capitals took on the Columbus Blue Jackets at home in the Verizon Center. After a horrible outing last game against the St. Louis Blues, the Caps needed to bounce back and attack the offensive zone. Braden Holtby got his 61st start in net, opposite Sergei Bobrovsky. TJ Oshie was back in the line-up after being sick. Caps scratches were Taylor Chorney, Mike Weber, Michael Latta and Stanislav Galiev.
PERIOD 1- You gotta start somewhere…
Caps came out ready to play tonight! They were playing hard and fast with a few chances early in the period. You could definitely see a change in them vs. their other recent games which lacked pretty much anything. The period was still pretty uneventful, until the last few minutes. After a good offensive zone attack, fan fave Justin Williams got the Caps on the board with a great garbage goal. However, Columbus tied it before Wes Johnson could finish announcing the Caps goal.
PENALTIES- Tom Wilson called for tripping.
GOALS- Justin Williams scored his 22nd goal of the season, assisted by John Carlson, Cam Atkinson scored, assisted by Gregory Campbell.
SCORE- Caps and Jackets tied, 1-1
PERIOD 2- All’s quiet on the home front
Caps almost netted another one early in the second as Marcus Johansson split defenders. Jay Beagle drew a penalty on another drive to the net on a great pass from Jason Chimera. Barry Trotz started rolling some different defensive pairs in the hopes that something would stick and keeps the Caps strong in their own zone.
PENALTIES- Cody Goloubef called for tripping, Tom Wilson called for boarding, Boone Jenner called for slashing.
SCORE- Still tied, 1-1
PERIOD 3- This is how we do it…
Caps got a power play pretty early in the third but could not get anything going in the offensive zone. After a broken stick allowed Dan Winnik to corral a soft shot, the Caps headed down the ice. Bobrovsky gave up a soft rebound and Tom Wilson made him pay with some snazzy stick work. It was Tom Wilson’s first goal since March 1st. Brooks Orpik shoved Brandon Dubinsky into the net after Dubinsky elbowed Braden Holtby in the head. An empty net goal by Nicklas Backstrom was the nail in the coffin for a Columbus comeback. This was also a very appropriate moment since it was Swedish Heritage Night.
PENALTIES- Boone Jenner called for holding, Scott Hartnell called for slashing, Nicklas Backstrom called for unsportsmanlike conduct, Brandon Dubinsky called for goaltender interference,
GOALS- Tom Wilson scored his 7th goal of the season, assisted by Mike Richards, TJ Oshie scored his 24th goal of the season, assisted by Matt Niskanen, Nicklas Backstrom scored his 20th goal of the season, assisted by Matt Niskanen.
SCORE- Caps win, 4-1!!
With their victory tonight, the Caps are 54-16-5. They have 113 points and clinch the #1 seed in the playoffs. They also win the President’s trophy, which is the second in the team’s history. As awesome as all that is, let’s not lose focus. We all know there is a bigger goal for this team, franchise and fan base. This was also the 46th victory for Braden Holtby, putting him that much closer to catching Martin Brodeur. He is now three wins away from breaking the single season wins record.
The Caps next game is Wednesday, March 30th, at 8pm. They play the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly. See ya there, Caps fans!