The Washington Capitals had to wait out the Penguins Stanley Cup banner ceremony for the new season to get rolling. And it didn’t take long for the Caps to make a statement to the Pens – we aren’t rolling over—it’s A NEW YEAR!!
It was an absolutely crazy, brutal, and physical night. We knew it would be but had no idea that the Caps would come out fighting to the extent that they did. And we have to say we really liked it! Marc-Andre Fleury was back for the Pens and Braden Holtby tending the net for the Caps.
59 seconds into the first period it was a Swede play with Marcus Johansson to Nicky Backstrom to Andre Burakovsky for the first goal of the night. And swede it was as Nicky bounced the goal over the opponent’s stick to slide it over to Burky.
Coach knows what he is doing with these lines!
And, yes there was a major scrum when Braden Holtby took a hit behind the net from Tom Kuhnhacki – with Justin Williams leading the scuffling. There were two shots on goal (SOG) from Ovechkin and Carlson but not additional goal.
This period was full of hits and scuffles and yes, Tom Wilson went to the box with Tom Sestito for matching penalties. You remember Sestito – the guy who went after Liam O’Brien in the preseason.
Period ends 1-0 Caps
started off slow but man oh man did it get intense! It all started with the Caps getting called for too mnay men on the ice – really, really?? Ovi sat out the penalty while Patric Hornqvist lifted his stick a bit high and shot one past Holtby. Holtby “voiced his objection” to no avail. 1-1.
The Caps defense slipped a bit this period, letting too much get past them or turning over the puck with ease. In the midst of the battle, Kuznetsov took a stick to the face, losing his lid. Oshie had a similar experience. Both without penalties called.
Tensions were on the rise as a Caps turnover led to a Malkin goal. Malkin nics Holtby on the passby and by now Justin Williams has had enough. He lunged after Malkin, tackling him from behind and flipping him down an a classic wrestling move. Unfortunately, the refs weren’t too happy about it (coach probably not either) and Stick is assessed a minor two-minute penalty that would begin with the third period.2-1 Pens at the end.
Stated with the Pens on the power play.
Burky would score again after a nice turnover from the pens. Nicky got the primary assist on this one too with Niskanen lending a hand. Tied again at 12:41, 2-2
And, the Caps game goes into overtime.
Fleury was pretty incredible – showing why he is the number one go-to goalie for the Pens. The Caps were shooting machines with six shots to the Pens 2. Not enough for either so off to
Bonino – miss
Oshie – scores
Malkin – scores
Kuzy – miss
Letang – scores
Backstrom – scores
Kessel – scores
Ovi – miss
Penguins take the win in the shootout.
It was a tough loss; however, the Caps played the kind of game we want to see them play. Schmidy was awesome. We think what ever chats he and coach had at the end of last season motivated him to fill the Chimera gap. Mr. Friendly is the new Mr. Speedy. Everyone, with the exception of Justin Williams and Tom Wilson (The Willy’s) had a SOG. That’s ok – they were forces to be reckoned with. Sanford held is own, even got m;ixed up in one of the many team mash ups.