In a direct fight for the NHL lead, the Washington Capitals hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The game also marked the clash between two of the greatest goalies in the present-day NHL: Braden Holtby and Sergei Bobrovsky. Holtby is the current Vezina Trophy winner and both are contenders for this year and thanks to them, the game was scoreless after two periods. However, the regulation and the overtime weren’t enough to unveil a winner between these elite NHL teams.
Before the puck drop in the District, Alex Ovechkin became the first player in NHL to wear custom-painted skates. The customized skates were for the Russian Heritage Night and they had the American and Russian flag. Ovechkin planned to auction them to raise money for the American Special Hockey Association. He wanted to play with them, but his request was denied by the league.
The first 40 minutes had no goals. Wilson and Anderson got a matching minors. The Capitals had three power play opportunities, but didn’t capitalize any of them, keeping the game scoreless. Holtby and Bobrovsky were the greatest names during two periods, it would change in the 3rd.
Just 41 seconds was enough to break the tie: Seth Jones made it 1-0 to Columbus. Some minutes later, defenseman Dmitry Orlov honored the Russian Heritage Night and tied the game again, now with goals, in 1-1. It was his sixth goal this season and his first goal in 11 career games against Columbus. Since then, the Caps could manage to create good scoring opportunities and creating some pressure, but the regulation would end tied, just as the overtime.
In the shootouts, T.J. Oshie was the first one and converted, as the usual. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom were stopped, but Braden Holtby stopped all the three shots from Columbus and deservedly was named the First Star of the Game.
And one more thing before we close- Braden Holtby was terrific in the net tonight. Even when his lid went flying and he bounced back, shaking those locks of hair and smiling at the ref. We vote Holtby for the Vezina and just for the most hysterical goalie in the league to watch.
Check back with us on Friday for the complete photo gallery.