The Washington Capitals finally came home after a long road trip. They faced the NY Rangers–albeit a “less-than” version of the team. The Verizon Center had all the energy of a playoff game as fans ready themselves for the run for the Cup. Oh, and the goal tonight was not just to win but to also clinch first place, i.e., the President’s Trophy, otherwise known by many the Caps Playoff Curse.
Nate Schmidt was in for John Carlson. Otherwise everything was pretty much the same, with Braden Holtby in the net opposite Henrik Lundqvist.
The first ten minutes seemed to fly by with a lot of puck passing and three SOG for each team. Hotlby had a couple of fancy saves. With a little more than five minutes left in the period the Rangers came to life and fired off a quick four shots bringing their total to eight. in the remaining five of the period there was an amazing bit of passing by Ovechkin which got everyone at Verizon and home excited! But that was all…
The second period would bring the Caps their first power play but they gave it up with a penalty of their own. No scoring by either team on the four-on-four. Rangers were called on a penalty again but still not goal for the Caps. Caps would go on another power play with a whole bunch of shots leading to a goal by their GR8 Captain – OVI!! 1-0 Caps, finally.
Just as we thought we might doze off, Evgeny Kuznetsov scores with a lovely wrist shot, taking advantage of a great opening in front on Lundqvist. Oh and it was the second assist for Marcus Johansson. It looked like Nicky Backstrom would have a goal but it looked like his skate so they waved it off. The remainder of the period was respectable play by both teams with the Caps maintaining the edge and another shutout for Braden Holtby. 2-0
Capitals will head off to Boston Saturday and return on Sunday to play their final regular season game at home against the Florida Panthers.
Oh and before we forget–yes with the win they also claim the President’s Trophy and the number one spot and home ice advantage in the first round. And we aren’t putting any weight behind the curse nonsense…
Photos by Mel Abernethy