So much good to say about the Capitals tonight! It was a tight match. The Capitals needed a win to hang onto that first place position in the Metropolitan. They did not clinch their playoff berth yet; however, they kept that first place spot for one more night. Final score 4-1.
First- it was Evgeny Kuznetsov Bird Man Bobble Head Night! He may not have scored but he did have three assist points.
Last game the Caps were in their whites- we confess, we kept getting confused. This time the Hurricanes and Caps were in white/red red/white Jerseys and it took a hot minute to figure out who was who. Until the Capitals scored!
The Capitals were still without Michal Kempny helping with the defense. Christian Djoos was back in and Dmitry Orlov was paired with Matt Niskanen again.
Ovechkin Backstrom Wilson
Hagelin Kuznetsov Oshie
Vrana Eller Connolly
Burakovsky Dowd Boyd
Djoos & Carlson
Orlov & Niskanen
Orpik & Jensen
The first period got started with shouts of “Lets Go Caps” in response to The Horn Guy. The game was really slow until the 9:33 mark when the Caps finally had a man-advantage opportunity when Sebastian Aho hooked Carl Hagelin. Loud Goat got the crowd cheering but the added energy didn’t result in a shot or a goal. With 3:31 left in the period, TJ Oshie snapped a sweet goal off a pass from that Jerk Kuzy and pal Hagelin. 1-0 Caps.
Second period was almost as even paced as the first period. The Caps had a second chance with a power play at the 11 minute mark, following a hooking call against Kuzy. We waited for the Bird Celebration but it was not to be. Late in the period, the Caps offered the Canes an opportunity with a PP of their own and they took full advantage on the delayed penalty making it a 1-1 game. Goal by Dougie Hamilton. And yeah, Justin Williams got an assist out of it too.
The third period got exciting! Alex Ovechkin scored number 49 with one of his signature laser shots! 2-1 Caps favor. The Arena erupted with chants of: “We want 50.” Next up was John Carlson (the darling of the Oval Office) with a deflection and an absurd goal sneaking past goaltender Petr Mrazek. (3-1) Did we mention that Kuzy assisted on both goals?!! Tom Wilson and Dmitry Orlov also picked up a point each for their assists. With an empty Canes net, Nicklas Backstrom skated down the ice, looked for Ovi who was not close enough, and shot the puck for his 19th goal of the season. With an assist on Nicky’s goal Carly made it a career 400 points – awesome for a defenseman!
That would seal the deal 4-1 Caps win!
The Capitals need to figure out what has happened to their power play. It has been anything but powerful. They are definitely pacing themselves while closing the gap to win games. They are exciting to watch and will be as we and they wait for the playoffs to get going .