This was a game full of de ja vus. In the end, an Alex Ovechkin feed to Evgeny Kuznetsov for the breakaway that was shades of Game 6 of the Caps second round series in Pittsburgh last year that would be the difference. Kuznetsov came through with the overtime goal as the Washington Capitals defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime at Capital One Arena in D.C. In the midst of a season-long six game homestand following the all-star break and bye week, the Capitals have now won three of their last four games after a season-long seven game winless drought entering the break.
The Capitals like firsts. Before Australian Nathan Walker made some history as the first player from down under, there was a left winger from Utah that made a little history of his own. This athlete came from the days when the Capitals jerseys had an eagle across the front. Steve Konowalchuk was selected as the Caps fifth pick (third round, 58th overall) of the 1991 NHL Draft and became the first Utah-born athlete to play in the NHL, having been born on November 11, 1972, in Salt Lake City. Continue reading “Caps History: Steve Konowalchuk”
Saturday night (Nov 21) in Chinatown would be the first cold night of the season in the Nation’s Capital and a night for a big win for the Washington Capitals as they snowed over the Colorado Avalanche.
The First Period was full of excitement. The Caps finally broke through and scored first against the Avs. Mike Vogel tweeted out that the last time they scored first was when Justin Williams lit the lamp—just as he did Saturday. At 7:15 in the game, Captain Alexander Ovechkin showed the world he is back with a rocket goal that put the Caps up 2-0. In rapid succession John Carlson racked up the third goal for the night with a snap shot assisted by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson. With 42.1 seconds left in the first, Nate Schmidt fired one in to end the first period 4-0 Caps.
The Second Period started a bit sluggish with the Avs Cody McLeod getting the upper hand on Braden Holtby. The Caps failed to score on a power play opportunity four minutes into the period. After a knock down fight between Michael Latta and Chris Wagner, the Caps failed again on their second power play opportunity of the period. The Avs would bounce back on a one-man advantage after Kuztnezov found himself in the sin bin for closing his hand on the puck. The second period would end with the Caps maintaining a two-point lead (4-2).
The start of The Third Period was delayed because of a problem with the goal light behind Braden Holtby. The Caps would have another chance to score on the power play after a tripping call on Nathan MacKinnon. This time Kuzy made good on the man advantage with assists by Chimera and Niskanen. (5-2 Caps). . The other highlight of the period was a sweet wrist shot by Dmitry Orlov: his first goal of the season! And the magical goal scored with the disappearing puck is sure to be part of the weekend highlight reels. It seems only Orlov and the ref knew where the puck was. Holtby would let one more slip by him bringing the score to 6-3, but still with a good Caps lead. Finally, Karl Alzner would seal it all up with his second goal of the season at 16:16 with a little help from his friends Oshie and Ovechkin. Caps take the win 7-3.
The night was amazing; Lots of scoring, lots of fights, and lots of screaming by the fans. The Caps finally scored first and then kept on scoring. Before the night was over 14 players combined for a grand total of 19 points (goals, assists). Also, for the first time in 23 years four Capitals defensemen scored a goal in a game. It was also the first time since 2013 that seven different players scored seven goals. The game was the icing on the cake of a record breaking week in which Ovechkin broke the record scoring a total of 484 goals to become the all-time high Russian-born scorer in the NHL. Now we look forward to preparing to face the Oilers on Monday night.