TLDR: Nick Jensen makes his Capitals’ debut, Copley throws hands, Hagelin proves effectiveness on the penalty kill, Tom Wilson scores a power play goal, and Kuznetsov scores the overtime winner. Continue reading ““It’s Bedlam in Washington””
Tonight’s 2-1 OT loss was nothing short of hard fought. The Capitals pushed and pushed through all of three periods and in sudden death overtime, but it was the Columbia Blue Jackets that would be the winners tonight.
While the first period was predominately uneventful, it did instill a bit of hope into Caps fans. It may have started off slow and without much energy, but it didn’t take long for the boys to wake up and really start playing. They started spending much more time on offense, as opposed to always being in their own end, and most importantly, there were taking lots of shots. The Caps fought for the puck and made sure to be fast about it. Though there was no scoring, it was a good start to the game.
The second period was just as slow as the first, aside from someone finally scoring. It was Nicklas Backstrom who broke the ice, getting a goal, fifteen minutes in. Less remarkable moments of the second twenty minutes included a number of penalties, mostly from the Capitals. Their penalty kill was very strong, though, and they made it through the second period without being scored on. Overall, the second period still left fans hungry for more action.
The star of the third period was certainly Philip Grubauer. He was making beautiful saves and staying strong during the penalty kills. It wouldn’t be enough, though. Less than halfway through the period, Werenski scored a goal, tying the game and putting fans on edge. Not even a minute later, Backstrom scored his second of the game, but it was quickly taken away because of an offsides review, sending the game into overtime. Though both teams fought hard, it was the Blue Jackets who came out victorious when Atkinson scored the game-winning goal, thirty-seven seconds in. It was a very good game, overall, for the Capitals, though, despite this loss. Hopefully, they will use this for motivation against the Penguins in Washington tomorrow.
The Washington Capitals returned home to the Eastern Time Zone and the Verizon Center after a 4 game roadtrip. The Carolina Hurricanes are currently in sixth place in the Metropolitan division and have a young defense. Jay Beagle skated with the top line while the rest of the right wings ( T. J. Oshie, Justin Williams and Tom Wilson) shifted down a line.
First Period: Improvements
The Capitals’ first periods have not been good lately. This first period was different than those. The Caps had their skating legs and came out firing the puck at Hurricane’s goaltender Eddie Lack. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had the first of many quality chances that the Capitals had in the opening period. The posts probably had some dents in them due to how many times the Caps hit them. The Canes did well in the first period but the Capitals outshot them 10-8 in the period.
SCORE: Game tied 0-0
Second Period: Caps Score First!
Justin Williams scored 90 seconds into the period to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. The streak of allowing the first goal is (finally) over. At the end of the period, on a broken play, Jordan Staal tied the game for the Canes. Almost immediately after, Evgeny Kuznetsov rang the puck off the post. It was a great pass from Andre Burakovsky. The Capitals had a late period power play but nothing came of it. The teams ended the period tied 1-1.
GOALS: Justin Williams scored his 21st of the season (assist: Jason Chimera); Jordan Staal scored his 18th of the season (assist: None)
PENALTIES: Nicklas Backstrom (tripping); Michal Jordan (tripping)
SCORE: Game tied 1-1.
Third Period: Solid Goaltenders
Justin Williams tried the Kuznetsov pass (no look behind the net) but nobody was home. The Caps have hit the post four different times during the game. There were quality chances for each team during the period. Goaltenders Eddie Lack and Braden Holtby were solid in the respective nets. The Caps penalty kill was successful when Wilson was sent to the box. The Caps and Canes headed to 3-on-3 OT tied 1-1.
PENALTIES: Tom Wilson (hooking)
SCORE: Game tied 1-1
Overtime: Ovi in OT!
First line Jay Beagle started the 3-on-3 overtime. 1:48 into the extra session, Evgeny Kuznetsov to Alex Ovechkin for the game winner. The Canes challenged for offside. The referees confirmed the good goal and the Caps were victorious on Russian Heritage Night. The Caps’ 50th win of the season.
GOALS: Alex Ovechkin scored his 42nd of the season (assist: Evgeny Kuznetsov)
SCORE: Caps win 2-1
The Capitals officially secured their playoff spot with their overtime win. Braden Holtby set a new franchise record for most wins in a single season (42). Good times for the Caps.
Practice: The Caps have a day off on Wednesday and are scheduled to have practice at 10:30am on Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Game: The Nashville Predators visit the Verizon Center on Friday at 7pm.
Photos by: Brittney Marcum