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Note: Japers' Rink's own Adam Stringham assisted with statistics for this recap. Thanks, Adam!
Some fancy puck work by Jack Eichel wasn't enough to stop the NHL's top juggernaut, the Washington Capitals, as the home team downed the visitors from Buffalo 5-2 on Wednesday night.
The Capitals found themselves down 2-1 after the second period, but lovely potted plants from Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky and Alex Ovechkin made sure the final score was a pretty one. The best team in the NHL rolls on.
Here's Wednesday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Dominance isn't just a new fragrance from Calvin Klein. The Caps led the Sabres in play from start to finish (well, everywhere but the goal sheet, at first), and their offense ran the show like a schoolyard bully. One of their best offensive performances of the year.
- Minus: Injuries, lurking like a ghostly spectre or German U-boat, sunk their teeth into Washington tonight, with valuable favorites Nick Backstrom and Jay Beagle leaving the game to not return with upper body injuries.
And now, this...
#Caps Alex Ovechkin registered four shots in the second period, becoming the 19th player in NHL history to record 4,000 career shots.— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 31, 2015
Ten more notes on the game:
- Alex Ovechkin recorded his 4000th career NHL shot, putting him in elite company. Here's to 4000 more, ya big lug!
- Ovechkin's partner in crime/bosom buddy Nicklas Backstrom left the game in the third period with an upper body injury and would not return. Evgeny Kuznetsov, obviously, was moved up to center the top line.
- Not that the second line was an unproductive desert of offense, or anything. The Capitals' second line accounted for half of the whole team's shots through two periods; MoJo and Kuzy had 5 and Williams had 4 and a goal through forty minutes.
- The Caps don't let Buffalo kick them when they're down (a man); Washington killed off the last seven Sabres' powerplays they faced extending back to the last game.
- Jay Beagle also left the game in the third period with an upper body injury, and the Capitals' lines were not, contrary to Adele's convocation, rolling in the deep.
- Andre Burakovsky had a shaky game at first, whiffing on a beauty feed in the slot, continuing his troublesome habit of no-look passes to what I assume used to be Alderaan, and just looking like a good hockey player still a few steps on the periodic table out of his element. Then he scored a goal in the third period and he seemed visibly relieved. His stats were pretty decent Wednesday; perhaps our expectations are just too high, too early for the likable Swede.
- At 43 shots (a Tom Wilson's worth!), the Caps recorded the most shots they have this season. Seriously, it was like happy hour at Verizon!
- Not only did Ovechkin record his 4000th career shot, but he made sure two of them went into the "G" column as well, jotting down his 19th and 20th of the season, one an empty-netter.
- With his 24th win of the season, Braden Holtby moves within four W's of second place all-time on the Washington Capitals.
- This good ol' barn burner was the Caps' 15th home win of the season, the most in the NHL.
Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta. The Capitals lead the league, nobody in the hockey-playing galaxy wants to mess with Braden Holtby or Alex Ovechkin, and 2016 might just be one sweet New Year. Happy Holidays, everybody, and Go Caps!