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The game started slow and never really seemed to flow while both teams had five skaters on the ice. But who needs 5v5 play when you can play 4v4? Thanks to two quick tallies during four on four play in the second (and some insurance down the line) the Capitals were able to leave Minnesota with the win.
Here's Thursday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: For the first time ever the Capitals beat the Minnesota wild at the Xcel Energy Center.
- Minus: Right after going up two goals in the second the penalty-drawing-king Tom Wilson earned the Capitals a PP. The Wild were able to take away any momentum that the Capitals had by completely dominating the Caps PP.
Ten more notes on the game:
- Braden Holtby was abysmal the last time he played in Minnesota, it was probably his worst game as a professional hockey player. Tonight he was probably the Capitals second best player.
- The Wild did a pretty good job of bottling up Ovechkin to start the game. But you can't hold the Russian Machine down. Ovechkin really found an extra step after ringing one of the bar while the Caps were on the PP early in the second. We will talk more about that extra step later.
- Brooks Laich made one of the best defensive plays of the game when on the first PK he broke up a very dangerous cross crease pass.
- If you get the chance you should really watch the shift the fourth line put together with about 6 minutes left in the second period. They created quite a few chances against the Wild's top line. At the end of the play the frustration of the Wild players became evident when Zach Parise went after Tom Wilson. Somehow the Capitals did not end up with a PP nor a goal, but they should/could have.
- While it didn't lead to a power play the Wilson-Parise battle led to some 4v4 time. The
CapsRussians took advantage of it as Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov were each able to put one past Dubnyk.
- Things change quickly... with less than ten seconds remaining in the second period the Wild got one back. Doesn't it feel like the Caps give up late period goals often?
- Luckily Ovechkin came through for the Caps and put up a nice insurance marker just over three minutes into the third.
- Steven Stamkos is great and all but Alexander Ovechkin is the best goal scorer of the last twenty years, and he really might be the best goal scorer ever.
- The Capitals third line has to be better. Jason Chimera took a very ill advised penalty late in the third that led to the Wild goal that brought the game back within one.
- The Caps might not be the best team in the league when defending the lead and they definitely sit back more than a few of us would like, but it all worked out tonight