The Capitals fought back from a closing-minutes deficit to force overtime and then, THEN, glorious victory! Goals from Jay Beagle and Marcus Johansson were the Platonic ideal of fan favorites.
Here's Monday night's Plus/Minus:
Plus: Marcus Johansson and Jay Beagle are big value, big league hockey players. I just wanna wrap them both up like my mother’s old Jewish cookie recipes and bake them for my friends. They had three goals between the two of them tonight.
Minus: The Caps had a lot of trouble hitting the net tonight - and, you know...recently. Tonight was especially egregious, and while you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, you also miss 100% of the shots you miss. Sneaky Gretzky didn’t tell people that.
And now, this...
Trotz called Jay Beagle "Mr. Fix It" when talking about the Caps power play. Said Beagle is becoming like Joel Ward.— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) December 6, 2016
Ten more notes on the game:
- Six minutes into the game, Zemgus Girgensons - the man whose name was voted Most Likely to Be the Noise Made By a Peat Bog, caught and ran with a beautiful bump-and-go pass from Derek Grant. The "Swamp Monster" beat Braden Holtby forehand-backhand on a breakaway, and the Sabres took an early 1-0 lead.
2. At one point this season, the Caps had scored first in 17 of 20 games. That seems like a distant memory now, hazy and nebulous like your recollections of plaid bell bottoms and Fog Hat LPs.
3. The Capitals power play went 0-for-2 in the first period alone, finally recording one as regulation expired to go 1-for-3 on the night. It’s now gone 2-for-19 over the last four games. That’s the type of stink bug in the chili pot that loses you a cook-off. Barry Trotz really needs to get this supercharger spinning, and fast. 1-for-3 is better than it’s been, but not consistently enough.
4. Part, but not nearly all, of the blame for the Caps persistent PP woes recently lies with John Carlson’s point shooting. It has been wildly inaccurate like a flat-earther convention, and is missing the net like Tuna Houdini.
5. Early in the second period, the World War 1 Flying Ace aka Joe Cool aka Bae Jeagle, your favorite fourth-liner and mine Jay Beagle, tapped home a gorgeous cross-ice assist from Brooks Orpik to tie the game 1-1. Beagle was all over the ice all game, and is absolutely the jersey you should buy this holiday season. You know, if you were looking.
Your daily reminder that Jay Beagle was undrafted, and has played his whole NHL career with Washington.— Jason Rogers (@HeyJayJRogers) December 6, 2016
6. The next three minutes were a total blur of frenetic nonsense and phone calls to Toronto. First, a loose puck at the goal line had to be corralled by a barehanded Braden Holtby and a quick-gloved Evgeny Kuznetsov to prevent a Buffalo goal. Holtby took exception to Johan Larsson poking at his ass like a persistent gibbon, and some heated shoving from the goaltender ensued.
7. Mere seconds later, an actual goal by Larsson dented the twine. BUT WAIT! What’s that?? Larsson was offsides by a country kilometer, and video review would prove Trotz and his wiggling eyebrows right.
8. And just mere seconds after that, a once-again sprawling Braden Holtby couldn’t save them all, and Kyle Okposo fired home a rebound that gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead until just five minutes left in the game, when....
9. Marcus Johansson tied it at 2-2 on the Caps' third power play of the night, redirecting a point shot with Scandanavian attention to detail like Volvo building a volume knob. The game went to overtime, and YOU MAY NOW POST PICTURES OF YOUR DOGS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!
The #Caps rel PP possession leader is Kuzy. The category caboose is MoJo. If 1 of them scores, you all have to send me nudes of your dogs.— Jason Rogers (@HeyJayJRogers) December 5, 2016
10. AND THEN WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT, Mr. New Contract himself Marcus Johansson scored a beautiful game-winning goal, one-timing a lovely Orlov assist good and true, and sending the Caps home with a 3-2 victory.
Once Trotz switched up the defensive pairings late in the game, things really picked up for the Capitals. Orlov with Niskanen, Carlson with Alzner...ya gotta like it. Let’s see if it sticks for Washington.