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Here's Super Bowl Sunday's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Washington's Russians, which only sounds like a Young Adult historical fiction novel. Goals from Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov, plus an assist from Evgeny Kuznetsov, just serve to prove how important Glorious Mother Russia is to the Caps. Rock the Red, indeed.
- Minus: Dumb penalties. After Iron Man Karl Alzner took two literally back-to-back, Tom Wilson did absolutely nothing to help his reputation by cleaning out a Flyers skater well away from the puck and taking a two-minute minor for his team.
And now, this...
Ten more notes on the game:
- Philadelphia's Michael Del Zotto got the scoring started at the end of the first period after a sustained shot seige by the Flyers. He fired home a BB to close out a period where the Caps were outshot by 2x.
- Alex Ovechkin, the best hockey player in the world, in any other world, or on any concurrent plane of existence, just scores goals. Check your watch. What time you got? Ovechkin just scored a goal. What day is it? Goalday. Next month? That's Scoretober. A stick-down redirection in the slot popped the puck up and over Flyers goalie Steve Mason to tie the game 1-1.
- The Capitals took the lead mere moments later as fellow Russian wunderkind Dmitry Orlov caught a pass at the point, jumped around two Flyers defensemen, and danced his way to the goal with more aplomb and determination than a scorned Kevin Bacon. It was 2-1 Caps heading into the final period.
- Nick Schultz of the Flyers tied it up early in the third for Philadelphia, making it 2-2.
- Suddenly, God said to Moses, "Lead the Israelites out of Egypt," and Matt Niskanen was like, "Yo God, this is me actually, and my Red Sea is some Flyers defensemen." Ye, the Lord did part the Flyers defensemen, and Niskanen did miraculously wind his way one coast clear to another, and, verily, score. 3-2 Capitals, spake the scoreboard.
- That was all it would take, and the Capitals would win Rivalry Sunday aka Super Bowl Sunday aka What Time Does This Game Start?
- After losing two in a row, the Caps have now won three in a row, and this baby is back on track like a recently righted Acela.
- Braden Holtby had another Vezina-calibre performance, recording 33 saves for his 33rd win of the season. He is on track for the most wins in a season in NHL history. So eat your vegetables and thank your goalie.
- The Caps are 0-17 on the power play over the last five games. Put differently, they are 0-for-Chris-Clark or 0-for-President-Andrew-Johnson.
- Iron Man Karl Alzner and rising superstar Evgeny Kuznetsov are each just one point away from their NHL career 100th. Alzner, of course, has played in 330 more games than Kuznetsov, who himself, to be fair, has hands made of unobtainium and/or the Shroud of Turin.
Your daily reminder: 90% of these redirects are completely intentional, and that shit is amazing. APPRECIATE THE SKILL YOU'RE SEEING!— Jason Rogers (@HeyJayJRogers) February 7, 2016
Another division opponent's two point milkshake drunk by the Capitals, and Washington is now the first team in the NHL to cross the 80-point threshold. Some good hockey, and hopefully some good football tonight!