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It took sixty minutes plus five minutes plus magic one-on-one to decide this Metropolitan Division clash, before the Flyers snuck out with the 2-1 shootout victory.
Here's Wednesday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Braden Holtby is going to win the Vezina trophy. He saved 33 of 34 shots for a .971 save percentage.
- Minus: Losing to the team you're likely to face in the first round of the playoffs just over a week before said playoffs is sub-optimal.
And now, this...
Washington Capitals (@washcaps) March 31, 2016
Ten more notes on the game:
- The first two entire periods passed without much fanfare, beyond the general tomfoolery and crushing you can expect from a late March Caps-Flyers match-up.
- No, but seriously, there was some playoff-level intensity in this game, and given the very real possibility of these two teams meeting in the first round, you can perhaps, as they say, get used to it.
- A bit of an "incident" occurred late in the second period, when Jason Chimera and Shayne Gostisbehere got to know one another in a slightly more intimate sense. Chimmer gave Ghost Bear the ol' How's Your Mother with the butt of his stick in what was categorically a dirty move, even if not horribly violent. Gostisbehere crumpled, Chimmer skated to the bench, and no one in stripes was any the wiser.
- The game was still tied, scoreless, after 40 minutes of good old hockey play.
- Finally, with not but a scant eighteen minutes remaining, the Captain, our Captain, Alex Ovechkin expertly trapped and received an appropriately gorgeous and deft saucer pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov to rip home a wrister high glove side. Ovechkin now has 44 goals on the year.
- Tom Wilson roughed Sam Gagne and Sam Gagne roughed Tom Wilson and both had to go sit in time-out. Tom Wilson drawing penalties and taking penalties. Yin and Yang. A tale as old as time.
- With mere seconds left on a Marcus Johansson hooking penalty, Brayden Schenn redirected just about the most surgically precise slapshot you're ever likely to see from Claude Giroux, and tied the game at 1-1 with five minutes remaining in regulation.
- Sixty minutes wasn't enough (is it ever?) and this bad boy took overtime to decide.
- And, then, another five minutes at three-versus-three was not enough, either. To a shootout this clash went.
- Holtby didn't manage to stop anything in the exhibition display, and the Flyers managed the victory they desperately needed.
With nothing left to play for but records, the Capitals did not manage to advance Holtby's historic campaign or their own. They got a point, though, and it becomes even more likely that they will play the Flyers in the first round of the playoffs.