Brooklyn, who? The Washington Capitals shook off the ghosts and craft beer labels from their disastrous trip to Barclays Center, responding with a vengeance on Tuesday night and taking the hurtin’ to the Colorado Avalanche behind The Kuznetsov Show™.
Here's Tuesday night's Plus/Minus:
Plus: Braden Holtby, and the Capitals at large, responded like winners after taking their licks less than 24 hours prior.
Minus: If I had a nickel for every Capitals shot that missed the net,.....well, you’d likely never hear from me again, high atop my mound of nickels as I’d be.
And now, this...
Ten more notes on the game:
1. After getting walloped in Brooklyn 3-1 by the Islanders one scant eve ago, could the Capitals muster the mustard to bounce back like kaiser rolls against the Avalanche, themselves the on the second end of a back-to-back?
2. Braden Holtby got the start in net for the Capitals on Tuesday night. Holtby got Little Bo Peep’d by the hook of Barry Trotz after letting in three goals against the Islanders. Many (guilty) suspected Trotz would give Philipp Grubauer the start he was orginally scheduled to take, but that was not the case. How would Holtby respond?
3. Just five minutes into this contest, one-man Russian splinter cell Evgeny Kuznetsov found 21-year-old Czech thunderbolt Jakub Vrana on the rush, and Vrana slung home a vulcanized dagger past Semyon Varlamov to give the Capitals the 1-0 lead early. It would last them the rest of the first frame.
4. The second period, like spoilt pudding or news of a cancelled holiday, has been upsetting the Capitals. Tuesday night was no exception, with Colorado’s Colin Wilson pulling a Wile E. Coyote fast one on Washington. Hopping off the bench unnoticed, Wilson cut a diving route to the net and received the pass, beating Holtby with a frankly quite nasty backhand. The game was tied back up.
5. Tom Wilson, he of recent top-line stardom and long-time purveyor of smoldering good looks, closed off the second period by streaking (figuritively, sorry) down the wing and throwing a shot on Varlamov. The rebound came all the way out to the point where human American flag John Carlson teed up a booming howitzer that rang true and gave Washington a 2-1 lead at the second intermission.
6. Brett “The Threat” Connolly kicked off the third period the right way, firing home a Madison Bowey assist (his second of the night) to give the Caps a 3-1 cushion.
7. Minutes later, for the same reasons that cats like to play with the rodents they catch before dispatching of them, Evgeny Kuznetsov laid a beeaaauuuutiful assist back to Matt Niskanen. Frisky Nisky smashed it home true, and the Capitals were up 4-1 in the third.
8. Colorado’s Tyson Jost got himself a party favor late in the game, getting one back in the final two minutes for Colorado, but, like, whatever, man.
9. Fourth-line stalwart Devante Smith-Pelly cashed in the three-quarter ice empty net goal, and Washington cashed in a convincing 5-2 victory.
10. Way to respond, boys. Special shouts out to Braden Holtby, who bounced back with a 22-of-24 performance and a winning effort.
That’s what you like to see after laying a big Brooklyn-sized egg. Washington gets back in the saddle, and will get ready for Boston on Thursday.