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Caps vs. Sharks Recap: Hook, Line, Sinker - Caps Stuff San Jose 4-1

The Washington Capitals overwhelmed the visiting San Jose Sharks at home on Monday night, handily defeating their Western Conference foe 4-1.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals beached the Sharks, harpooned them, and sold their skins for profit, dropping San Jose 4-1 at home at Capital One Arena on Monday night.

Here's Monday night's Plus/Minus:

Plus: With goals from Ovechkin and Vrana, there was an excellent, zen, old-and-new, top-to-bottom mojo going on with the Capitals tonight.

Minus: A potentially serious upper-body injury to T.J. Oshie puts a major damper on all proceedings.

And now, this...

Ten more notes on the game:

1. Congratulations to Travis Boyd! The 24-year-old winger made his NHL debut Monday night, replacing the injured Chandler Stephenson. The Best Boyd Since Gordon got the rookie solo warm-up skate treatment, but would he be a factor once his teammates joined him on the ice?

2. With beloved Capitals alumni favorite Joel Ward returning to town, backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer got the start in net. These two things are likely unrelated, but sentence structure is a funny thing. Grubi Tuesday got his first win of the season in his last start; could he replicate the magic and eliminate the tragic?

3. This swashbuckling fish fest got off to a slow start, right up until the final three minutes of the first period. John Carlson let loose a booming Cannon in D from the blue line, and Devante Smith-Pelly smartly redirected it and in to make it 1-0 Capitals at the first intermission.

4. Right around the halfway point of the game in the second period, O Captain My Captain Alex Ovechkin reminded the world what, precisely, it means to be the G.O.A.T. After forcing a turnover by picking the pocket of a careless Sharks defenseman in the defensive zone, Ovi took the puck the other way on a breakaway. Fighting off a diving defender, Ovechkin served San Jose a big helping of Backhand Sexuality, roofing a gorgeous shot to cap off a perfect move and give Washington a 2-0 lead.

5. But all that juicy, musky momentum was to be short-lived. Mere minutes later, San Jose threw the puck along the back boards off the rush, and a dumbo carom brought the puck right to the feet of the Sharks’ Timo Meier. Meier knocked it in and cut the Caps’ lead in half, 2-1.

6. But the worst sting of the game would have nothing to do with the scoreboard, and would come near the end of the period. T.J. Oshie, bona fide American hero and your mama’s favorite hockey player, fell to his knees while battling against San Jose’s Logan Couture along the boards. “Jumbo” Joe Thornton moved to hit Oshie immediately after he had fallen, and hip-checked Oshie’s head violently against the boards. Oshie lay crumpled in the corner for several minutes, and though he would leave the ice under his own power, he would not return to the game.

7. Minutes later, Tom Wilson fought Joe Thornton in the exhibition you see linked above. Blood and honor, honor and blood. Good on Wilson for keeping the code, but Washington fans would mostly just like to have Oshie back quickly.

8. With 30 seconds left in the second frame, Evgeny Kuznetsov, benevolent boy wonder, willingly absorbed a massive open-ice hit to get off a clean zone-entry pass to Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin deftly found Brett Connolly, filling in for Oshie, in the slot, and Connolly roofed a drop-dead beautiful backhand showstopper to make it 3-1 Capitals. The goal lights came on, but play weirdly continued for several seconds before the referees blew it dead. Then, San Jose issued a coach’s challenge for offsides on the play. The play was confirmed onside, and San Jose was charged a bench minor for delay of game.

9. In the final frame, Kid Dynamite a.k.a. Jakub “Ace” Vrana cashed in a hell of a good net-front effort from Tom Wilson, potting his chance to make it 4-1 Capitals at the final buzzer.

10. Philipp Grubauer, God bless, went 25-of-26 for a .960 save percentage. Also, Madison Bowey took a nasty slash to the hand very late in the game, and headed to the locker room before the final whistle. It remains to be seen how he is.

This was one of the most complete, top-to-bottom victories the Capitals have compiled all year. The west coast cooking continues. Next up is the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Wednesday.

Game highlights: