Welcome back to the win column, Dr. Washington Capitals. We’ve been expecting you. The boys in red got right back to where they once belonged, fighting off the NHL’s best goaltender and their own tendency to shoot themselves in the foot to secure a 4-2 victory.
Here's Tuesday night's Plus/Minus:
Plus: O Captain My Captain Alex Ovechkin got back in the goal column, and the way he did it was quite deliciously familiar.
Minus: The Capitals took EIGHT(!) penalties in this contest, conceding two consecutive 5-on-3 opportunities. I’m no scientist, but that’s....*checks charts, pours one beaker into another*....way too many penalties.
And now, this..
Wild getting rocked on the scoreboard and in the ring pic.twitter.com/HU6WJfu0tf— Ozzie (@OldComiskey) March 15, 2017
Ten more notes on the game:
1. Tuesday’s matchup featured probably the two best goalies in the NHL right now and just about everybody’s Vezina Trophy frontrunners, Braden Holtby and Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk, whose name sounds like a peripheral character’s nickname in an ‘80s fraternity comedy. Both goalies faced a metric ton of shots; only one got the victory. The scoreline plays a major spoiler here.
2. There was much excitement in the Caps blogosphere before the contest, as Kevin Shattenkirk’s prior pigheadedness put precocious and puerile perimeter defender Nate Schmidt into the lineup. Across Twitter, there was much rejoicing. Schmidt quickly justified the decision, catching a slick Nick Backstrom backhand pass from behind the net and slinging it right back at the cage, bouncing it past Dubnyk and in to give the Caps a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.
3. Both teams traded shots in the second period like dueling bachelorette parties and by the game’s midway point, both goalies had already faced 20+ shots. Still, no more shots broke through until The World’s Greatest Hockey Player, Captain, and Smiler Alex Ovechkin bashed home an utter classic from the office. #Obestkin one-timed a lovely John Carlson set-up, ending his 10-game scoring drought and making it 2-0 Washington.
4. Only two minutes later, Washington’s other devious Russian agent (no, not him), Evgeny Kuznetsov, roared into the zone, hit the curl-and-brake, and telegraphed a bullet far side and high over Dubnyk’s blocker and in to give the Caps a 3-0 lead.
5. Almost immediately thereafter, Ryan White caught Brooks Orpik with a heavy hit against the glass, and Tom Wilson took umbrage to it. The two threw hands, exchanging fisticuffs in the style of two men who really don’t like each other. Wilson nearly put White in a damn coffin (see the video above), but since it was Orpik’s battle to fight and not Tommy Hockey’s, Wilson got hit with an additional instigator penalty and a 10-minute misconduct. We barely knew ye, Tommy!
6. The third period got off to a....um, less spectacular start for the Capitals. Just 47 seconds into the frame, Minnesota’s Matt Dumba called his own numba, potting a little baby goal sapling in the hopes it would one day grow into a mighty goal tree. It was 3-1 Caps for the time being.
7. Exactly three minutes later, Eric Staal, Illegally Pirated CD-RW Copy of Jordan Staal, beat Braden Holtby and his own long odds of survival as the runt of the Staal litter to make it 3-2 Capitals. Much anxious sweating began in the nosebleeds and good seats of Verizon, alike.
8. But Jay Beagle, a veritable Hachiko of canine loyalty and stalwartness, was having none of that creepy twin noise. The Good Boy fired a backbreaking dart past Dubnyk in the final four minutes to seal the 4-2 win for Washington.
9. Ovi, it’s good to have you back! The Captain had three shots and one goal, and led all forwards in ice time after TJ Oshie. May your gap-toothed countenance be made to shine upon us until Ragnarok.
10. The final goalie tally? Dubnyk, 36 saves. Holtby, 30 saves. Good game, fellas. Way to put in work for the fans.
Ah, yes.....this feels more like it. The Caps get back to their winning ways, and Ovechkin rifles home a one-timer from the circle. Perhaps the halcyon days of yore are back. Next up is the Predators and PK Subban at home on Thursday.