The Washington Capitals couldn’t get the offense going Thursday night, riding a one-to-one score to overtime but finally coughing up the deciding goal and limping back to Arlington with just one point.
Here's Thursday night's Plus/Minus:
Plus: With Kevin Shattenkirk back in the line-up, the Capitals blue line supposedly got better. But did it?
Minus: The Capitals still have a lot of questions to answer about players, and what their roles are.
And now, this...
OH MY GOSH greatest intermission game ever: HUMAN SLINGSHOT BOWLING pic.twitter.com/Maxiy58MKS— Jason Rogers (@HeyJayJRogers) March 17, 2017
Ten more notes on the game:
1. Verizon Center was decked out in St. Patty’s Day regalia tonight in recognition of everybody’s favorite mid-March Irish-themed holiday! The Caps warmed up in weirdly, strangely snappy green shamrock jerseys, and Slapshot, the mascot, dressed like a giant leprechaun — a look that I’m sure will absolutely not scar several children for the rest of their natural lives.
2. With the Predators honky-tonking in from Nashville, so too came P.K. Subban, one of the most exciting and best-liked players in the NHL. Fortunately for Caps fans, Subban saw it fit in his benevolent heart to not punish the Capitals too severely, recording just 1 shot and bugging off to go build a hospital or baptize an orphan or something.
3. The scoring finally started ten minutes into the contest. With Nashville trying to exit its own zone, Lars Eller whispered in a voice dripping with lusty poison, “Blow a tire, baby.” Eller’s man did, and Jakub Vrana made a brilliant high-awareness play to collect the puck, rattle it along to his forehand, and slide it across to Brett Connolly. Connolly popped it in like microwave leftovers, and the Capitals took a 1-0 lead.
4. The score held until the end of the period. After the buzzer, there was a solid minute of rough stuff that the television fans at home never got to see. Extracurricular pugilism would be a theme of this contest, like 3PM on the playground.
5. The Predators came storming back in the second period, doubling up the Caps in shots 10 to 5. The noble good guys held the fort for 18:57 of the period, but with 63 seconds left, coughed up an equalizer to make it 1-1. James Neal capped off a frankly quite gorgeous criss-crossing zone entry with an equally attractive snipe, and-....what? I can’t say it was attractive? I’m engaged, not dead!
6. Sixty minutes is just never enough, is it? The fans at Verizon who eschewed the trappings of March Madness were treated to a bit of free hockey in the way of overtime. Of course, that overtime lasted all of 65 seconds before Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson made Kuznetsov and Ovechkin pay for their carelessness with a 2-on-1 the other direction, culminating in a goal and one, sole loser point for the Capitals.
7. Let’s go back. Seven minutes into the third period, Tom Wilson and Austin Watson got in a fight, and boyyyyyyy oh boy was it a mistake for Watson. Tom Wilson put him in the ground. Willy buried him and then gave a disrespectful eulogy that cracked wise about his mama and his hentai hobby. It was the most dominant fight I have ever seen in person. Tom Wilson is a very, very bad man. Verizon was quiet before the fight; it was boiling over after it.
8. Nate Schmidt was scratched by coach Barry Trotz for the game, even after a strong showing on Tuesday against the Wild that included his second goal of the season. Karl Alzner, potentially-replaced-by-Schmidt-Guy-1 played much better tonight, getting nasty and disruptive in a way he was not wont to do versus Minnesota. Brooks Orpik, however, continues to be the likely candidate for replacement if and when it ever comes.
9. With his score tonight, Brett Connolly recorded his 15th goal of the season. Pretty daggone good for a 3rd-liner signed as a free agent right before the season, huh?
10. Tonight was another poor showing for the seemingly invincible Alex Ovechkin. Ovi finished the night with 3 shots, but missed several others and botched more than one promising odd-man rush by bungling his patented (tired? staid?) forehand-backhand move.
The Capitals leave Verizon Center with one point, and still plenty of questions. Next up is the Lightning on Saturday in Tampa.