Washington began their annual Western Canada road trip with a visit to Rogers Arena to play the Vancouver Canucks. Nicklas Backstrom’s three point performance brought him to 601 career assists while on the way to a 5 to 2 Washington win.
Here’s Tuesday morning’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: The Capitals’ offense came to play tonight, pumping 13 shots on goal in the first period alone. They would end the evening with 34 shots.
Minus: Nic Dowd’s boneheaded attempt to catch Troy Stecher’s shot in the slot allowed Vancouver to get on the board in the second period.
Ten more notes on the game.
- Early in the first period Washington tallied to put the first goal on the board. On an odd man rush Jakub Vrana dished the puck to a streaking John Carlson who deftly deflected the puck up and over Anders Nilsson for his fifth of the season.
- Both teams would have man advantage opportunities in the opening frame but neither club could convert. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Brock Boeser had the best power play chances but Nilsson and Holtby turned them aside.
- Two minutes into the second frame Holtby was forced to turn aside Boeser and Nikolay Goldobin on a two against none above the crease. Boeser shoveled a late pass to Goldobin, to Holtby’s left, but the puck harmlessly bounced behind the cage.
- Vancouver would knot the score at one just a few minutes later though. Stecher threw a shot on net from sixty feet away and was rewarded because of Dowd’s poor decision making in front of Holtby.
- 1:59 later Washington went ahead again, this time thanks to an Evgeny Kuznetsov’s power play goal. Alex Ovechkin and Carlson worked the puck from left to right before Kuznetsov’s slap shot bested Nilsson to his shortside.
- And before the period could come to a conclusion Ovechkin extends the Capitals’ lead to two with his seventh of the season. With the puck bouncing chaotically in the crease it caromed off of Ovechkin’s right leg and into the net for the 3 to 1 lead, with Backstrom picking up a secondary assist on the play.
- But twenty seconds in the third period a Boeser rebound landed on Sven Baertschi’s stick and he rifled the puck into a wide open net, drawing the Canucks within one.
- The Capitals’ Captain, however, would correct things shortly after. With Stecher in the penalty box Backstrom and Carlson worked the puck to Ovechkin in his office and the Russian sniper did not miss his chance.
- With a second secondary assist on Ovechkin’s third period tally Backstrom registered the 600th assist of his consummate career. Congrats Nicky!
- With 101 seconds on the clock T.J. Oshie deposited the puck into Vancouver’s empty net to provide the margin of victory. In keeping with his theme for the evening, Backstorm provided the secondary helper.