Tonight’s divisional matchup was the second half of a back-to-back for one team, and if you didn’t already know which team that was you would might have guessed incorrectly at first. In the end at least a point apiece in the end seemed fair, but even after giving up two power play goals, Washington walked away with the victory.
Here’s Friday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Lucky number three. Travis Boyd now has three goals in three games, Nic Dowd had his first three-assist night and first three-point game, and Alex Ovechkin netted his second hat trick of the season.
Minus: Braden Holtby did not have a great outing tonight, despite the victory. He didn’t seem to settle into the game until the end of the second period, he misplayed the puck behind the net which led to the Hurricanes’ final game-tying goal, and he had an .815 SV% on the night.
And now, this...
Eleven more notes on the game:
1. 47 seconds into the game, Carolina got on the board first with an impressive backhand wraparound goal from Jordan Martinook. The Canes were the team that played last night, but they sure didn’t look like it.
2. Three minutes later, Washington got a goal from this guy named Alex Ovechkin, not sure if you’ve heard of him. He extended his point streak to 13 games, which ties the career-high that he set in January of 2007. Additionally, Jonas Siegenthaler tallied his first NHL point with the primary assist on Ovi’s 26th goal of the season. “First point” puck keepsakes are already pretty special, now imagine if yours was also from an Ovechkin goal...
3. With 35 seconds left in the Capitals’ second power play of the night, Sebastian Aho (who has a history of playing well against Washington) gave Carolina the lead again with a shorthanded goal on a 2-on-0 breakaway.
4. After Ovechkin was called for “holding” on Justin Williams, Aho continued to terrorize the Capitals, this time with a power play tally. A minute later, Tom Wilson took a bad interference penalty, and the Canes weren’t going to let this chance slip by either. Teuvo Teravainen gave his team a 4-1 lead with a shot from in front of the net.
5. Wilson was looking to make up for that bad penalty, and boy did he deliver. Scott Darling made a few nice saves in front of the net, but ultimately Wilson would not be denied. We all knew he would try to score in his first game back, and he now has nine goals in 12 games.
A closer look at Tom Wilson’s impressive 1st goal back pic.twitter.com/6lcXKfHiPE— HockeyKot (@hockeykot) December 15, 2018
6. What’s better than one Ovechkin goal? Two Ovechkin goals! A dart from his office brought the Capitals within one, and Ovi now has 27 goals in 32 games. He’s also tied for ninth-most multi-goal games in NHL history.
7. The Caps needed to at least tie the game before the period ended, and Travis Boyd stepped in to help. He redirected a shot on net and tipped it past Darling for his third goal in as many games. Nic Dowd had his third assist of the night on this goal, and Washington scored three goals in less than six minutes to tie the game 4-4.
8. What’s better than two Ovechkin goals? THREE Ovechkin goals! That’s right folks, Alex Ovechkin has hat tricks in back-to-back games. There was something even more special about this goal though: it was on the power play. He hadn’t scored a power play goal since November 19, so what better way to end that particular drought than to use that long-awaited PPG to complete a hatty?
9. Justin Williams had clearly been waiting to get in on the fun, and after a bad penalty by TJ Oshie, he had his chance. Holtby misplayed the puck from behind his net, and Williams took advantage with a power play goal of his own. With just over six minutes to go, the game was back at an even 5-5.
10. After 3:25 of 3-on-3 overtime, Matt Niskanen was called for tripping and the Hurricanes man-advantage went to work for the sixth time tonight. However, the Capitals’ penalty kill managed to hold them off and send the game to a shootout.
11. Three shootout rounds were not enough tonight, as neither team managed to score. In the fourth round, Dougie Hamilton totally undressed Holtby to score for Carolina but Nicklas Backstrom went five-hole on Darling to keep it going. Finally, Jakub Vrana, in his first-ever shootout attempt, finally ended it in the sixth round with a slick shot past Darling.
The Capitals head back to Washington for the second half of their back-to-back, a home tilt against the Buffalo Sabres (5-3-2 in their last 10) tomorrow night.