The Capitals welcome their murder back inside the house on Saturday night, hosting the Carolina Hurricanes squad that squashed them out of the playoffs in seven games last season. Would it be a redemption for Washington, or a two-peat for the Canes?
Here’s Saturday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: New Caps continue to get on the board and keep the offensive hot sauce flowing.
Minus: What Becomes of a Banner Night Deferred?
And now, this...
"Put that last White Claw back in the fridge" https://t.co/YkweAIw9yB— Jason Rogers (@HeyJayJRogers) October 5, 2019
Ten more notes on the game:
- The Capitals kicked off their home season at Capital One Arena on Saturday night against the Carolina Hurricanes! After having spoiled two other teams’ (the Blues and the Islanders) home openers on the road to build a 2-0 winning streak, could they continue the magic brew at the friendly confines of DC?
- Also on the minds of fans of high-flying offenses was Czech youngster Jakub Vrana. Jake the Snake scored in both of Washington’s first two games, and would be looking to continue that against Carolina.
- It would not be Vrana to strike first.....but it would be a new face for the Capitals. Fourth-line grit machine Garnet Hathaway did everything he could to prove to the coaching staff that he deserves his starter’s jersey, and he tallied the first goal for Washington in the first to make it 1-0 Caps.
- As the first period ended, Carolina held a gigantic lead in shots, but thanks to stellar sturdiness from Braden Holtby, the Capitals ruled the only stat column that mattered.
- The halfway point of the game came and went, but just a couple minute past, Bona Fide Real American Hero T.J. Oshie - a man made of Corvettes and Pabst Blue Ribbon - deflected a Jakub Vrana shot, catching the puck with the heel of his stick around his nipples and redirecting it down to himself in the crease. With a whack of his paddle, Teej the Deej backhanded the biscuit up and in to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead.
- And only few minutes later, spunky new guy Garnet Hathaway struck for a SECOND TIME! But what-....Did he really? The referees would go to the ol’ video tape, and wouldn’t you know it? Fellow fourth-line newcomer Brendan Leipsic committed the cardinal sin of goalie interference, and the tally was taken off the board. The second frame would end at 2-0.
- But Carolina came out blustering in the third period like a mighty tropical wind, and former Vegas Golden Knight Erik Haula finished off a schoolyard tic-tac-toe play that brought the Canes back within one to make it 2-1 just three minutes into the final stanza. Suddenly, the game was within gusting distance.
- The drama wasn’t done. With ten minutes left, one of the sneaky-best defensemen in the NHL Jaccob Slavin knotted the contest 2-2 to quiet the hometown Capital One faithful and put this one back into play like oldies.
- 60 sacred minutes weren’t enough, DC’s own were treated to FREE HOCKEY courtesy of overtime. Would it be sudden death for the Capitals, or a perfect 3-0 start to the season?
- But alas, it wasn’t to be. In the dying minutes of the extra frame, Carolina’s own newcomer Jake Gardiner came streaking into the 3-on-3 zone, catching Nicklas Backstrom playing defense and taking advantage to look him out of position and rip a winner past Braden Holtby, sending Carolina home 3-2 winners.
Well, look at it this was: the Capitals have accrued five of six possible points in their first three games. A good start to the season (nearly) all around. Next up is the Stars on Tuesday.