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Capitals @ Ducks Recap: Zegras’ Pair Finally Drops in OT

The Caps salvage a point but drop the first tilt on the west coast in nearly two years in overtime.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Anaheim Ducks Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the first Washington Capitals west coast road trip since March of 2020, just before the world was turned on its head. Tonight we celebrate with Japers’ Rink after dark, where the censorship regulations have been downgraded, the heavy hand of the bartender has been upgraded, and the inhibitions of the recapper have suffered greatly.

In this recapper’s crosshairs tonight was a game between the two teams with the NHL’s longest active win streaks coming into the evening - the Anaheim Ducks, who had won seven consecutive games, and your Caps, who had taken four straight.

Ultimately, it was the Ducks taking the game in overtime for a 2-1 victory.

Here’s Tuesday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: The Caps trotted out a lineup that was missing some 2400 points in career production and some $25m in salary against the hottest team in hockey, and still ground out a point. There’s fight in these guys night in and night out, agnostic of circumstance.

Minus: Well, plenty not to like. For one, this blog’s prejudice against the first person is going to be violated from this point onwards. Secondly, I, the paragon of virtuous Caps fandom that I am, choose to focus on what Alex Ovechkin did or did not do. In this case, he did not score a point, and this foments in me a desire to walk outside and howl at the moon.

Notes on the game:

  1. 10pm game start listed, but puck drop at 10:17? I expect this sort of behavior from those swashbuckling charlatan suits at the big networks, but from an NBCSW aired game I count this as a betrayal at best. Less charitably, high treason.
  2. The Ducks came into the game getting more goal-scoring from their blueline than any other team in the League, and it didn’t even take four minutes before they added to that total. It was Cam Fowler getting an unscreened slapshot from above the circles on the rush past Vitek Vanecek. It was a bad goal to allow. A Fowler Howler, even. Ryan Getzlaf picked up his 1000th career point on the goal.
  3. The Caps responded real quickly with Axel Jonsson-Fjallby’s first NHL goal - a deflection of a Nick Jensen point shot - but Garnet Hathaway was offsides and it was overturned...along with some portion of the good will Hathaway has built up with Caps fans these last couple of games.
  4. During a 10:40pm EST intermission break, NBCSW tried to sneak it past the unsuspecting viewer that they’re going to be giving away Alex Ovechkin matroyshka dolls at an upcoming game, as if an Alex Ovechkin that replicates repeatedly isn’t the most fervent dream of any person watching the Caps at 11pm on a Tuesday in November.
  5. Jonsson-Fjallby attempted the Kuzy-patented Twister Pass a few minutes into the second period, and although nothing came of it, you really do have to wonder if there’s a required training for the Hershey upstarts when they get to town. Day 1 Itinerary: Facility access codes, meet the coaches, Twister Pass Essentials and Coping With Low Probabilities. I’m going for another gin now.
  6. Since I wrote about that gin an entire period has passed and the gin is now gone, but something new has finally happened: an ugly Caps turnover led to a Ducks 2v0 featuring their best goal-scorer, Troy Terry, but Vitek Vanecek stood tall, stopping an initial salvo and a rebound in spectacular fashion to keep it a one-score game heading into the second intermission.
  7. Hey, congrats to Garrett Pilon on his first NHL game! Welcome to the show, plenty of grizzled vets like Brett Leason to show you around.
  8. I’m not shitting you, Pilon scored the game-tying goal like 14 seconds after I wrote that filler bullet. The goal came on a deflection from a Martin Fehervary point shot, and that’s six times in eight games that a Caps rookie has notched a goal. By the way, TIL it’s pronounced “Pee-lon” and not “Pylon”, and I personally enjoyed that he got to Pilon John Gibson’s shutout bid.
  9. Dammit, just when it looked like the things were doing good things finally they did bad things again. On a 2v2 rush Trevor Zegras got the inside track on Martin Fehervary and beat Vitek Vanecek for the late game lead.
  10. I’m gonna be honest with you guys, it’s 12:30 in the morning, it’s the bottom of the recap, my glass has ominously been liberated from the gin it once held, and my patience with detail has gone the way of all flesh. Some things did happen between bullet point #9 and now. That much I can promise you. There were some shots, some hits, plenty of shots of mustaches that overstayed their welcomes on our televisions.
  12. Overtime: Caps won the faceoff finally.
  13. Overtime: OT is 90 seconds old and we’ve seen Protas and Pilon. Sweet jesus.
  14. Overtime: Zegras wins it.

See ya tomorrow, one half hour later than tonight in Los Angeles!