The early returns on the month of December have been a bitter pill after a scorching-hot November for Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. After blowing two third-period leads in a row to kick-off the month, the Caps took the home ice in their blue third jerseys looking to get right against the 12-9-0 Columbus Blue Jackets.
They succeeded, putting forth a dominant effort that resulted in a final score of 3-1.
Here’s Saturday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Alex Ovechkin has scored his 750th career goal. It’s a nice round number, but we all know it’s just a stop on the side of the road to take a leak on the way to the hopeful final destination...
Minus: The biggest negative from this game has to be that Connor McMichael didn’t finish this with a goal...
mikey almost brought the house down pic.twitter.com/aGsvtKrvFV— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 5, 2021
Ten more notes on the game:
- It was Alexei Protas who opened the scoring before the game was five minutes old for his second career goal. Protas cleaned up a juicy Daniil Tarasov rebound on a point shot from Justin Schultz. This big rig continues to look the part in his stint up in the bigs.
- It was Matt Irwin’s debut in Washington and, uh, he wore number 52. How’s that make you feel?
- With four minutes left in the first, TJ Oshie led an odd man rush alongside Connor Sheary, and threaded a perfect pass over to Sheary, who rang it off the pipe. It was the second ten-bell rush chance of the period for Sheary, who wasn’t able to convert on either.
- Speaking of Sheary and Oshie, welcome back to the lineup, fellas!
- At the beginning of the second period, Alex Ovechkin picked up a loose puck around the blueline, waltzed down to the right circle, and fired a wrist shot through Zach Werenski and passed Tarasov, to give the Caps a 2-0 lead, and to give himself a 17th consecutive 20-goal season. We are not worthy.
- Columbus quickly retaliated, but Peter Laviolette challenged offsides on the play, and was successful. Big ups to Craig Laughlin, who announced the offsides so immediately and with such conviction that Caps fans didn’t even have time to feel crestfallen about the goal.
- After two periods, the Caps were outshooting the Blue Jackets 25-11, and out attempting them 44-22. These numbers are properly indicative of how tilted the ice was, but the last three times the Caps took the better of play into the third period, that third period didn’t play out so well...
- ...and sure enough, before the period was half over the Jackets had cut the lead down to 2-1 after converting on an alley-oop passing play, with Eric Robinson getting credit for the goal.
- Thankfully, that was all Columbus was able to muster by way of a comeback attempt, and the Caps successfully snapped their modest two-game skid, with the help of a Garnet Hathaway empty-netter to seal things up.
Next up, the Ducks come to town on Monday night.