The Caps cruised into Beantown looking to firm up control of a quality of hockey that’s been wobbling precariously since the start of April. Friday’s victory over the Sabres was a nice first step, but the good guys came into the night failing to record a win against any team not called the Sabres of Devils since March 28. To say the evening was a success would be an understatement. The Caps pummeled the Bruins from puckdrop (literally) to final horn (less literally but still kinda), put two points and a modest new win streak in their front pocket, and now they get to return to friendly ice.
Final Score: Caps 8, Bruins 1
Here’s Sunday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Take your pick. The goaltending was strong when it needed to be, the penalty kill was great, the power play was great, it was probably the best, most complete game the Caps have played all year, the boys scored more goals than they’ve scored in a single game in over a decade, and to really put some whipped-cream on top you can just imagine what a bad night that miserable fuck Jack Edwards is having. Haha, fuck Jack Edwards.
Minus: All that and no Ovi goals?
And now, here’s this...
Ten more notes on the game:
- On a day when the outside hope that Henrik Lundqvist might gallop in at the eleventh hour to take command of the net for the NHL’s second season was thoroughly dashed, it was Vitek Vanecek drawing the net, and making his latest case for a more permanent appointment at a position that still is very much up in the air. Vanecek was never under much pressure with the game’s outcome hanging in the balance, but he was strong when called upon. Your move, Samsonov.
- If there was any doubt that the Caps wanted to set the tone early, Brendan Dillon eased those doubts by feeding a surplus of right hand knuckles to Chris Wagner immediately off the opening draw, completing the two-game Gordie Howe hat trick. The magnitude of this shitkicked assbeating was rivaled only by the magnitude of what the Caps did to the Bruins with their hockey sticks.
- After Conor Sheary drew a penalty, the Caps converted a smart-looking power play on a T.J. Oshie rip from the high slot to open the scoring. Open being an important key word here...
- And not too long after that Carl Hagelin raced to a loose puck in the offensive zone, found a streaking Lars Eller, who put a great move on the Bruins blueliner and roofed the puck to quickly double their lead. In doing so, the Caps accomplished something they failed to do the last time these two teams met: score a goal at 5v5.
- The first period fun wasn’t done yet, and this time it was Conor Sheary lighting the lamp by one-timing a wonderful Dmitry Orlov back-handed feed on the rush to make it 3-0...a lead margin that the Capitals have had a spectacular amount of success evaporating this season.
- Thankfully, another Conor Sheary tally on a second period power play extended the lead to 4-0. Conor Sheary night at The Garden! Worth noting that Jakub Vrana picked up an assist on the goal, giving him points in two consecutive games. Great to see, and hopefully it means the snake is heating up.
- The fun wasn’t over yet, and Nic Dowd gave the Caps a 5-0 lead with a hell of a wrister from the left circle. That’s his 8th of the year in 42 games played, and that’s some pretty dang serious quaternary scoring.
- More goals? Sure why not. This time it was Tom Wilson tapping home an Alex Ovechkin backdoor pass on the powerplay to make it 6-0. Ovechkin’s assist made it so that every Caps forward came away from tonight’s game with at least one point. Nice.
- Coming into the night, the Caps had scored a grand total of six power play goals on the road this season. They added three tonight, and for those of you with an inclination towards highly sophisticated analytics, you will have realized that means they scored 30% of their roadie PPGs tonight.
- With the game out of reach, the Bruins did manage to convert a third period powerplay to rob Vitek Vanecek of booking his second career shutout. Other third-period highlights included T.J. Oshie scoring a goal like a baseball player, and Lars Eller scoring a goal like a soccer player.
Next up, a Tuesday night date with the Devils.