The Capitals put up a pretty pitiful effort against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday when they predictably played down to their opponent. Today was a chance for them to bounce back, and boy did they with a strong effort that led to a 6-3 win.
Minus: Like last game where it was hard to find a plus, this game it was hard to find a minus. Maybe it was Lars Eller with two brutal turnovers, which one led to a goal against the Capitals. But it’s Eller, hard to be upset with him long.
Plus: Ovechking scoring two goals increased his chances by a large amount to hit 30 goals, which would give him the record for most 30+ goal seasons.
:(— Stat Guy Blake (@AllenCaps1995) April 16, 2021
He's gonna keep alternating between 35% and 45% until he either goes 2 straight games without a goal, or gets a multi-goal game. Hopefully it's the latter.
Still at 29 goal pace, so he's at least giving himself a chance.#ALLCAPS @ChirpinDMV https://t.co/lJRfVrCmCo pic.twitter.com/aPgAKi7Y9h
- Alexander Ovechkin drew the first powerplay for the Capitals about three minutes in and he was the one to put the puck into the back of the net giving the boys in red an early 1-0 lead.
- Garnett Hathaway laid a big hit on Samuel Morin in the offensive zone. Morin didn’t like the hit and dropped the gloves to fight Hathaway. Garnett, smartly, didn’t drop his gloves and drew a powerplay. The Capitals didn’t convert on the extra man but those are the type of plays that make you happy. No reason to fight if you can get a powerplay out of it.
- Nothing hurts more than giving up goals with a minute left in a period or the first minute of a new period, and the Capitals allowed a goal with all of one second left to end the first. Which is a shame because overall it was a good period by the Caps, who allowed just two even strength shots, one of them being the goal.
- Usually when you give up a goal late in a period you usually give up a goal early in the next period, but the Capitals said screw that and scored themselves 30 seconds in to the second period. Dmitry Orlov blistered a shot that got a lucky, slight deflection off a Philly defensemen then off the goalie and in.
- Five minutes into the period Lars Eller and Conor Sheary ran into each other in the offensive blue line that led to a turnover and unfortunately the Capitals were also doing a line change. This led to a Flyers 2-on-0 and James van Riemsdyk buried the break away tying the game up.
- And just like it was in the first period, Ovechkin drew a penalty and scored from his office on the following powerplay giving the Capitals a 3-2 lead. He can’t slow the GOAT down.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson almost hooked up on a beautiful give and go goal, but the Flyers defensemen stick deflected it mid air. A very lucky deflection but I suppose it was a make up for Orlov’s goal.
- Tom Wilson is known for a lot of things, but something he simply does not get another credit for his playmaking. He’s so good at keeping his head on a swivel and knowing where his guys are. He made an amazing backhand, no look pass to Kuznetsov in the slot who made a great move and roofed the puck to give the Capitals a 4-2 lead.
- With two minutes left in the second period, Kuznetsov tripped up a Flyer in the defensive zone. Zdeno Chara took two big blocks off his leg and whacked a puck out the air that could have possibly gone in the net. It was a heck of a shift by the man that helps the Capitals kill a huge penalty.
- A little more than minutes into the third period TJ Oshie tripped up a player in the offensive zone giving the Flyers another powerplay. The Capitals were able to kill that one but were unable to kill the next one after Sheary tripped a Flyer in the defensive zone. It was, of course, Wade Allison’s first NHL goal. It brought Flyers within one.
- Sheary made up for his penalty he took earlier that allowed the Flyers powerplay goal. After an offensive faceoff win, Justin Schultz sent the puck along the ice into the slot and Sheary got his stick on it, deflecting it to the far end of the net to give Capitals a 5-3 lead.
- With the goalie pulled Anthony Mantha was able to score into the empty net. Mantha made it three goals in the first three games for the Capitals.
It was nice to see the Capitals bounce back after the poor game against the Sabres, but no time to celebrate. The Capitals have to go into Boston tomorrow and play a well rested, very hot Bruins team. It will be a very tough game.