The Capitals were coming off a much needed overtime win against the Flyers, looking to win their first consecutive games since October 22-24 where they beat the New Jersey Devils and LA Kings, and it would help that they would be able to roll out their same line up in back-to-backs for the first time in the last 13 games.
Today's game against Calgary marks first time in 13 games the #Caps will take the ice without any lineup changes (in/out, not within lineup itself, though there are none of those today, either) from the prior game. #CapsFlames— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) November 25, 2022
The Caps are still shorthanded missing Dmitry Orlov, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, Connor Brown, and Carl Hagelin, but even getting TJ Oshie back on Wednesday night has already paid dividends that would continue on Friday afternoon in a 3-0 win on Friday afternoon.
Plus: It’s easy to just pick the goaltending but Kuemper was struggling a little recently so for him to get a shutout should be good going forward.
Minus: There wasn’t much of a minus for the boys. They didn’t dominate the game by any means and lost the possession battle, but that’s how it goes sometimes. They’ve lost a lot of games recently where they were the better team so it was good to get a W when you aren’t the better team.
- As per usual with afternoon games, the Caps got off to a slow start. Calgary didn’t create anything too dangerous but they definitely have the possession time in the first five minutes. That was interrupted by a nice play by Alexei Protas, who while tied up behind the net, threw a beautiful past to Garnett Hathwaway in the slot who didn’t get everything on it. They didn’t score but it was pretty.
- Alexander Ovechkin took the first penalty of the game, high sticking a defensemen in front of the net. The Capitals killed off the penalty and right after that a pretty passing play from Ovechkin to Erik Gustafsson to TJ Oshie gave the Caps a 1-0 lead. It was a shot that went against the grain right between Jacob Markstrom’s legs. A rare Caps first goal of the game. It was also Oshie’s third point in four periods since returning from a lower body injury.
- Darcy Kuemper was looking a little shaky in first but came up with a big save on Tyler Toffoli on a partial breakaway to preserve the Caps lead into the second period.
- The first period wasn’t particularly good for the Caps, but they started the second period strong with a three good scoring chances from John Carlson, Anthony Mantha and Dylan Strome.
- The second period was a little bit of a snoozer, with both sides playing very sound defense, but with six minutes left in the period it opened up a little bit with a back and forth including a Mantha breakaway but he hit the outside of the post. At the end other end Kuemper made a couple strong saves to hold the lead for the Caps.
- The snooze officially ended by no other the most anti-snooze guy in Evgeny Kuznetsov who broke between three players, fell on his butt, and slid the puck under Markstrom’s pads for a highlight reel goal. It put the Caps up 2-0.
- The Flames came out flying to start the period as you would expect being down 0-2 but Kuemper came up big again.
- Oshie had a great chance after a slick pass from Kuznetsov but the one timer ripped off the outside of the post. Those two almost hooked up again shortly after when Oshie sent a centering pass to Kuzetsov who was in front of the net but it just barely missed his stick. Those two have been cooking since Oshie returned last game.
- The Flames drew their second power play of the game but the Caps good position snuffed it out. The Capitals got their own power play shortly after, which was good because the Flames scored on the play but it was wiped out by the penalty a second before it. And the Capitals made it count. After a couple high danger chances from Oshie, Ovechkin wristed it through Markstrom, who would probably want that one back. The Caps lead 3-0.
- The Flames really pushed after being down 0-3 but Kuemper kept the door shut for his second shutout of the season.
Up Next: The Caps don’t get to rest as they take on the tough New Jersey Devils tomorrow night in Jersey at 8PM.