When the Capitals played the Jets earlier this season they won 5-2 but the Jets were definitely the better team. If the Caps wanted to win they needed to come ready to play so they can go into the break feeling good. They did that and more with Ovechkin taking his place alone at second all time in goals.
Plus: Outside of the obvious of Ovechkin making history, Charlie Lindgren stepped up big again with some huge saves to help the Caps win. He has to be one of the more under appreciated (not in DC, at least) players in the league currently.
Minus: You could probably point out the lack of power in the power play, or taking their foot off the gas a little too early, but the main gut punch in the game was John Carlson taking a puck to face and leaving the game with lots of blood on the ice. Prayers and good thoughts to him and his family.
A few more notes:
- Both teams had their legs to start, no one was taking a shift off. Neither team could create too much leaving the game in a deadlock. The Caps started to turn it on half way through the first getting back to back high danger chances from Sonny Milano and Nick Jensen but David Rittich came up big to keep the game at zeroes.
- The Caps drew two power plays in the first but didn’t get much of anything from them. The Jets had very good, active sticks on the Caps entries, blocking a lot of good passes keeping the Caps from setting up much.
- But the Captain stepped up as he usually does and rifled a shot five hole to give the Caps a 1-0 lead while also making history once again, tying Mr. Hockey himself, with 801 goals. The crazy stat is he did it in 457 fewer games than Gordie Howe. One more and Ovechkin will stand alone at number two all time. That’s crazy to think about.
FLIP THAT GOAL COUNTER BABES! pic.twitter.com/c3b9v4vCVX— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 24, 2022
- Ovechkin almost made it goal 802 when he went in on a breakaway. He was pressured on his back but was still able to go on his back hand, but Rittch got his blocker on it. Would have been a hell of a historical goal.
- The Caps went on the penalty kill for the first time in the second period but did a good job at limiting the Jets chances. They had one but Charlie Lindgren came up with the flashy glove save, the second such save he made on Mark Scheifele.
- The Caps went back on their third power play and after a pretty Conor Sheary pass to a Milano slam dunk shot the Caps took a 2-0 lead.
You might say that the Sonny....is on fire pic.twitter.com/F5oME7OkW8— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 24, 2022
- But the real highlight of the power play was a Lindgren highlight reel split save to give the Caps that second goal. Without him it the game could have easily been 1-1 instead of 2-0.
LINDGREN AIN'T FAIR pic.twitter.com/umcotL007o— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 24, 2022
- After Scheifele lost an icing call, he threw a hissy fit, and shot the puck up the boards hitting the ref. He got a two minute unsportsmanlike call, but unfortunately the Caps couldn’t capitalize.
- Unfortunately, at the start of the third period, John Carlson took a slap shot right off the side of his head. He instantly dropped and blood hit the ice. The good news is he popped right up and left on his own power but he went straight to the locker room, obviously. The hope is he doesn’t have any long term damage, like a broken jaw, but it didn’t look good.
I don't think I've ever heard that kind of eerie, frightened silence at an arena when the player was no longer out on the ice. You can tell everyone is legit freaked out and concerned by that moment.— Becca (@BeccaH_JR) December 24, 2022
- The very next shift, Nick Jensen, who played just two shifts in the second period for an unknown reason, took a slap shot off the back of his leg, bringing him to ice. Caps need to start investing in some bubble wrap.
- The best fourth line came in with a beautiful goal with a nice back and forth between Nic Dowd and Garnett Hathaway with the former ripping it home for the Caps third goal of the game.
- The Jets might have had their best shift after Ovechkin almost potted home his 802 goal, but Lindgren, like he’s done so far all game came up big with a couple huge saves. One of them on one of the hottest players in the league, Josh Morrissey, who was on a 11 game point streak.
- Sadly, the shutout streak ended after an unlucky play, where the puck was in front of Lindgren and Dylan Strome came in and tried to drag it out of the way in stead of just whacking it out of the way. The Jets fourth liner just slam dunked it into the open net cutting the Caps lead to 3-1 with 10 minutes left. The only good part about it was Caps fan favorite, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby picked up an assist.
- Another man down! Marcus Johansson went hard into the boards, freezing play and bringing out the training staff. Luckily he got back to the bench and stayed there instead of going down the tunnel.
- The Caps started to play with fire, taking a penalty with six minutes left, but came up with a kill to keep their two goal lead alive.
- Ovechkin has done it. He has passed Gordie Howe in the goals for list with an empty net goal, notching 802. He’s alone. No one is in front of him except the Great One. It’s hard to fathom.
Up Next: Caps get a three day break then come back and face the New York Rangers on Tuesday at 7 in the Big Apple.