Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

Some nights, watching hockey is fun. Other nights, it’s a gut punch and you wonder what you’ve done to make the hockey gods so mad. Tonight, the Caps got out to what seemed to be an insurmountable 2-0 lead, their second consecutive shutout well within grasp. Awesome, right? Then Brooks Laich’s stick freakishly broke on the PK and Winnipeg scored while up three men. 12 seconds later, Dustin Byfuglien rifled a slap shot from the red line that deflected off 10,000 people including Goat, Horn Guy, and Wes Johnson’s mic and bounced in. You gotta be kidding me.

The play that perhaps best summed up the night, though, was a hit that came with under a minute left in the game. You probably missed it. As Jeff Halpern dumped the puck into the Jets’ zone, everybody’s favorite Kazakhstani giant, 6’7” 245-pound Nik Antropov, left his feet and knocked Halpy head-first into the Winnipeg bench. Check it out below the jump.

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Goalie Drama: Jets beat Caps 3-2 (SO)

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

Joel Ward screens Ondrej Pavelec (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

The Washington Capitals summoned the Winnipeg Jets to end their residency at Verizon Center. It was supposed to be a pitched battle for alphabetical inferiority, another explosive game that Dale Hunter would compare to the playoffs. Instead we got a flurry of neutral-zone skirmishes and perfect moments by both goaltenders for 50 minutes and sheer insanity for 10.

The game’s first period was sleepy and scoreless, the second the same. But 10 minutes into the third, Alex Ovechkin sent a puck acutely netward during 5-on-4 play. Ovechkin hooked up Semin for another PP tally a few minutes later. Somebody on the other team scored, and we didn’t care. Then Dustin Byfuglien got a weird bounce to knot the game 12 seconds later.  Overtime came and went. Jets beat Caps 3-2 (Shootout)

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Kuznetsov lunges and scores! (Photo credit: YLE.fi)

In the first game of the Oddset Hockey Games tournament, the Russian National Team took on Finland outside at Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium. Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was sporting a maroon hoodie to cope with the 1-degree temperature at puck drop (minus-5 wind chill), centered Russia’s first line. Kuznetsov proved to be Russia’s best player notching a goal and an assist in Russia’s 2-0 win.

In the first period, Kuznetsov brought the puck into the offensive zone. After battling several players along the boards, he managed to shovel the puck to Nikolai Zherdev who then attempted a wraparound. Finnish goalie Ari Ahonen was able to make the initial save, but Stanislav Chistov was first to the rebound and batted it home. 1-0 Russia.

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