Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
The Washington Capitals began their epic road trip with a stop on the Long Island and its New York Islanders. The game saw the worst and best of the Caps, but it ended the right way.
Matt Moulson scored the game’s first goal, a fluke so dumbfounding I feel drunk trying to explain it. Matt Moulson scored a power play goal off of John Carlson. John Tavares notched another power play goal at the halfway point, but Dennis Wideman returned fire a few seconds later. Before a comeback could gain momentum, Tavares found the back of the net again. Before the end of the second, Alex Ovechkin caught a rebound and turned it into goal.
Alex Ovechkin took three stabs at a puck from descending distances before beating Nabokov and tying the game. Overtime was not OV time, so we needed a shootout to make a decision. Matt Hendricks is your shootout hero! Caps beat Isles 5-4 (SO).
- FINALLY. After an eon of ringing post and side-eyeing goats, Mike Knuble finally met twine. And it was an important one, breaking Nabokov’s shutout. And it was a typical one– up front, taking hits, working hard for the point, which he stole off Dennis Wideman one might say. We love you, Kanoobs. Welcome back.
- After a week of folks talking up Jay Beagle, the kid fell back to earth. Jay absorbed an early shot off Milan Jurcina and committed three penalties. Yuck.
- The power play was a huge problem. The Isles spent 1/6th of this game with an extra dude on the ice and scored twice. The Caps had not a single opportunity. If you put those two flukey goals together and add the third one of the PP, the Islanders had all the breaks. It was like loaded dice out there.
- Just like we have never said, John Tavares is one of the best players in the NHL. His two goals surprise us not at all. We’re just grateful his first goal was later credited to someone else. DC Hat Trick.
- Dmitry Orlov wants to score, Dmitry Orlov scores. A very pretty net-crashy score at that. The kid’s got a bright future, so we won’t even mention the bit of weak sauce he was serving up in the first 40 or that choke during the shootout.
- Alex Ovechkin had 0 shots in the first period, but scored in the second and third periods. Captaincy. Capitanosity. Captaintainment. This was Alex’s 68 multi-goal game. And he got the DC Hat Trick. Respect.
- Three assists for Keith Aucoin. No jokes, just respect.
- Nassau Colosseum has the same acoustics and sound levels as my high school gymnasium. [joke redacted, but man you would have laaaaaaaughed.]
- Michal Neuvirth is a barbarian. No analysis. Just wanted to throw that out there.
Whoa. What a rollercoaster, right? Were you despairing after 20? After 30? After 40? It’s okay. We were right there with you.
But when Ovi got that goal late in the second period, everything changed. The third-period Caps were terrific. They didn’t even need a power play to climb out of a deep hole. And that hole, we should add, was dug by flukey goals and lopsided reffing. Not that we’re complaining.
But we are.
This game was manic. It started like a nightmare flashback from January and ended like something… well… something we haven’t seen before.
That’s one game down on this odyssey. Think of the Isles like a mini boss, cause it’s only gonna get tougher from here.
In parting, what is cooler than being cool?