Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
Looking to extend their season-high seven game win streak, the Washington Capitals hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. In a match-up of possible first-round opponents, the Caps came off a shaky ending to their last win and played a game that was anything but against a tired Leafs team.
Jack Hillen scored (when doesn’t he?), Nicky got boarded, the Caps got mad, Erat got his first in red,
the Brouwitzer a nice backhand shot was unleashed, Ovi had a scoar, and MoJo hacked one in. Caps smack Leafs 5-1.
- In a nice gesture, the Caps held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of yesterday’s bombing in Boston. There were long lines outside the arena as increased security slowed entrance into Verizon Center.
- Jack Hillen, man! The Minnesotan scored his third goal since his second son Knox was born just 10 days ago. The dude tallied just two goals during the entire year last season with Nashville. It’s been a remarkable stretch for Hillen, one which is certain to continue indefinitely.
- Jay McClement did a bad thing. Late in the first, the Toronto center boarded (though it went uncalled) blonde beauty Nicklas Backstrom. Nicky’s face slammed into the top of the Leafs bench while Ovi hugged McClement super hard to show how mad he was. In the final minute of the frame, not always mild-mannered Jason Chimera dropped the gloves with Nicky’s aggressor. Given what happened with Rene Bourque, you can understand why Washington didn’t approve of McClement actions on Backstrom.
- Congrats to Martin Erat on his first goal with the Capitals. The Czech winger crashed the net and made a sublime deflection on an Ovi shot from the circles. Craig Laughlin even named him the player of the game. “Why not give him a steak from the Palm?” Laughlin asked viewers.
- Nice game for Troy Brouwer, who continues his superb season. In addition to his forehand, backhand, five-hole undressing of Ben Scrivens, Brouwer also ringed a cannon of a shot off the post. He now has 17 goals in 42 games. He had 18 tallies in 82 games last year.
- It wouldn’t be a Caps game without an Alex Ovechkin goal. The Great Eight rocketed a one-timer from the circles for his league-leading 15th power play goal and — wait for it — league-leading 28th overall. Two points and five shots on the night for the Russian Machine. #OviforHart
- Braden Holtby‘s shoutout was ruined by a third period goal by Mikhail Grabovski. Luckily, the Caps didn’t do their whole let’s be completely awful at the end of games shtick.
- In fact, they actually scored a goal in the third (!) when Marcus Johansson knocked in a Mike Green shot that bounced off the end boards and into the crease. Ian was thrilled!
- Karl Alzner had five shots on goal and Steve Oleksy had four. They do not normally have that many shots on goal.
Eight in a row! Granted, the streak will end sometime, but this team is bound for the playoffs and peaking at the right time. How’s that for a change?
The Caps will take on another plausible first-round opponent when they head to Ottawa on Thursday. Peter will be back with you and I’ll be on United Flight 897 to Beijing.
Stay safe, everybody.
Photo credit: Greg Fiume