In the first period, Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward had an Esa Tikkanen-esque miss on a yawning net. After Alex Ovechkin hit Nicklas Backstrom with a beautiful cross-ice pass on a Caps power play, Backstrom fed a wide-open Ward, looking for a tic-tac-toe goal. Ward, seeing that he had to roof the puck over an out-stretched Henrik Lundqvist pad, carefully gathered in the puck on the blade of his stick and shot. Then he whiffed.
If he would have connected, it would have been Ward’s second goal of the year and given the Caps the all-important game’s first goal. It also would have been one of the Caps’ most beautiful goals on the year. Instead, it was a pivotal play that went awry for Washington, and Ward had to live with the regret. In fact, he had so much regret, that as the two teams retreated to their respective locker rooms for the first intermission, Ward asked Pierre McGuire to deliver a message for him.
“Please tell my mother I apologize for not scoring there.”