Photo: Patrick Smith
It’s been too long. The last Caps game– back when healthcare.gov wasn’t working and the Spaghetti Os social media guy still had a job– was a pretty tough loss to the Hurricanes. Four days later, the Capitals hosted Matt Hendricks and the Nashville Predators to a Saturday night thing, putting up a ton of goals in the first frame and fending off their foes for the next forty minutes. Here’s how it went down.
Troy Brouwer cracked an 11-game scoreless streak early in the first with one of the softest softies ever, a slow backhand that dribbled past Nashville goalie/The Doors organist Marek Mazanec. Alex Ovechkin was Alex Ovechkin on the power play, and then Karl Alzner threaded the needle from way-out to officially make it a scoar-moar-goals kind of night. Roman Josi put a nasty wristshot to Braden Holtby’s far side to get the Perds on the board, but that was quite a strong first frame for the Caps. 3-1.
The second period was scoreless, but it did find the Predators closing the gap in the possession game.
Martin Erat set up Nate Schmidt for his first NHL goal in the third, but Eric Nystrom scored on the very next shift because this is the Capitals and they do just do stuff like that sometimes. Mikhail Grabovski, who is awesome, helped Eric Fehr, who is awesome, get free wings for the fans. Bam. Win.
Caps beat Preds 5-2.
You can take Troy Brouwer to #thebank.
— Peter Hassett (@peterhassett) December 7, 2013
I’ll just leave this here.
The Caps won this one by taking control of the puck early. By the time they went up two goals, the Caps had put more than 60% of the unblocked shot attempts towards Nashville’s net. Between that and their impressive start to the Canes game (I forget how that one ended), the Caps seem to be doing much better at starts– and their overall possession stats will reflect that in tomorrow’s snapshot.
I dunno, man. I like a lot of what I see here. If the Caps can maintain their even-strength progress and fix what ails them on special teams, they’ll be a truly good team. If they can do all that and upgrade their defense, they’ll be a great team.
Stop by RMNB on Sunday. We’ll have stats, Olympic stuff, and a game against your favorite squadron, the Ny Rangers. Let’s hope Oates is smart enough to give Holtby the night off– back-to-back starts are for the birds.
The story of this game is: the Capitals won.
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