Photo: Grant Halverson
I’m just glad we had a game to watch tonight. Going two days without a game in Capsland is like Lord of the Flies in fast forward; it gets ugly quick. We had a little bit of a mutiny last night, so I for one am grateful for a distraction. The distraction on this weirdly warm Friday night was the Carolina Hurricanes and their Staal brothers, for whom many bothans died to provide access codes past the Capitals defense. Putting Philipp Grubauer through his paces, the Canes outplayed the Caps but were unprepared for the Caps’ Jeet Kune Do on special teams.
Jordan Staal scored in the first period, finally converting after 17 or 18 semi-breakaways. The Capitals returned fire on a powerplay early in the the second when Marcus Johansson got all up in the net’s piece. John Carlson put the Caps up with a bullet on another PP, but Riley Nash tied it up with a rebound from the crease– again on the powerplay. And then, because all must goals must come during special teams, Troy Brouwer deflected in the go-ahead goal for the Caps while Sasha Semin was in the Sasha box.
And then Alex Ovechkin scored his 400th career goal on the empty net!
Caps beat Canes 4-2!
The Caps won and we are happy. Ovechkin looked like he wouldn’t score goal #400 and we are sad. And then he did score #400 and we are happy. And then lots of penalties and we are sad. But then Nick Backstrom got
three FOAR assists and I called them “apples” and we are happy. Marcus Johansson got hurt and we are sad.
Even in a relatively quiet game, the Caps never make it easy.
They got genuinely outplayed in this one from the opening tip-off, through halftime, past the two-minute warning, and all the way to the ninth inning. The glut of Caps penalties, I guess, shouldn’t be surprising considering how little the Caps had the puck.
Whatever. It’s a W and Alex Ovechkin has added another career achievement to his list. We’re watching one of the all-time greats, and we should remind ourselves of that every time we’re feeling a bit grumpy about our Capitals. I’m feeling grumpy right now, so, okay now I feel better!
Crash the net and have a great Friday. Winter is coming. Like tomorrow. Also coming is Jaromir Jagr and the New Jersey Devils. See you back here.
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