Photo: J Pat Carter
I forget how to recap. I don’t know what the numbers on the back of the jerseys mean, and all the players look giants playing on a snack-size rink. I forgot how to get to all the stats reports. Everything looks weird to me. I’m gonna do my best, but go easy on me.
The Washington Capitals returned from their Olympic break down in sunny Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers, mainstays of the league’s bottom-5, were supposed to be the right team to face in this first game back. The Caps pulled out an early lead, promptly blew it (as they do), and then got another one, then blew that one.
Here’s how it went.
Troy Brouwer stuck first, owning a scramble in the slot to record a power play goal. Brooks Laich followed up, finishing off a nifty pass from Alex Ovechkin to make it 2-0. Hey, look at that: a two-goal lead. Sweet. Everybody relax.
Then Tomas Fleischmann caught a pass Jesse Winchester to make it 1-0 and Brad Boyes scored from the slot early in the second to tie it up. Two-goal lead, we hardly knew ye.
Nick Backstrom scored later in the second period, a layup that even a total allergy-med junkie could have hit. Troy Brouwer got his second PPG of the night, winning another fight in the paint off of Alex Ovechkin’s rebound.
A powerplay goal by Jimmy Hayes and a clustereff clean-up by Brad Boyes midway through the third made it a tie-game– erasing the Caps’ second two-goal lead. Mike Green blew the best breakaway chance ever, but Captain Alex Ovechin scored the game-winner, his 41st, on the very next shift.
Caps beat Panthers 5-4! Oh hurrah. They beat the Panthers.
At least Ovechkin was marking his man! pic.twitter.com/fMs5ELnEbq
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) February 28, 2014
And via AOL IM, which we still use, seriously (thanks, Ted!):
(9:46:30 PM) Ian Oland: that is such a funny photo
(9:46:35 PM) Ian Oland: everyone is laying on the ice
(9:46:55 PM) Ian Oland: Ovechkin’s playing the defense of his life
Can we just say this is like the cotton candy/”You’ve Got Mail” thing: a hockey team shaking off the metaphorical rust or figurative dust or whatever after a long break? Can we pretend this is an anomaly and not actually indicative of how this team plays?
Because I don’t think I’m capable right now of assimilating this information.
The Capitals blew a two-goal lead to the Florida freaking Panthers.
If any team can blow two two-goal leads, you gotta believe it's the Oates Caps.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) February 28, 2014
My bad, everybody.
At least there’s Ovi. Excellent, transcendent Ovi. Whatever goes wrong on this team, there’s always Ovi. Don’t anyone take Ovi away from us. Ever. I mean it.
So that’s it for February. Next comes the much-ballyhooed peril of March, starting with a Saturday brunch with the Boston Bruins.
Until the, everybody, this is Peter Hassett for RMNB saying…
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