Photo: Rob Carr

If the Caps squeak into the playoffs, you might have to thank Karl Alzner. Not for his defense — something a bit lacking on the Caps lately — but his offense. With 10:15 left in an important game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Karl unleashed a wrist shot from the near point, which went through traffic before beating Mike Smith over his right shoulder. Though Washington looked lifeless for the first 50 minutes, that goal ignited an incredible comeback, featuring two goals in 32 seconds and two points in the standings.

“I was excited,” Alzner told reporters after the game. “Everyone seemed really excited. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was me who scored it and not a guy who normally scores, but people seemed really up after that. It was the perfect momentum swing and the perfect line to come out right after that. It was the perfect storm for us.”

GIF by Ian Oland

It was just the second goal of the season for Alzner, his first in over four months. Halfway through the third period, Eric Fehr gathered the puck in the near corner, dishing it out to Alzner at the point. Karl took two steps to his left before firing a snap shot at Smith. After missing four players, the puck hit the near corner of the net.

“We practice that every single day at practice,” Alzner said. “Non-stop, just taking a step and slinging it at the net.”

“Usually I shoot those way too high or I miss it and put it right onto the ice so that’s the rare occasion where it works out perfectly,” he said.

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  • VeggieTart

    What the hell was Yandle doing? Had he taken one step to the right, it wouldn’t have gone in. That said, I’m glad he didn’t. i got to see the rare Karl Alzner goal!

  • Mike Reppenhagen

    Based on the look on his face, Mike Smith was thinking the same exact thing. If looks could kill, Phoenix would have been down their most prolific D-man.

  • Margaret McGuire

    ballimos!!! SCOARRR

    now it’s Kuzya time, Russian fun times!!!!

  • Margaret McGuire


  • Seth Winship

    Ovechkin seems to be playing more two way hockey again. Very reminiscent of the younger Great 8. Also, I have only been following RMNB for a short time so idk if this has been discussed, but am I the only one who is dying to see Beagle get more ice time? That guy plays full throttle every shift. He gets great opportunities often. With more minutes I firmly believe he would put up solid numbers.

  • Daniel

    all over alzner!!!

  • yv

    Hopefully, the last 10 minutes against Coyotes will negate the season-killing effect of the last 10 minutes against Flyers. Maybe starting now Caps will ride high tide till the end, especially with Kuzya in lineup.

  • Yo8

    This is a pretty sweet picture but also a sad reminder that only two made on the team T-T

  • Yo8

    Awesome goal but the caps can’t rely on such type of goals.

  • Myan

    Mike Smith seemed generally peeved at his defensemen tonight. During the 2nd or 3rd period, Smith was behind the goal trying to handle the puck and his defensman ran into him. While the puck was going the other way, you hear Smith yelling at his guy, “what are you doing? You see me handling it!”

  • Roy Schue

    With kuzya on board and when Grabo comes back he will probably be the odd man out

  • Spencer Zeitel

    GMGM said Kuzya is gonna be on the wing at least for time being. Beagle will probably drop down to the 4th line or get moved soon. With Latta and Wellmen being pretty good prospects I don’t see Beagle sticking around too long. It’s also possible we’ll be seeing Burakovsky by the end of next season. If that’s the case who knows who’ll be out. Unfortunately it might be Fehr :/

  • seandlax9

    Kuzya won’t do anything. This team is going nowhere with this defense. There are AHL teams with better defenses than the Caps right now.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Too bad cause Beagle is one of our top faceoff guys and the rest of the team has been struggling mightily with that.

  • Seth Winship

    Kuzya better live up to the hype then.

  • Myan

    Kuyza rocking that Ed Hardy shirt.

  • Graham Dumas

    That’s Alzner, folks!

  • VeggieTart

    I love watching Latta and Wellman play (Latta has made some truly sweet passes, even if his teammate can’t finish) and hope to see them full time in Washington soon. If I had to pick between Fehr and Beagle, I think I’d rather keep Fehr, as he has some sick sniping ability, especially when we need it. Latta is also pretty good on the faceoff dot.