Eric Fehr celebrates his goal on Monday. (Photo: Rob Carr)
The Capitals have scored 185 goals this season. Alex Ovechkin has 44 of them. For most of the season, the team has struggled with secondary scoring. Lately, however, some of their complementary players are coming alive.
Troy Brouwer has eight goals in 11 games. Brooks Laich had goals in two straight games coming into Monday. Though Laich has being missing practices and morning skates due to a lingering groin injury, he played great against the Penguins, scoring a goal that was later credited to Nick Backstrom. Laich did register an assist, marking his third straight game with a point.
Monday, the third line of Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, and Joel Ward provided half of the Capitals’ offense in a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh. They greatly titled the ice in their favor, scoring the Caps’ first goal early in the game.
“I thought Fehrsie’s line might’ve had the best game they’ve had all year,” head coach Adam Oates said. “You feel it on the bench. You hear the guys talking on the bench. Your job is to try to have the next line follow and keep it going.”
After Chris Kunitz opened the scoring for Pittsburgh, Chimera skated down the left wing before firing a fantastic cross-ice pass to Fehr, a natural wing who now playing center on the third line. Fehr then whacked the puck while driving to the net. It was Chimera’s fifth assist in six games. He and Ward have been a consistent scoring threat this season, regardless of their pivot.
Fehr nearly added a second goal in the third period, shanking a one-timer that would have tied the game.
“I thought we played very well offensively,” Fehr said. “I thought we got everybody involved. We were cycling the puck well. Not just cycling it but taking it to the net and making plays. We haven’t done that in a lot of games in the last month. That was promising, but at the end of the day you don’t get two points and that’s what it comes down to.”