On Sunday afternoon, Capitals’ AHL affiliate Hershey Bears defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack 1-0 on a goal scored by Casey Wellman with just 1.5 seconds remaining in overtime. Wolf Pack goalie Jason Missiaen made 36 saves on 37 shots over 67 minutes of play, while Caps prospect Pheonix Copley held down the fort for the Bears, recording his first shutout as a pro.
Before Saturday’s game, I visited Kettler Capitals Iceplex and asked players for their Olympic picks. With the Caps sending five players to Sochi (Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Martin Erat, and John Carlson), I wondered where Washington’s non-Olympians would place their allegiances.
Coming into Saturday’s game, the Washington Capitals had scored eight goals in their last seven games. Against the Habs, they had five. Thirteen players tallied a point in the contest while three skaters scored their first goal of the year. None of the markers were more surprising than the one scored by Casey Wellman, called up just before the game in place of the injured Mikhail Grabovski. It was Wellman’s first goal as Capital. Not bad to be assisted by Alex Ovechkin either.
“I’m really happy for the opportunity,” Wellman told reporters after the game. “I got the word last night. We had an away game in Syracuse. Stayed overnight in Syracuse, caught a flight in the morning to Philadelphia, and then transferred here. Got here about three o’clock and got ready for the game.”