It was a star stuttered night in Washington as the Capitals took on the New Jersey Devils. Each team was in the second leg of their back to back games. The Devils were traveling to Washington dropping a 3-2 OT loss to the hottest team in the NHL, the Anaheim Ducks. It was a different story for the Capitals as they came home from a special 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
(Andy Greene celebrates his GWG in OT at Verizon Center)
It was a fairly slow start to the division rival game as both Washington and New Jersey got prime opportunity’s. Braden Holtby, and Martin Brouder quickly found themselves in a goal tending match up. Halfway through the first it would be New Jersey to get the first tally marker of the game. A wrist shot from Marek Zidlicky would find it’s way to the back of the net for a power play goal, his 4th of the season. The Devils would come out of the 1st with a 1-0 lead over the Capitals.
In the past week the Capitals have been criticized for poor even strength play, they would prove their critics wrong. Mid way through the 2nd period Jason Chimera would attempt a wrap around shot only to be met by Martin Brouders pad, luckily for Chimera, Brouder never froze the puck and Chimera would wrist the rebound top shelf to tie things up at 1-1 mid way through the stanza. Four minuets later a sequence of perfect passing from Troy Brouwer, to Eric Fehr and lastly to Mikhail Grabovski would give the Capitals a 2-1 lead. The scoring for the capitals wasn’t over yet as the 2nd period was coming to an end the Capitals found themselves on a 2 on 2 rush. Mike green would blast a wrist shot from the blue line which was blocked by Brouder who left a juicy rebound for Joel Ward who tucked in the puck to make it 3-1 at the end of the 2nd.
Things were going well for the Capitals in Chinatown as the headed into the 3rd with a 3-1 lead over the division rivals. But the Devils pressured the Capitals quickly. As Devils pressured the Capitals in their offensive zone captain Alex Ovechkin would be called for interference, and as one star left the ice another would skate on. Former Capital Jaromir Jagr found himself with possession of the puck and an empty net in front of him. He would Wrist it in to make things a little uncomfortable for the Capitals. It was a 3-2 game, and Ovechkin didn’t like that. Alex would quickly respond by wristing a laser by Martin Brouder to give the Capitals a 2 goal lead again with 12 minuets left in the game. But unlike the Carolina Hurricanes the Devils didn’t slow down. They continued to pressure the Capitals, and forecheck their way into the offensive zone. The hard work would pay off. A wrist shot from the slot from Marek Zidlicky, his 2nd of the night, would draw the devils closer but still down 4-3 And two minuets later it was only a matter of time until the Devils would tie things up. With more offensive zone pressure and solid passing a tip in from Dainius Zubrus would tie things up at 4-4. 60 Minuets wasn’t enough for these two teams, but 60 minuets and 43 seconds was enough for the Devils as they found themselves winning in OT thanks to Andy Greene. Even though the Capitals blew a 2 goal lead they came out of the game with a standings point. The Capitals now have 42 points.
Food for thought:
Braden Holtby’s sloppy 3rd period play brings up the question who will be the Capitals starting goal tender? Phillipp Grubauer, who is 4-0-1 with a .940 SV% and 2.05 GAA. Or experienced Braden Holtby who’s numbers have quickly declined.