The Capital’s welcomed Carolina to Washington on Thursday night for the fourth time this season. The old Southeast division rivals have gone 2-1 in Carolina’s favor in the three games before tonight. The Capitals continued to ride Philipp Grubauer in net, and with Cam Ward unavailable due to injury Anton Khudobin got the nod for Carolina. The Capitals Brooks Laich reentered the roster on the fourth line, and Carolina’s newly acquired defenseman John Michael Lyles was in the roster.
Washington got the first few chances in the game, but couldn’t get one past Khudobin who looked good early.
The Capitals then got in some penalty trouble after Mikhail Grabovski had to served a too many men on the ice penalty and Brooks Laich got called for a high stick. Jeff Skinner took advantage in the 5-3, scoring his first goal of the New Year. His shot beat Grubauer high above his glove after he went split-city.
Ovechkin didn’t take long to tilt the ice back in Washington’s favor, with 19:11 left in the second. Ovi’s shot deflected off of Hainsey’s stick and knuckled over the glove of Khudobin. The goal ended Ovechkin’s four game goalless streak.
55 seconds later Carolina said “Oh no you don’t” and quickly reclaim the lead. Manny Malhotra roofed it past Grubauer on the 2 on 1. This was the 20th time the Capitals have given up the goal within 2:30 of scoring a goal,
1:18 later the Capital changed the lead again when the retied the game. Nick Backstrom shot tied up Khudobin and Troy Brouwer roofed the rebound 3:02 into the second.
The Capital then took control. Ovechkin found himself behind the defense and before he could shoot, he was taken down. He couldn’t score on his penalty shot, but on the ensuing face-off Steve Olesky took the puck behind the goal line and wristed a shot by Khudobin at the bottom of the circle with 16:06.
And as you can guess, the Capitals lose the lead they just claimed. Jeff Skinner found the loose puck on his stick and beat a split-city Grubauer again. 3-3 with 15:26 left in the third. Make it the 21st time.
Both goalies were brick walls in the third period, stopping everything coming their ways, so to OT we went!
With a little over a minute and change in the OT frame, Ovechkin dropped a pass to Orlov who was buzzing to the net. Orlov couldn’t receive the pass and Carolina had a 3-1 going the other way. Grubauer could do nothing but watch Skinner tip-in Murphy’s pass for his second career hat-trick,
- Oates stressed getting to the net in practice the other day, the Caps seemed to respond well seeing as they scored more goals in the second period then they did the last two games, two from either traffic or rebound.
- The same with the new lines, they all seemed to create chances, especially the two Swedes & Brouwer.
- Laich looked great tonight, he saw time on the PK and the 4th line and eventually the 3rd line. His speed helped the fourth line get some quality scoring chances that Volpatti didn’t. He was, however, +5 / -8 corsi before being put on the third line.
- Grubauer looked eh, probably should cut back the Grubi Snacks.
- Erat-Ward-Chimera line was on for both second period goals for Carolina, defense needs to be better.
- John Carlson showed that he deserved to be picked for the USA national team, he saved a sure wrap around goal while on the kill.
- Erskine looks slow, would like to see Nate Schmidt, Conner Carrick, or maybe Urbom to replace him.
- Fehr saw time with Ovechkin and started to over-pass, but I still like the move so far.
- Orlov created tons of offensive chances, doesn’t look like he will be playing in Sochi via CSN Chuck Gormley https://twitter.com/ChuckGormleyCSN/status/418916752500588544
- The Capitals breakouts were better than normal, but were still somewhat sloppy.
- Marcus Johansson had two assists tonight, I hope he makes the Sweden Olympic team