The Washington Capitals entered the game three points out of a playoff position. An important two points were on the line as the Maple Leafs visited Verizon Center. With a Flyers win today and yesterday as well as a Blue Jackets win last night it was imperative for the Capitals to continue gaining ground.
There’s a couple important things to note
- Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded three assists on Friday, and started on the 2nd line today
- Jaroslav Halak was making his 4th straight start
- Also this:
The action started quite early for the Capitals. Mike Green drew a hooking penalty to send the Capitals to the power play. The Capitals cashed in quickly on the man advantage. Troy Brouwer was the benefactor of a sequence of tic tac toe passing. His 19th of the season gave the Capitals a quick 1-0 lead four minuets into the game. You can listen to John Walton call Brouwers’ PPG
The Capitals weren’t slowing down just yet. A slapper from Alzner bounced off Reimers pad, Joel Ward picked up the loose puck and tucked it underneath the pads of the Maple Leafs before it went into the net Chimera’s skate hit the puck. The play would be reviewed but the goal would stand for Jason Chimera.
Just a few seconds after Chimera’s goal Dion Phanuef was called for slashing Ovechkin. The Capitals were headed to the second power play of the game. Just 30 seconds into the man advantage Joel Ward was rewarded. His 20th goal of the season was assisted by Dustin Penner and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
17 minuets into the first the Maple Leafs started to pressure the Capitals. A lucky bounce landed in the back of the net to give the Leafs their first goal in the game, and cut the Capitals lead to two. Bodies goal came on just the second SOG for the Leafs. The first period ended with the Capitals leading the Leafs 3-1 and out shooting them 14-2.
The second started with the Capitals leading the Leafs by two. The Capitals have blown a 12 two goal leads this season, the most in the league. Mid way through a scoreless second period the Captain of the Leafs found the back of the net. Phanuefs’ 8th goal of the year cut the Capitals lead to one. The second stanza ended without much action. The Capitals killed back to back penalties to keep their lead still intact.
The third began with a strong offensive effort by the Capitals. 2:38 into the 3rd Toronto was penalized for a delay of game. The Capitals got one solid chance on the PP but couldn’t convert. As time was winding down Jason Chimera found himself on a breakaway. Even though Chimera didn’t score he drew a slashing penalty with three minuets left. Troy Brouwer, because of a super unselfish play by Nicklas Backstrom, added an empty net goal to give the Capitals a 4-2 win.