(Image from ESPN)
This was, in my opinion, the most exciting Capitals game this season, at least that I have watched. This tops even the crazy 5-4 overtime win over Pittsburgh with the Ovechkin hat trick.
This game sends a message of sorts, to all the other teams in the league. Its not a new message, but this enforces it more than anything else.
It doesn’t matter who they’re playing, what the score is, who is on the ice, and who isn’t. The Washington Capitals can win pretty much any game. That’s incredible.
On NBC, televised nationally, the Chicago Blackhawks played the Washington Capitals. At first, everything seemed to be going wrong for the Caps. First, Chicago scored on a 4-4. Then, the Capitals lost their Captain, star player, leading goal scored and shooter to a game misconduct. Said misconduct also resulted in a 5 minute powerplay, which finished off with some 5-3 when Alexander Semin ran into the Blackhawks’ goalie, Antii Nieme. Chicago was up 2-0 after the first period.
The second period was about 20 whole minutes of back and forth play, interrupted by yet another Chicago goal. The game was 3-0 Chicago after the 2nd period, and I was pretty sure then that the Capitals weren’t coming back; Chicago was, after all, one of, if not the best, defensive teams in the league; and the Capitals were without their primary goal scorer. All seemed lost.
However, the tide changed in Washington’s favor in the third period. A few minutes in, the Capitals got a 4 minute powerplay. The Capitals played and played, and pretty soon, Brooks Laich got the first goal, on the powerplay. But it didn’t stop. Chicago got yet another penalty, resulting in 2 minutes of 5-3 hockey for the Capitals. Though they didn’t score, Nicklas Backstrom scored just seconds after the conclusion of the powerplay. At that point, a Capitals win, still seemed far off. But, much to my amazement, not 10 game seconds after Backstrom’s goal, Eric Fehr netted the third Washington goal! It was all tied up! I couldn’t believe it. Washington had come back from a 3-0 deficit, against one of the best defensive teams in the league. They finished the third period tied 3-3. The Caps had only allowed Chicago 1 shot the entire period.
Overtime started, and, with less than two minutes left, Nicklas Backstrom has a beautiful unassisted end-to-end rush to win the game for the Capitals!
The Capitals roll on in their quest for the President’s Trophy. They lead the league with 101 points, and are 7 points off the franchise regular season record, with 13 game left. Incredible.
(Image from ESPN)