As the East Coast stood at a standstill because of a massive winter storm, the Capitals ventured into Hurricane Country, which looked more like Blizzard Country with all of the snow on the ground. Things warmed up inside RBC Center, however, as the Caps and ‘Canes played yet another closely-contested game. In the end, the Capitals headed back to snowy D.C. with a 3-2 victory in tow. Hopefully, it won’t get stuck in the snow on the way home.
- Alex Ovechkin, like Mike Green before him, got the lack-of-scoring monkey off of his back. In his first mulit-point game since November 26, Ovechkin scored for the first time since December 6. He peppered Cam Ward all night, firing eight shots on goal (despite missing seven). As much flack as this might get, perhaps Ovechkin should take a tip from Sidney Crosby and plant himself in the crease from now on. Ovechkin’s goal came by crashing the net and scoring on a rebound. Something to consider.
- Mathieu Perreault took a huge hit from Tim Gleason at the end of the first period. Perreault laid on the ice as he bled profusely and now it is known that he has a broken nose. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Perreault played through the pain, but quite frankly, the Capitals can’t afford any more injuries right now.
- The power play still continues to come up short, going 0-for-2. Yet, the penalty kill went 4-for-4. You take the good with the bad sometimes.
- Really though, the Capitals’ missing power play plays into the KOL-patented “Killer Instinct” theory. After Washington went up 3-1, the Capitals had plenty of chances to put the game away. Alex Semin (who hasn’t scored in exactly a month) missed the net on an odd-man rush, Ward said no to Jason Chimera on a breakaway and Nicklas Backstrom had an open net on a rebound that Ward also stopped. Not only that, but the Caps gave up a goal 30 seconds into the third period (slightly better than the 17 seconds against Pittsburgh) and had to kill off two penalties shortly after. If the Caps want to win, they need to put teams away early instead of letting them hang on. Until then, no killer instinct. When they do, we’ll throw a party.
The Caps have just one more game before the Winter Classic. The Montreal Canadiens should provide a test for Washington, but getting revenge on them for last year’s playoff loss before getting revenge on the Penguins Saturday would be a sweet way to round out the week.