The Washington Capitals ended a three game losing streak by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. The game started off slowly, as the Oilers out-shot the Caps 10-3 in the first period (and 30-20 over the course of the game). Brooks Laich took one of those three shots, and boy did he make it count.

Capitals forward Brooks Laich celebrates with teammate Mikhail Grabovski after his first period goal
Capitals forward Brooks Laich celebrates with teammate Mikhail Grabovski after Laich’s first period goal

Great heads-up play there by Steve Oleksy, who kept the puck in the zone. He was rewarded with an assist on that goal. Momentum started to swing the Capitals way in the beginning of the second period, but not before this happened. Just 19 seconds into their first power play of the evening, Joel Ward made the Oilers pay:

Beautiful set up on the power play. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin with crisp pin-point passes, and Ward finishes strong. Later in the second, Ovechkin added an insurance goal. See if you can catch the D2: Mighty Ducks reference!

Great job there by Marcus Johansson to chase down Ovechkin’s first shot, which was wide. Johansson and Backstrom were credited with the assists. Troy Brouwer added one for good measure just 14 seconds into another power play.

If you let Backstrom and Mikhail Grabovski play tic-tac-toe passing drills during power plays, a goal is all but inevitable. Backstrom and Grabovski got the assists.

Overall, it was a very scrappy game. The Capitals, while they did get out-shot, made their shots count. Both teams were very physical, as the Oilers out-hit the Capitals 29-28. The stat that mattered tonight: converting on power plays. The Capitals were able to score on 2 of their 3 power plays, the Oilers weren’t able to score on any of their 3 power plays.

Three Stars:

1. Nicklas Backstrom (3 assists)
2. Braden Holtby (93.3% save percentage, saved 28 out of 30 shots)
3. Alex Ovechkin (1 goal, 1 assist, 5 hits, 4 shots on goal)

Caps won tonight, so it’s time guys.