The Washington Capitals secured a playoff spot with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on the road at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night. Without their star captain Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals took an easy 3-0 lead early in the 2nd period, with goals from Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Knuble and Dennis Wideman.
From the look of the boxscore, Washington dominated the Flyers on their home ice, but in reality they blew a three goal lead allowing Philadelphia to score four unanswered goals between the second and third period. “We let them back in the game and just kind of sat back and figured they would just play it out,” Mike Knuble told Katie Carrera of the Washington Post. “Then the momentum starts, you’re playing on the road and that’s when you’ve got to work harder — at that point when you’re up 3-0. You’ve got to really play even better, even harder, even more deliberate.”
Without Alex Ovechkin, without Mike Green and without Jason Arnott the Capitals did just that. A late goal from Marcus Johansson (pronounced YO-hansson unless you’re calling the game for Versus — BRING BACK JOE B!) tied the game at four. Johansson finished the game with two points, earning an assist on Knuble’s goal in the first.
In the shootout Washington went with Matt Hendricks, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin and received goals from all three. Claude Giroux was blocked by Michal Neuvirth in the second round and Washington left Philadelphia victorious.
While they were unable to tie Philly for first place in the Eastern Conference, the Caps cut their lead to just one point and most importantly locked up a playoff spot.