In what might have been their wildest game of the season (and boy is that saying something), the Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lighting 6-5 in a shootout. The game involved the Capitals falling behind 3-0 in the first period, 4-2 in the second period, and 5-4 in the third period. Each time, the Capitals were able to rally back to get themselves back into the game.
Braden Holtby had a rough night in goal, stopping only 5 of 8 shots and was pulled after just 11 minutes of ice time. Philipp Grubauer was very solid in relief of Holtby, stopping 32 of 34 shots. Mike Green had a frustrating night, as he was hit with 18 penalty minutes, including a game misconduct, in the first period. He rebounded to play much better in the second and third periods.
The Capitals only had two players score goals. Nicklas Backstrom scored one goal, and Alex Ovechkin had a night to remember with 4 goals. Since two of them were of the power play variety, Ovechkin is now officially the Capitals all-time leader in power play goals, passing Peter Bondra. As a matter of fact, only 15 players in Capitals history (not including Ovechkin) have more overall goals than Ovechkin has power play goals (137). Backstrom had a huge night tonight with 5 points. Ovechkin will get all the attention because he had 4 goals, but Backstorm was the unsung star of the game.
The shootout is what truly maximized the weirdness of this game. You’d think that the guys who scored in regulation would score in the shootout right? Wrong. 3 of the 5 Capitals who participated in the shootout scored: Eric Fehr, Mikhail Grabovski, and Troy Brouwer. The two who didn’t? Ovechkin and Backstrom. Go figure.
My 3 stars of the game:
- Alex Ovechkin. Not kidding when I say this might be Ovechkin’s greatest game ever. That’s REALLY saying something a lot if you consider Ovechkin’s career.
- Nicklas Backstrom. One might argue that he had an even better game than Ovechkin, as he scored a goal and had an assist on all four of Ovechkin’s goals.
- Philipp Grubauer. What a huge performance by Grubauer. He came in in a completely hopeless situation and kept the Capitals in the game with some huge saves. He was calm and poised in his first career shootout as well.