BATYA: Capitals beat Hurricanes in overtime!! Take 2 to 0 series lead
WOW! The Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes in game two of the first round. The Caps now have a two to nothing lead in the series. What a game! Let’s break it down. Game started a bit early this Saturday, with a puck drop at 3 pm. Goals from our beautiful Swede Nicklas Backstrom. T.J. Oshie followed up with a slick goal of his own. Carolina bounced back, scoring two goals. Linus Wallmark tallied a goal, which was challenged for goalie interference, but the goal stood. Sebastian Aho got his first career playoff goal to tie it, but Tom Wilson put the Capitals back on top with a great goal off the rush. A bad penalty by Nic Dowd gave the Hurricanes a powerplay, and Canes forward Jordan Staal deflected a Dougie Hamilton shot that beat Holtby. Elite sniper Brooks Orpik won game 2 in overtime. Capitals take a 2-0 series lead!
5 minutes into the game, Ovechkin tricked everyone, feigning a shot and actually passing it to best friend and running mate Nicklas Backstrom, who easily placed the puck into the net.
Oshie followed that up with a sick rush goal featuring incredible flexibility, fending off former Cap Justin Williams with a sweet leg kick and flipping the puck into the net to give the Caps a 2 goal lead.
With 5 minutes left in the 1st, Linus Wallmark beat Braden Holtby, but the goal was challenged for goalie interference. Fun fact, it was goalie interference, but Holtby did this cute pirouette/spin move that probably never should have happened. Referees deemed that it wasn’t actual interference (it was) and the Canes climbed within one.
This period was all special teams, with both teams getting numerous power plays. Canes forward Michael Ferland was ejected for a dangerous hit to the head, but funny enough, there wasn’t actually nasty head contact. Carolina Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour rightly exploded at the referees, but alas, the Capitals were given a 5 minute power play. With an opportunity to re-establish a two-goal lead, the Capitals pushed, but goalie Petr Mrazek said “no.”
Sebastian Aho tallied a funky goal off a ricochet off the back glass. He tucked the puck between Holtby’s pad and blocker, and suddenly the game was tied up again.
With 11 minutes left, Alex Ovechkin charged into the offensive zone, and found Tom Wilson rushing in late. Top line Tommy fired a wicked wrist shot that beat Mrazek between the legs, and Capital One Arena exploded with joy.
But.. Nic Dowd took another ill-advised high-sticking penalty, and with exactly 5 minutes to play, Jordan Staal deflected a Dougie Hamilton shot from the point and the game was tied once more.
This one was quick. Evgeny Kuznetsov, behind the net, found Brooks Orpik, who fired a nasty slapshot that went where Mom hides the cookies, top shelf over Mrazek’s glove.
Great Eight Thoughts…
- Alex Ovechkin continues to impress. Truly a different player in the playoffs. His two assists tonight came off of great passes, and his play in all three zones were fantastic.
- Holtby probably should have had the second goal, and his spin on the first goal was a bit unnecessary. That’s all I will say on that matter.
- Nick Jensen had a fantastic game tonight. Jumped into the rush and created a few great opportunities tonight.
- I would be surprised if Michael Ferland misses any time for his hit today. I think the 5 minute major was appropriate, but I don’t really agree with the 10 minute game misconduct. Dowd needs to be smarter and not put himself in a position to get hit like that.
- Still don’t love Carlson on the left side of that top-pairing. I would rather see Jensen with Orpik and Djoos with Carlson.
- The third line of Connolly-Eller-Vrana was okay, I guess? Todd Reirden switched it up in the 3rd period, putting Hagelin back on the third line, and bumping Vrana back up with Kuzy and Oshie. I like the flow when those lines are being rolled, but I like the fact that Reirden was willing to experiment.
- Petr Mrazek had a heck of a game. Fantastic stops on numerous chances by the Caps, all game. His stops on Wilson and Carlson at the end of regulation were his best.
- Game 3 is on Monday at 7 pm. The series shifts to Raleigh, NC, and the Capitals hold a 2-0 lead. LETS GO CAPS.