Capitals Tame Wild 3-0, Fight Way Back Into Eighth Place
Many of the Capitals don’t know what it’s like to have to fight just to get into the playoffs, but if they didn’t know how to, they certainly didn’t show it on Sunday. The Capitals dominated the second and third periods to get a huge 3-0 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild.
The Capitals and Wild both started off the game slow, as the first period was relatively uneventful on both sides. The turning point of the game, though, happened in the first period when Alex Ovechkin broke up what would have been an easy shorthanded goal for the Wild by sliding in the way of the puck to prevent it from going in. After that, the Capitals started playing much better.
Alexander Semin, as he has been doing a lot recently, created a great scoring opportunity in the second period with a beautiful pass to Jason Chimera, who was able to finish it. The Capitals got a very questionable power play after a delay of game penalty against the Wild, and they were able to take advantage of it. Alex Ovechkin faked a shot, then passed it back to Troy Brouwer, who was able to find Mathieu Perreault in front of the net for an easy goal. Alex Ovechkin completed the scoring and continued his goal streak with what has become a trademark of Ovechkin. He creatively used the Wild defensemen to set up a screen and then blasted the puck into the goal. It was his 36th goal of the season, and his goal streak is now at five games.
Braden Holtby kept the Capitals in the game for the first 30 minutes and earned his first shutout of the season and the third of his career. For the second straight season, he’s making it very difficult to send him down to Hershey. So difficult in fact, that the Capitals might decide to keep three goaltenders with them. Tomas Vokoun is expected to return to the team sometime this week. The Capitals face a must-win game on Tuesday as they face the Buffalo Sabres, who are right behind them in the playoff race.