Capitals get Kraken at home with 4-1 win
The Washington Capitals came home for a one-game stand to play the Seattle Kraken. The end result was another win, their third in a row and their first such streak this season. The win also put them back over the .500 mark. The keys to the win were a much improved defensive coverage game and a solid performance in net by Charlie Lindgren.
Seattle defenseman Adam Larsson broke the game open with a shot that beat Lindgren high to the glove side at 17:51. Despite falling behind, the Capitals dominated the period, doubling the Kraken in shots on net 12-6. Their hard work continued into the second period when Anthony Mantha was credited with his seventh goal of the year at 5:20. The goal was the result of a scrum in front of Philipp Grubauer. The puck was inadvertently kicked in by Seattle’s Jamie Oleksiak.
Near the halfway mark of the period, the Capitals got a five-minute power play as a result of a reckless hit on Alex Alexeyev by Oleksiak. Alexeyev went to the dressing room and did not return to the game. Oleksiak received a match penalty for his actions and was removed from the game. The power play, facing the NHL’s second worst penalty-killing unit in the Kraken, had massive possession problems and nearly failed completely until Marcus Johansson wristed the puck toward the net. The puck took a crazy bounce off of Grubauer’s mask and bounced into the net at 13:15.
From that point, the Kraken poured on the intensity, outshooting the Capitals 14-11 in the third period. The Caps were not without their chances, forcing Grubauer into at least two sequences of spectacular high-danger saves. Lindgren would also answer as well when the Capitals got into penalty trouble in the final period. With two minutes remaining, the Kraken finally emptied their net. Lars Eller would recover a loose puck and launched a 140-foot shot from his own end to give the Caps a two-goal lead at 18:54. Ovechkin got yet another empty net goal to end the scoring with four seconds left in the game.
NOTES—Ovechkin’s goal is his 796th for his career. Alexeyev’s long-term status will be determined upon further examination tomorrow. He assisted on Mantha’s goal thus giving him his first career NHL point. The other assist on the goal was credited to Matt Irwin for his first point of the season. Lindgren saved 25 of 26 shots, giving him a save percentage of .953 in his three starts since taking over for the still injured Darcy Kuemper. The Capitals go back on the road Sunday, Dec. 11th against the Winnipeg Jets for a scheduled start of 7 PM ET.
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