Friday night in Chicago, the Washington Capitals were able to overcome a multi-goal deficit to win. Saturday night in DC, the Capitals were the ones who were nearly vanquished by the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, but fought back in overtime to win 4-3.
The Caps led 3-1 after two with goals from Troy Brouwer and Jay Beagle, respectively, in the first period. Eric Fehr padded the lead in the second period, with his second goal of the season. But the Hurricanes creeped back in. Goals in the third period by Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm sent the game to overtime. Nicklas Backstrom nailed an Alex Ovechkin rebound home for the 4-3 win.
- Tom Wilson left the game in the second period with an upper body injury. It is not related to his ankle injury, per Barry Trotz.
- Eric Fehr tied Marcus Johansson, Ovechkin and Backstrom with 4 shots on goal. He wasn’t present in the overtime period, because Trotz said he wanted a player that was better in “open ice.” Joel Ward got the call instead, but the logic is flawed. Ward is a grinder who scores most of his goals from close range. Fehr is a speedy winger with a good shot. There may have been something else that factored into the decision to keep Fehr on the bench during OT, and the Caps won anyway, but there was probably a better solution.
- Thanks to Tom Wilson’s early exit, Jay Beagle earned yet another promotion to the Capitals top line. Beagle is a hard working grinder who does put a lot of effort into what he does, but he is not a top-six caliber skater or offensive talent by any stretch. He has 14 goals through 201 career games. Those numbers aside, it makes sense that the coach would want to shake things up a bit, but why not shuffle amongst the top-six? Ovechkin needs a guy on the other side that can keep up with his speed and skill, and Beagle isn’t the best choice for that.
- Brooks Laich missed the game with an “upper body” injury, per the team. Trotz mentioned that he was kept out of the game as a precautionary measure, and his shoulder will be reevaluated by the medical staff on Monday.
- Justin Peters didn’t have a great night. He got the start because Braden Holtby faced 40 shots in Chicago on Friday, and it was a back-to-back situation. The Canes’ 3rd goal was a deflection, but it was definitely one that he should have stopped. Goaltending is not a concern for the Capitals, but it has played a role in the team’s record.