September 15, 2019

Washington Capitals Game 13 Recap: Call it anything but easy, Caps beat Maple Leafs in shootout

BACKSTROM SCORES LAST-SECOND GOAL TO FORCE OVERTIME

ALEX OVECHKIN TIES SERGEI FEDOROV FOR MOST GOALS BY RUSSIAN-BORN PLAYER

Alex Ovechkin scored in regulation, tying Sergei Fedorov at the top Russian-born NHL scorer of all-time, and netted the eventual winner in the shootout and the Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 at Verizon Center.

With a 2-8-3 record this season and an overtime loss to Detroit the previous night, the Toronto Maple Leafs came to Verizon Center hungry for a win. With a snapped stick, bad bounces, and a less than stellar defense, the Capitals were handing them all the opportunities they could.

The Maple Leafs struck first. Daniel Winnick was able to corral a bouncing puck in the neutral zone to go one-on-one against Dmitry Orlov and catch Holtby cheating by going top shelf to his glove side. The breakout followed a nifty passing sequence between Ovechkin and Kuznetsov that resulted in Ovechkin snapping his stick and retreating to the bench. With the Caps unable to move the puck through the neutral zone, Toronto took a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission for only the second time this year.

Ovechkin and Backstrom kept the Caps alive. With a recently floundering power play the Caps went on their second chance of the night. Backstrom did what he does so well threading a perfect pass to Kuznetsov standing below the goal, who found Ovechkin rushing into the net, who found the back of said net. It was Ovechkin’s first power play goal of the year and placed him in a tie with Sergei Fedorov for most goals by a Russian-born player.

“As a teammate anyway you can overcome something, whether its going down the first goal in the game or coming back with two goals, it is a confidence builder, momentum builder for everybody in the room.” Carlson spoke on Ovechkin’s tying goal.

The rest of the second, while better, was not ideal. Sloppy turnovers in the offensive zone and Andre Burkovsky committing a lazy penalty in the closing seconds took away any momentum the power play had given. Ending the period even on shots 17-17, the Caps could not take advantage of the weaker squad.

Penalty time is how the teams started the third, and how it continued, and continued. Nearly half the period was spent with one team or the other shorthanded.

Toronto took advantage of at least one set of their two extra minutes.  With a worn down kill unit on the ice, and Tom Wilson sent off for a four minute roughing penalty, James van Riemsdyk of the Maple Leafs received a clean pass that he brushed behind Holtby. Leafs went up 2-1.

“I felt like I had to stick up for myself a little bit but I can’t even skate over there anymore” Wilson said of his roughing penalty, “It was a learning point in my life, you can’t engage at all because you never know how the refs are going to call it and I put myself in a bad situation and the team in a bad situation.”

With a little less than three minutes remaining Ovechkin looked a hero.  Cracking a slick shot past the goalie James Reimer,  the Verizon Center erupted in cheers for the home team stud. Those cheers quickly turned to jeers. Upon review of the play, Justin Williams was found guilty of interference of the goalie and the goal waved off. The Caps were still down, but not quite out.

“It sucked,” Ovechkin said after the game of the goal being disallowed.

Williams elaborated a bit more “I went to the net, did everything I could to not touch the goalie, and I don’t think I was interfering with him when the shot was taken.” “We have had three calls go to a review and I am not sure what the difference is in any of them.”

With a handful of seconds left, the Caps made a final mad push. Justin Williams took his shot at the net,  and with a soft rebound on the other side, Backstrom found the puck on his stick and pushed it past the goal line from a foot away. 1.8 seconds left on the clock, this game was going to overtime.

Close calls, great saves, and some interesting passes provided no winner in 3-on-3 overtime. Sending the Caps to their first shootout of the year.

T.J Oshie misses (not something that happens often)

Holtby blocks

Kuznetsov is blocked

Holtby blocks

Nicklas Backstrom is blocked

Holtby blocks

Alex Ovechkin gets the game winner as Holtby makes a final stop.

A rough game, but a win. Caps improve to 10-3-0 on the season.

 

Next Game: Tuesday November 10th at 7:30pm at the Detroit Red Wings (A night honoring Sergei Fedorov)

Caps Notes:

  • Stanislav Galiev has been reassigned to Hershey for conditioning
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his 483rd career goal in 476 fewer games than Sergei Fedorov
  • Ovechkin also extended his point streak to five games.
  • Verizon Center celebrated Veterans Day this evening so go thank a soldier!
About Jacqueline Martin

Jacqueline Martin is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page. She grew up in Northern Virginia and has developed a deep love for all things sports and all things DC. While attending American University she worked for the athletics department and followed the Men’s NCAA Basketball team to their first ever apperance in the tourney. She is an aspiring journalist whose ideal day job is running a large DC sports bar that favored only DC teams. If she is not in her office you may find her at Kettler attempting to skate backwards. You can follow her on twitter @JacqueMMartin.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Ovechkin nearly had his record-breaking 484th goal late in the second, which would have been the most all-time by Russian players in the NHL. But Williams was a touch offside, wiping out the milestone for the second time in three games. […]

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