October 22, 2018

Washington Capitals Game 31 Recap: Fehr’s overtime goal gives Caps win in wild one

Now 31 games into the 2014-15 Washington Capitals season, few observers know what to make of the team. On some nights they look reminiscent of the Capitals that were on display from 2008-11, and other nights they look like they’ve barely improved from the relative disaster that was the Adam Oates era.

If Thursday’s game was any indication, though, some improvement has been made.

Eric Fehr scored less than a minute into overtime to give Washington a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, a win that moves the team back into third place in the Metropolitan Division, if only for one night. The Caps’ playoff chances increased 5.2 percent to 66.5 with the victory, a win that they very nearly gave away.

Joel Ward opened the scoring 9:51 in with a well-placed shot past star Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. After taking a brilliant feed from linemate Eric Fehr, Ward placed a blocker-side wrister past the skate of Bobrovsky and in. With 38 seconds left, Jason Chimera doubled their lead after getting open on the doorstep and taking a slick pass pass from the point courtesy Brooks Orpik.

The Blue Jackets scored three straight goals later, and took the lead 52 seconds into the third period. With 12:58 left in regulation, Karl Alzner forced an offensive zone turnover and converted, looking almost like a forward as he tied things up. Columbus regained the lead with 4:25 left, but Troy Brouwer forced overtime when he took a centering pass from Mike Green and Bobrovsky was caught off guard. Brouwer did direct the puck into the net with his skate, but did not use a kicking motion to score; the goal was allowed to stand after further review, much to the chagrin of the Columbus crowd.

Fehr’s seventh of the year was the game-winner, as Green fed Fehr in the slot and the veteran forward scored on the one-timer falling down, to give the Capitals their fifth win in the last seven games.

News, notes and observations

  • Braden Holtby looked pretty awful tonight. Michael Chaput scored his first NHL goal off of a juicy rebound that Holtby left late in the third period, and allowing four goals on just 26 shots is not an acceptable performance if this team wants to make any kind of a playoff run.
  • Special teams play nearly did the Caps in tonight. Their league-leading power play went 0 for 3, and the penalty killing unit was just 2 for 4. Granted, the penalty kill numbers aren’t quite so bad when you consider that Columbus’ power play has been automatic of late, and is sixth in the league at 23.5 percent.
  • I don’t consider myself an ardent opponent of fighting, but Brouwer, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta combined for three fighting majors tonight. They can fight, but I don’t see the purpose it serves if it isn’t providing a visible and significant boost to the team.
About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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