Like many teams after the All-Star break, Washington Capitals couldn’t seem to find their footing. Before the break, they lost three straight games, and that spilled over to their first game back in Columbus.
After four straight losses, three in regulation, it almost looked like time to worry. A 4-0 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Penguins appears to have righted the ship, for the time being.
In their previous meeting, the Capitals triumphed 3-0 on Pittsburgh’s home turf. Looking to continue that streak, the Capitals floored the accelerator and didn’t let off the gas until the final buzzer.
Alex Ovechkin’s two goals (now good enough for the NHL goal-scoring lead with 29), undoubtedly gave Washington the buzz they needed to play well with a lead. He scored in the first two periods, but Eric Fehr and Mike Green’s tallies took them home.
Braden Holtby stopped 27 shots in his 23rd win of the season, fifth shutout of the season, and second shutout against Pittsburgh this season. His shutout streak against the Penguins this season stands at 119:19.
If you ask Coach Barry Trotz what made the difference Wednesday night, he’d tell you it was hard work.
“We stayed diligent. We kept pushing the pace. We kept just hounding the puck. We kept being physical. We kept winning the battles you need to win,” he said. “When you had to get desperate, we got desperate. I thought we just had more determination in our game. We actually just made sure we weren’t going to be outworked.”