January 16, 2018

Washington Capitals Game 50 Recap: Caps beat Devils in nail-biter shootout

PAUL CAREY’S FIRST NHL GOAL FORGES LATE TIE, CAPS PREVAIL IN SHOOTOUT

(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

With their power play continuing to struggle, the Washington Capitals looked to an unlikely hero to notch their league-leading 37th win: Paul Carey.

Carey’s goal late in the third period tied it at two, then after a scoreless overtime played mostly at four a side due to a carryover penalty, the Caps got shootout goals from T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin to steal the extra point from the stingy New Jersey Devils, winning 3-2 at Prudential Center.

With the best plus/minus differential in the league, the Caps 37-9-4 (78 points) traveled to New Jersey 26-20-7 (59 points) to face a tough defense that has allowed only seven goals in their last twelve games. The two Metro division all-star goalies of Braden Holtby and Corey Schneider showed us why they were put into a group of the best in the NHL with a fantastic display of skills in a tightly contested bout.

With the first goal of his career, Paul Carey (called up from the AHL this week) tied up the game 2-2 at the 17:13 mark of the third. A Matt Niskanen pass to Carey set up a fantastic redirection from in front of the net. It was an important goal for an offense that was slow to wake up and allowed the Caps to force overtime.

Because of a Justin Williams tripping call with one minute left in regulation, the Caps started overtime one man down and then, because there was no whistle until eleven seconds remained, battled the Devils 4-on-4.

In the shootout, the deadly trio of  T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby would prove too much for the Devils in the end. Goals by Oshie and Ovechkin — and a pair of stops by Holtby — have the Caps coming home with another two points.

Before the game even began, the two most important players of today’s game participated in a unique moment when future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur dropped the puck between Holtby and Schneider, a rare display of a goalie faceoff.

The first goal for the Caps came in the 12:30 mark of the second. A sneaky Evgeny Kuznetsov pass from behind the net found its way into traffic and Justin Williams was able to clean it up, put it on net, and Andre Burakovsky, playing in his 100th NHL game, tapped it just over the line. That goal has increased Burakovsky’s goal streak to six goals in the past five games. It is safe to say his slump is well behind him.

Adam Henrique helped lift the Devils to the lead at 12:13 in the third. A broken rush play, a small failure on John Carlson’s part when he fell behind, gave the Devils a 2-1 lead. The first goal for the Devils came early in the third when Joesph Blandisi took advantage of the Devils’ first power play opportunity. After a shot slid under Holtby’s pads, Blandisi showed up to tap it just over the line.

NEXT GAME: The Caps come home tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. matinee against the Philadelphia Flyers.

CAPS NOTES:

  • The Capitals are now sitting at 0 for 15 in power plays but still lead the league in percentage.
  • The Caps are now 27-0-2 when leading after the second intermission.
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.

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