September 21, 2019

Washington Capitals Game 52 Recap: Quick two-goal burst in the second proves decisive in Caps’ win

The Ottawa Senators had plenty of opportunities in the third period to tie the game, but Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals’ penalty killers came up big in the third period to preserve a one-goal lead.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin both scored in a span of 49 seconds in the second period and that was all they needed to down the Senators 2-1.

Holtby was dominant yet again in net stopping 25 of 26 shots, but he got tremendous help from his penalty killers as the team took three consecutive penalties early in the third period.

With only a one-goal lead to protect, the Caps spent six of the third period’s first eight minutes a man down. Yet, the NHL’s 17th ranked penalty kill was able to kill off all three penalties to keep the Caps ahead.

All of the game’s scoring came in a 2:02 span in the second period. The Senators struck first with Kyle Turris wide open in the slot as the Caps got caught collapsing down low. Washington responded just 1:13 later as a Brooks Orpik shot rebounded to Kuznetsov on the red line who fired the puck into the yawning net.

Just 49 seconds later, the Caps scored again thanks to a nice setup by Marcus Johansson and some great puck control from Ovechkin and Jay Beagle. Johansson found a streaking Beagle with the cross ice pass and he attacked the net. Beagle’s shot proved to hot for Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner to handle and a waiting Ovechkin was able to swat the puck out of midair into the net for what proved to be the game winner.

Ovechkin tried three times in the skills competition of the All-Star weekend to hit a puck out of mid-air to no avail. In a tie game on Thursday night, he needed only one chance to send the puck to the back of the net and send his team home with a win.

Game notes

  • Holtby finally conceded a goal in regulation in the second period after holding opponents scoreless for 10 consecutive periods. Prior to Kyle Turris’ goal in the second period, the last regulation goal Holtby allowed came on Jan. 27 in Columbus.
  • Ovechkin’s goal was his 32nd of the season tying him with Rick Nash for the league lead, though the New York Rangers have played in three fewer games.
  • Mike Green took a knee-on-knee hit early in the game in a collision with Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips. Green went flying and gingerly made his way back to the bench and to the locker room. He returned soon after, appearing none the worse for wear. In the final year of his contract, Green has been the subject of numerous trade rumors of late. Obviously a knee injury would likely end any possibility of him being traded at the deadline.
  • The Capitals were able to win despite conceding the first goal for only the second time this season. They now have a record of 2-14-6 when their opponents score first.
  • The Caps return home to face former coach Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks on Friday in yet another back-to-back. The Caps have struggled in back-to-backs this season with a record of only 2-7-1.
About J.J. Regan

J.J. Regan is a contributor to District Sports Page. He also is a college football and NHL blogger for CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com and has a master's degree in interactive journalism from American University. Regan follows all DC sports but focuses mainly on the the Caps and college football. You can view his online portfolio at regansports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheDC_Sportsguy.

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  1. […] Washington Capitals beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1. (Stars And Sticks, Fox Sports, Ottawa Sun, District Sports Page, DSP Three Stars, Washington Post, CSN Washington, TSN, KSPR, Senshot, Japers Rink, WNST, Russian […]

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