Caps beat Canucks 6-4 in a brutal game with two Ovechkin goals

The Washington Capitals came back from behind to down the Vancouver Canucks. It was an ugly game with a happy ending.

Alex Ovechkin scored first, a power-play marker with some help off Thatcher Demko’s pads. Elias Pettersson got a softie late in the period after Darcy Kuemper’s misplay, but Lars Eller returned fire scant seconds into the second period. Bo Horvat got a rebound to tie it up again, then Curtis Lazar turned an unlikely deflection into a go-ahead goal for Vancouver. JT Miller converted a power play that might come back to bite Evgeny Kuznetsov, and the Canucks led 4-2 going into the third.

Dylan Strome got a power-play goal early in the third, then John Carlson threw a nasty shot at Demko’s short-side to tie it up with eleven minutes left. Then, Alex Ovechkin served a perfect pass to Conor Sheary for the game-winner. Alex Ovechkin added another for good measure.

Caps win.

  • From the first drop the Canucks dictated play in this game. Boudreau might not have the horses, but he knows how to ride them. Is that a thing people say? Well, it is now. The Canucks had a persistent attack, which when combined with Washington’s flighty defense gave Vancouver the edge– at least, until the third period.
  • The Canucks have blown a lead in every game this season. I worry a bit for Bruce Boudreau’s job. He’s still a world-class coach.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored twice: his first and second goals of the season – also the 781st and 782nd of his career. He’s nineteen behind Howe. I’ll smugly point out that the assist on the first goal came from Marcus Johansson, whom I’m sure you’ll slag in the comments, but I think he’s an immediate value-add on the power play.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov lost his temper after missing on a scoring chance. His two-handed, after-the-play high-stick against postmodern iconoclast William S. Burroughs might get some attention from DoPS, and he will deserve it. Put me down for two games.
  • Incidentally, Kuznetsov got three assists.
  • First Caps goal for Dylan Strome, who has looked great to me so far. No numbers, just detecting the ambient vibrations around him.
  • So what’s the party line on this Darcy Kuemper whiff? I think he was smart to play the puck, or else the Canucks would have had a shot from danger-close. What he didn’t expect was the pocky ice at Capital One ramping the puck past his stick di lui.

  • Peter Laviolette made some tweaks to the lines in the second period. He moved Sheary from the fourth line to the first with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. That one obviously paid off with the game-winner. Oshie, Strome, and Brown played together until Brown got hurt. Oh, speaking of:
  • Connor Brown got hurt. He got banged up by vaping enthusiast Noah Juulsen early in the third. Looked like a leg thing. He went down the tunnel and did not return.
  • A few minutes later Kuznetsov took a rather tough hit during four-on-four play, but he stayed in the game because concussion spotters are a sham.

Smashing Pumpkins hanging out of the night

Joe B suit of the night

This is one of those games where the incidental stuff matters more. I worry about Brown’s injury and Kuznetsov’s discipline. I like Sheary getting top-six minutes. I’m concerned for Bruce Boudreau’s job. But mostly I don’t like the Caps getting boxed out by a clearly inferior team, even if they pull it together late.

Then again, at least they didn’t lose to the Arizona Coyotes tonight.

Headline photo: Pennybacker

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