The Washington Capitals hosted the Carolina Hurricanes in a pleasant matinee of stick’n’puck and HOLY WOW I SAW THE CAPS WIN IN PERSON FOR THE FIRST TIME EVAR!!!
Marcus Johansson got it started early with a crease-borne knock-in set up by Eric Fehr. A 2-on-1 breakway by the Alexes led to a picturesque second tally (Minor scored, Major gets the assist). Erik Cole made the Caps pay for not clearing the zone and put the Canes on the board early in the second period. There the score sat until only 2.2 seconds remained in regulation. With Cam Ward on the bench and an extra attacker up in our face, Eric Staal tied the game, earned the Canes a well deserved point in the standings, and sent us all the way to the shootout. Where Ovi and Varly totally dominated. Caps beat Canes 3-2 (SO).
I don’t think anyone can seriously argue that this team is operating at 100% capacity. It’s unlikely that Tom Poti or Semyon Varlamov has completely recovered from the #brittlegroin scourge. Alex Ovechkin might be emerging from his own head to play actualized hockey again, but the goals aren’t there yet. So the Caps won three in a row despite their shortfalls. What to take away from this? God help a team facing them at full strength.
The Caps emerge victorious in another southeast match-up, and everything is lovely. Well, the second-period slump still sucks the life out of the Caps, and also someone seems to have purchased the now-blackened souls of hockey officials. But surely those things won’t ever come back to haunt us!
On a personal note, I went to my first Capitals game over 15 years ago. It was against the Flyers at the Cap Centre, and the Capitals lost. I’ve been to maybe twenty games since then, and I’ve never seen the Capitals win. I saw ties when they were still around, I saw punishing overtime losses, and I saw mind-stabbing and season-ending blowouts. But until tonight, no wins. So thank you, Washington Capitals, for the visceral delight of watching you win in person for the very first time. I’m seriously considering becoming a fan.
Peter Hassett will have your gamer later tonight when he returns home from Verizon Center. Until then, feel free to chat about the Caps third straight victory in the comments below. The curse is over.
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