Jason Chimera’s bank shot off Bryan Elliott merits celebration. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)
The Washington Capitals came back to earn a crucial win over the Ottawa Senators on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. The worst first period team in hockey, the Caps did nothing to shake off that label today. But a late-game effort kicked off by the team’s morale leader woke them up to snatch two much-needed standings points.
Only 72 seconds into the bout, Mike Fisher scored Ottawa’s only goal while Jeff Schultz wandered aimlessly behind the net. Forty six minutes later, forechecking Brooks Laich snatched a turnover from the slot, tying the game and rousing his team in the process. Forty five seconds later and just two ticks into a power play, John Carlson bombed Bryan Elliott for the go-ahead goal. And then Jason Chimera banked one off the goalie’s back for some insurance. Caps beat Sens 3-1.
This very easily could have been a loss. A shutout loss, on the heels of several bad beats and in advance of a daunting road trip, would have been bad news. We’re already in the process of attenuating our expectations– nay, aspirations– for this team’s post-season prospects. With the team’s best players still phoning it in, an inconsequential power play unit, and some bad injuries, the team has to go full bore from the opening puck drop. Today we only saw that full effort in the third period, once Brooks Laich (who, unless you forgot in the last minute, is not team captain) invoked it personally. Thanks to that, the Capitals are once again tied for #1 in the Southeast.
So yeah. A win is a win and all that, but there are still miles to go before the Caps can sleep. Philly on Tuesday!
Additional reporting by Neil Greenberg, whom children adore.
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