SCOAR! (Photo credit: Chris O’Meara)
There was a zeitgeist surrounding the Washington Capitals’ visit to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s playground. The words we kept hearing were “must win,” which is great motivator even if it’s not objectively true. Still, the Caps seemed to take it to heart, bringing an effort to the game that reminds us– above all else– of the ’09-’10 version of the team. Not bad.
Red-hot Teddy Purcell scored on Tampa Bay’s first shot of the night, a 40-foot slapper to Varlamov’s weak side. On a 4v4 sequence that we’ll discuss later, Nicky Backstrom used some stick-to-it-iveness to even the score from the crease. Brooks Laich (!) piled on with a wizardly backhand top-shelfer set up by Mathieu Perreault. Alex Ovechkin put the visitors up 3-1 with his long-delayed return to the PPG stat column. Tampa’s Brett Clark kept the second period busy with a retaliatory powerplay tally. The third period found Nick Backstrom cleaning up an Ovechkin crash for his second of the night, and Jason Chimera recording an empty-netter. Caps beat Bolts 5-2. Wings, MFers.
What’s the best possible way to kick off your weekend? Right after eating Chipotle for dinner and watching Point Break on DVD, it has to be watching the Caps execute OPERATION: SCOAR MORE GOALS all over the Lightning. TBL vs. WSH is quickly becoming one of the best rivalries on the Capitals’ list, and that might not be a bad thing after all. The newly robust Southeast Conference really will make the Capitals a better team, and the Lightning are the best of the bunch. The Caps are still working out some problems internally, but games like this are exactly what they need to slough off their indifference.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Washington will entertain the Penguins. I’ll be there in person to document the goings-on and harass the other bloggers. Have a great weekend, everyone. CRASH THE NET.
Additional reporting by Neil Greenberg.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.