(Photo credit: Nick Laham)
After a two-game skid, the Washington Capitals started their home-and-home series with the New Jersey Devils by playing some crummy hockey. Inexplicably, they won anyway.
12-year-old Adam Larsson scored the first goal of the game, which was also his first-ever NHL goal. Captain Alex Ovechkin found the perfect spot up front to rouse the Caps’ offense and make it 1-1. Jason Chimera exploited the Devils’ power play line change to score the Caps’ first shorthanded goal of the season. Marcus Johansson casually backhanded to give the Caps a two-goal lead. Caps beat Devils 3-1.
This team still looks tense and irritable. Jason Chimera’s roughing (i.e. punch in face) is evidence of that. How they pulled off this win is anyone’s guess. And what did they have to sacrifice to get those two points? Alex Semin is in the doghouse, Mike Green is hurt again, and Mike Knuble’s deeds didn’t match his words. Regardless, the team is once again #1 in the Southeast (maybe you didn’t notice: Matt Bradley and his Panthers took a 1-point lead on Friday morning).
With Mike Green’s injury, Alex Semin’s phlegmatism, and surely some other mysteries, the Capitals’ shifts went crazy. Check out this ice time chart (View the whole thing):
Without getting hurt, Semin didn’t even have a minute more playing time than the injured Green. Rookie Cody Eakin got short shrift himself, and Dennis Wideman took most of the brunt. Fascinating, and indicative of a drastic change in coach-player relations. Is anyone else firmly on #TeamBruce, or is it just us?
We’re gonna do this whole thing again tomorrow. It seems like the entire RMNB crew will be attending, so our recap will be kind of light. See you guys there!
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