Alex Ovechkin scores his first goal of the season. (Photo Bill Smith)
141 days after they got the boot by the Rangers, the Washington Capitals are back. You no longer have to talk to your friends, go out to dinner with your significant other, return calls from your family, or bathe with any regularity. From this moment until May at the earliest, your ass belongs to us.
I might have taken that too far. I’m sorry. I’m a bit excited over the return of net-crashing and the scoaring of goals (moar edition), imminent consummate Ovi-Grabo hookups, and all that stuff. I’m somewhat less psyched over everything that is happening in the Caps’ own zone and those teenage mutant ninja Caps, but whatever. It’s very early, and this was a game against a very tough opponent– one who has a real chance to repeat championships.
Here’s how it went down.
At the end of an Eric Fehr penalty, Jack Hillen’s weak clear allowed the puck to find Chicago’s Brandon Bollig in the crease. Bollig (6’2″, 223 lbs) easily out-muscled Connor Carrick (5’11”, 180 lbs) to score. Later, Alex Ovechkin took a pass from Mikhail Grabovski below the goal line to even it up on the power play, but Patrick Kane scored seconds later– right after Jonathan Teows gave Braden Holtby a bit of grease from behind.
In the second period, Mikhail Grabovski beat Corey Crawford on a two-on-one flanked by mobile decoy Jason Chimera. Brent Seabrook then re-established the Hawks’ lead with a goal off a rebound during a Connor Carrick hooking penalty.
Power play QB Mike Green set up Mikhail Grabovski for a tip-in to make it even at the top of the third period, thanks to Ovechkin’s defense-attracting skills. Green struck again on a subsequent power play–again setting up Mikhail Grabovski for a tip-in (that makes three). Brandon Saad exploited a turnover, executing a give-and-go to knot the score with 12 minutes left. Holtby let in some soft service on a shot from Johnny Oduya that probably was going wide. The Caps were unable to convert a late-game five-on-three, and Green tripped Marian Hossa on an empty-net breakaway, resulting in an automatic goal.
Hawks beat Caps 6-4. Welcome back, everybody.
This loss does not sting. It’s early, early days in the world of the 2013-14 Washington Capitals. We should be encouraged by the creativity and fervor of the Caps offense and sobered by their wobbly defense. 81 games to figure it out and make the playoffs. It can be done, and it’ll be lots of fun.
Don’t let this one get you down, guys. We’re just getting started.
I can’t even remember how to spell Ribearoh.
— Nate Ewell (@nateewell) October 2, 2013
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