Grabo. (Photo: Bruce Bennett)
It’s been a good weekend for Washington fans.
Wait, lemme take another swing at that.
It’s been a good weekend for Washington Capitals fans. After a convincing win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday, the Capitals popped the balloon of a goalie who has given them hell in recent months. An explosive second period gave the Caps a big lead, and the superb Philipp Grubauer had an answer for all but one Rangers shot.
After a scoreless first period, Jason Chimera finally ended Henrik Lundqvist’s shutout streak by paying the price in the paint. An outside shot by Steve Oleksy was deflected just 25 seconds later to make it 2-0. Mikhail Grabovski earned a penalty shot on a late-period breakaway, and he freaking roofed it with a point-blank slapper. The Caps held a 3-0 lead after forty minutes.
Nate Schmidt, yes, Nate Schmidt added one in the third, but Pouliot returned fire to break Grubi’s shutout before the buzzer. A bummer, but a great win.
Caps beat Rangers 4-1!
— MAX DUCHAINE #ALLCAPS (@maxduchaine) December 8, 2013
And here’s the replay:
That could not have gone any better. The Caps overcame a sluggish start to dominate the possession game. They kept their metaphorical foot on the metaphorical gas pedal after scoring and got rewarded for it.
Henrik Lundqvist and his reduced-size pads were insufficient against a Caps offense in Thundercloud Formation: a crash-the-net goal from Chimera, a deflected sniper shot from Binky, and Grabo on the penalty shot. Add Nate Schmidt’s insurance goal late in the third and this was officially a scoar-moar-goals affair.
And then there’s Grubi. By the third period I was doing air fists every time he made a save. The broken shutout stings a bit, but the two points and the solid youngling holding down the crease are better. Great first W for the young guy.
The Capitals now own second in the Metro without contest. The team is playing better than they ever have. They evicted Lundqvist from his perch inside their heads. Whatever happens with that football team, let’s be glad the Caps are the Caps.
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