Photo: Patrick McDermott
[Editor’s note: With Peter in Florida, the lovely Emily Wright is handling the recap duties for us.]
The first period began with whatever the opposite of a ton of offensive firepower is called. At one point, the Caps were stuck in their own zone for 97 minutes, with Green and Hillen greying after every failed clear. While exhausting and a little bit scary, the Jets weren’t able to generate many chances, save Enstrom’s whizzing shot that made the post sing something between a B and a B flat.
The Caps went on the power play after a tripping call, and while most of us were waiting for Ovi to terrorize Winnipeg again, John Carlson had other ideas, and with some help from a Backstrom faceoff winner and Johansson’s screen, Troy Brouwer tipped the puck past the Jets netminder (or at least that’s what it looks like).
As the period wore on, the home team began looking a little sharper. Karl Alzner, looking Alzner-y as ever, delivered a silken stretch pass to Ovi, who muscled the puck down ice, through Mark Stuart’s legs, catching Pavelec five hole. For those of you counting, it was Ovechkin’s 38th of the season. The selfish, enigmatic season.
The period was over. And it was good.
Winnipeg came out of the gates looking more cohesive in the second. After a failed Capitals clear, the puck pinballed around in front of Holtby, eventually ending up on Enstrom’s stick, who steered it into the net. What happened next should not have surprised anybody: Winnipeg is the most penalized team in the NHL. But still. A series of 4 nearly consecutive Jets penalties (tripping! tripping! MOAR tripping! too many men!) gave Nicklas Backstrom all the time and space he needed to score…twice, including a nightmarish four on one after the too many men turned into no mans on the ice. He even smiled and celebrated a little bit. It was neat.
With the game in hand, the Caps seemed to really enjoy the third period, skating with speed, confidence, and creativity. Brooks Orpik enjoyed it so much he decided to hug Jets winger Chris Thorburn for a while, which the mean-spirited refs decided was interference. No worries, says Troy Brouwer, determined to Bailamo tonight– even if shorthanded. His empty netter made it 5-1 with around three minutes left to play.
Those last minutes proved dangerous for the boys in red. In short order, Mike Green took a hard puck to the ankle and Michael Latta was hit up high and sought immediate refuge on the bench. Added to Carly’s shiner-in-progess, the fellas are going to look a lot like the Jets feel tomorrow.
In the absence of Joe B, I offer the Smokin’ Al Koken luxurious slivery hair shot of the night.
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