Coming into tonight’s game, the Arizona Coyotes had won only two of their first 15 games and were in last place in the NHL standings by a country mile. The Capitals needed overtime to beat them. At home. With a fluke play.
But a win is a win and that is a very good thing. So let’s celebrate John Carlson’s OTGWG with the vigor it deserves.
The play actually started two-minutes and eighteen seconds before in the Caps defensive zone. Jay Beagle, Mr. Dependable at faceoffs, was kicked out of dot after a violation.
Barry Trotz iced Beags and two other defensemen during this pivotable three-on-three overtime draw so up stepped Carlson for a rare draw.
Carlson lost the faceoff handily, but made up for it eight seconds later. Carlson forced a turnover from rookie sensation Clayton Keller.
For the next two minutes of uninterrupted play, the Capitals would come in waves at the Coyotes net and never lose possession of the puck for more than a short period of time. Carlson stepped off the ice briefly for a shift change, but would come back on the ice for the final minute of play along with Evgeny Kuznetsov and TJ Oshie.
After TJ Oshie forced a turnover at center ice, the trio entered the Coyotes zone with an odd-man break. And that was all she wrote.
The steal. The OT goal.
John Carlson everybody 👏 👏 pic.twitter.com/GuCWKwro8S
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) November 7, 2017
Kuznetsov passed to Oshie. Oshie whiffed on the one-timer, but the deflected puck went right into John Carlson’s wheel house.
Carly blasted the puck home past Coyotes goaltender Scott Wedgewood for the victory.
Here’s another look.
Carlson celebrated by dropping to one knee and doing his customary fist pump.
After the game, talk centered more around Carlson’s faceoff loss than his game-winning goal.
Carlson was asked about taking a faceoff in OT. He lost it. "I was pissed," he said. Added that centers don't let him practice anymore.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 7, 2017
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) November 7, 2017
“Originally I was going to have, in my head, Lar and Beags go out with a defenseman, but then I changed my mind and put two D out there,” Trotz said after the game. “From a defending standpoint I thought if we get Beags out there, we win the draw, and we get possession, then we could get a change and we’ll get a forward back on. But didn’t work out that way.
“Carly didn’t look very comfortable taking a draw,” Trotz continued with a wry smile. “It was good he got the winning goal. The guys were joking about it. Maybe we will be adding [defender faceoff drills] to the many different things we’re trying to add to our team all the time.”
Carlson’s hustle more than made up for his faceoff loss. It ended up giving the Capitals their third-straight win for the first time all season.
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— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 7, 2017
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 7, 2017
Headline photo: @NHL_PR
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