Tom Wilson is playing the best hockey of his career, and Friday against the New York Rangers, the burly forward won the game for the Capitals in the final minutes of the third period.
A hardworking Wilson dove and knocked a loose puck in the crease to Matt Niskanen who whacked the biscuit home for the eventual game-winning goal. Later, Wilson took a pass and drove hard to the net, beating Henrik Lundqvist along the ice to give the Caps a 4-2 lead.
On the evening, Wilson had a goal, an assist, three shots, and six hits against the Rangers. It’s the second straight game the Capitals forward missed out on a Gordie Howe Hat Trick simply because he didn’t fight.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 9, 2017
Matt Niskanen’s thrilling game-winning goal began due to an incredible carry-in and power move, by who else, Wilson.
Wilson was unable to score on Lundqvist, but it led to chaos in front of the net. The puck rotated out to the point where Alex Ovechkin unleashed a big shot on net. Wilson corralled the rebound just enough to get it to Nisky who buried it.
The goal gave the Caps the lead with 3:32 remaining.
Henrik Lundqvist was not happy.
When you've been Tom Wilson'd pic.twitter.com/2yAsNwbuCX
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) December 9, 2017
Tom Wilson's got moves. pic.twitter.com/sFmFveDYls
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 9, 2017
Two minutes later, on his very next shift, Wilson ended the game with an insurance goal.
Wilson lost control of the puck, but the puck slid under Hank’s body for the tally.
The 2012 first-round pick now has nine points in his last nine games and six points in his last two.
“I think playing with O and Nicky brings it out of you,” Wilson said after the game. “Nicky’s a real smart player. They both make me a better player. I try and have that effect on them if I can. Get the pucks and keep it simple. They’re pretty good at what they do.”
Later, Braden Holtby summed it up best.
“He’s got all the tools,” Braden Holtby said. “I think he’s finally found the confidence and the areas to do that. Obviously playing the minutes helps any player that way. The opportunities, he’s taking advantage of it. He’s starting to see himself more of a factor offensively for our team. After he got hit there in the second, I think he controlled his emotions a little bit more than he would in the past knowing that we need him on the ice, not the penalty box. That’s the sign of maturity, that’s the sign of a leader, and an effective player for us.”
Headline photo: @Capitals
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.