Capitals head coach Barry Trotz returned Tom Wilson to top line duty for the first time since December 28 against the Boston Bruins. The move paid immediate dividends.
In the Capitals’ 3-2 win, Wilson finished an assist shy of his first career Gordie Howe Hat Trick, registering a goal and a fight. Wilson was also a plus-five in shot attempts and had three shots on goal.
Tom Wilson takes down Josh Anderson! 👊👊💥
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) February 7, 2018
Wilson’s 60th career fight came against Josh Anderson. The super heavyweights dropped the gloves 12:23 into the first period after Wilson hit Anderson in the offensive zone.
Anderson stalked Wilson up the ice and the 6’4” forward was happy to oblige in some face-punching.
After absorbing several jabs, Wilson earned the takedown with a huge overhand punch.
The best part of the fight was that Wilson took one of Columbus’s best offensive players off the ice for five minutes.
“You know what? Ill-advised for Josh Anderson,” NBC Sports Washington’s Alan May said at intermission. “He’s got 16 goals and is getting it going with Tom Wilson who hasn’t had a goal in 12 games. I guarantee you John Tortorella is not happy with him.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 7, 2018
In the second period, Wilson would add a skill goal.
Gathering in a brilliant pass from Alex Ovechkin, Wilson deked to his backhand before sliding the puck under Sergei Bobrovsky’s five hole.
Wilson’s goal matches his career high set during both of the last two seasons.
During those 82 game campaigns, Wilson scored seven times. 49 games into the 2017-18 season, Wilson has already tied that high water mark and is one point away from tying his career high (23 points) set in 2015-16.
Welcome back, #TopLineTom. The first line looks good on you.
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