The Washington Capitals were dramatically outshot and out-attempted in a sleepy game against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night. But in the end, they had the two players who were the difference makers.
Philipp Grubauer made 39 saves to notch his third shutout of the season. Brett Connolly also tallied his 15th goal of the 2017-18 campaign, giving the Capitals a 1-0 victory.
Connolly scored the game winner on a 2-on-0 break with Jakub Vrana.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 23, 2018
The play started after a Red Wings player made a poor pass while forechecking in the offensive zone. After defenseman Xavier Ouellet couldn’t corral the pass at the blue line, Vrana was strong on the puck and using his speed, raced out with Connolly on a 2-on-0 odd-man break.
The Capitals routinely overpass on simple plays like this, but Connolly decided to call his own number. He beat Jimmy Howard glove side.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had a good look,” Connolly said to reporters. “I was trying my hardest to put that one in.”
“I think sometimes on that 2-on-0’s you can be a little bit too cute. Get a little too ahead of yourself,” Connolly continued. “I decided to keep it. I think maybe Howard thought I would move it again.”
The goal allowed Connolly to tie a career high in goals (15) and points (25).
The Brett Connolly goal hug was all arms pic.twitter.com/M9MFl149qi
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) March 23, 2018
At the bench, Connolly appeared to wink at the camera or have a face spasm.
“There wasn’t a lot all night for both teams,” Connolly said. “It’s kind of what’s going on this time of year: everything’s tight. We’ve got to find ways to win and we did that tonight. Kudos to the guys, Grubi, and to the coaching staff. Everybody.”
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