Throughout Nic Dowd‘s four-year career in the NHL, the forward has never had the opportunity to play in a postseason game. That will change this season, as the Capitals enter the playoffs at the top seed in the Metropolitan Division.
The experience is even sweeter, as Dowd scored the playoff and division clinching goals, ending a career-best regular season.
Dowd’s second-period goal came off a rip from the center of the ice. After Andre Burakovsky stole the puck from the Canadiens’ Paul Byron, he sent a heads up cross-ice pass to Dowd hanging out in the high slot.
Dowd received the pass in his skates but expertly corraled it. As Travis Boyd set up for a screen, Dowd beat Carey Price high and glove side.
“I am excited, I never have played in the playoffs,” Dowd said after the game where he scored the playoff clinching goal. “I think the difference between the teams that make runs and go all the way are contributions from the entire lineup and hat makes a big difference, and it takes some pressure off the main guys, takes a little bit off your goaltender.”
Dowd’s playoff-clinching goal was assisted by his former college roommate and teammate, Nick Jensen, who has never been to the postseason either. Jensen joined the Red Wings roster at the end of their 25-year playoff streak.
“Right now, I just want to focus on playing hockey and get ready for playoff hockey which I’ve never experienced so I’m excited and nervous about that coming up,” he told Chris Kuc of The Athletic. “It’s just a whole new level and it’s hard but at the same time when you’re on a good team and you’re rolling it looks like a lot of fun.”
Dowd has previously played on the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks, tallying a total of nine career goals in three seasons. This season, Dowd has eight goals and 14 assists.
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