Let’s be real: the Capitals did not offer a winning effort on Tuesday night, and they were lucky to have escaped with a loser point.
But in overtime, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana just sorta gave up on a very important play.
Here, in its entirety, is Kasperi Kapenen‘s overtime game-winner.
That play developed pretty quickly, so let’s take it frame by frame.
We begin with Dmitry Orlov’s mondo slapshot from the blue line.
Kuznetsov and Vrana are being smartly opportunistic here, hoping for a lucky bounce and a rebound goal. Instead, Orlov’s shot misses the net. Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry grabs the puck and sends it up the boards while also bumping Vrana to stop his momentum.
We’re already in trouble. Vrana and Kuznetsov are both about 50 seconds into their shifts, and they’re about to lose a footrace.
We’re only at the Pittsburgh blue line, and Washington’s forwards are already trailing.
Quick interlude for Kuznetsov describing his recovery from COVID-19 last month: “There was a moment when I woke up, and almost cried happy tears when I realized I can walk and breathe.”
Fun times. Normal, normal times.
Okay, back to the play:
We’re at Washington’s blue line now. Regardless of how the play began, this is already practically a two-on-one. Vrana’s out of the play entirely, and Kuznetsov has fully lost Kapanen. He has one stride after this freeze frame, and then he’ll just coast to defeat.
Speaking of defeat:
Orlov plays this as best as he can, but the Penguins pump the brakes to make the pass. Vrana and Kuznetsov are non-entities as Vanecek’s strong game gets finally blown up.
Again, this game was poorly played from the first puck drop, but this final play makes me particularly cranky. Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels that way:
Vrana, Kuznetsov, Orlov were on the ice for Kapanen’s OT GWG. Vrana was visibly upset after, slammed his stick against the boards.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 24, 2021
Screenshots courtesy of NHL
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