The Washington Capitals got off to a rare good start during an afternoon game against the New Jersey Devils. The Caps scored three goals in the first 13:40 of the first period, seeming like they’d cruise to an easy victory over the second-worst-in-the-East Devils. Instead, they turtled in the second and watched New Jersey score two unanswered goals. The third didn’t go much better until THE SNEK struck.
After being benched for most of the second period, Vrana returned in the third and scored on a breakaway.
The goal sapped the Devils of momentum. And while it wasn’t the game-winner, [wink] we know who really iced the game.
Vrana was sprung by a beautiful “chip shot” up the middle by John Carlson.
“The actual pass the way it worked out is not very skilled in any way,” Carlson said after the game according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. “It was more about making sure I got it out of the zone first and then I kind of got lucky from there.”
Vrana raced to the puck first, skated past young star Nico Hischier, and passed the puck ahead to himself. As Vrana caught up to the biscuit, he shot it immediately, catching MacKenzie Blackwood by surprise five-hole.
— NHL (@NHL) February 27, 2021
The goal was Vrana’s sixth of the season – all at even strength. He’s now tied for the team lead in ESG with Nicklas Backstrom.
Now I will celebrate V’s goals by posting these GIFs from Crasher Will.
Vrana’s goal came in a game where he only received 14:36 of ice time. Vrana sat for most of the second period by Peter Laviolette. TJ Oshie temporarily replaced Vrana on the Backstrom-Wilson line.
Double checking the shift chart (which is incorrect) with the video, Vrana had one shift over the final 14:04 of the second period (just prior to and overlapping into the PP).
But he was on the ice to begin the third period with Backstrom and Oshie.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 27, 2021
“I think we slipped a little bit in the second period,” Laviolette said.
“Sometimes you move the lines around based on what you’re seeing on the ice,” he added. “I noticed that Oshie had slipped in minutes a little bit. I was looking for that line to be more productive so I wanted to get Osh involved. Guys got to compete hard to play hard. I’m counting on everybody to do that. When you’re trying to find ice for somebody, you have to replace somebody else.”
thanks I hate it pic.twitter.com/4Dp1cUaOLs
— Peter (good tweets only) (@peterhassett) February 19, 2021
Screenshot courtesy of NBC Sports Washington
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