Nic Dowd is a familiar kind of player. He’s a imperfect depth guy who wins faceoffs, plays very tough minutes, scores timely goals, and has a dogged work ethic. Hmm. Is there a word for that?
Through the first three games of the playoffs, the Capitals’ fourth line has scored four of the team’s six even-strength goals. Nic Dowd scored the overtime game-winning goal in Game One – the only victory the Capitals have had in the series so far.
Meanwhile, Garnet Hathaway, known more for his fists than his finesse, struck twice in Game Two – his first career postseason goals. The Capitals’ Lady Byng nominee is tied for the team lead in points (3) with Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson.
The fourth line’s offensive success comes despite Dowd having a team-high 30 starts in the defensive zone per Natural Stat Trick. So what’s the deal?
Nic Dowd managed to have a career year during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 regular season. Now he’s picking up where he left off in the playoffs.
Dowd, affectionally named Judy for his love of the reality court show Judge Judy, scored his first career playoff overtime goal, giving the Capitals an unlikely 3-2 victory in Game One.
The Capitals lost Vitek Vanecek in the first period due to injury and got a solid effort from third-string goaltender Craig Anderson.
In the hours leading up to Wednesday’s rematch between the Capitals and Rangers, the Rangers organization called Tom Wilson’s role in a line brawl on Monday “a horrific act of violence.” Rangers players said Wilson had no respect for the game or its players. And the team said the Department of Player Safety’s George Parros should be fired after choosing to fine, not suspend the Capitals forward. The Rangers essentially painted themselves into a corner, where there had to be retribution in Wednesday’s game.
And retribution there was.
The Rangers and Capitals opened the game with a line brawl. All six forwards on the ice fought. Before the game was five minutes old, the teams dropped the mitts six different times.
Nic Dowd is having a career year despite there being 31 percent less games than a normal season.
On Monday, the fourth-line center reached double digits in goals for the first time after beating Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin five-hole.
Fourth line center Nic Dowd is a man of the people and Thursday, he did not let a long distance get in the way of a good deed.
As Dowd was leaving the ice for warmups, he picked up a souvenir puck and Joe Montana’d it to the club level.
Nic Dowd isn’t a natural goal-scorer. He’ll never lead his team in goals. But Sunday against the Boston Bruins, the fourth-line center scored a goal that would even make his senpai, Alex Ovechkin, proud.
After taking a drop pass from Carl Hagelin on an overlap, Dowd skated the puck to the left circle. Then he wound up, fired, and scored. Dowd beat Bruins goaltender Dan Vladar clean. The goal gave the Caps a 5-0 lead.
At first, Dowd seemed like a nonbeliever that it went in. He didn’t celebrate. He just stood there. And then it happened.
The New York Islanders throttled the Washington Capitals 8-4 at Nassau Coliseum Thursday night and it ended with fireworks.
At the buzzer, there was a gentlemanly throwdown between two of the teams’ leaders, Zdeno Chara and Matt Martin.
The fight led to an awkward showdown between both teams at center ice that thankfully didn’t materalize into a brawl.
Nic Dowd sealed the Capitals’ 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, taking a pot shot at the Flyers’ empty net with 28 seconds left remaining in the game. At first, Dowd’s decision seemed ridiculous and perhaps unwise. Dowd launched a wrist shot from behind both Ilya Samsonov and the Capitals net, 185 feet away from the Flyers’ goal.
Dowd’s shot was perfect though and it went in. According to the checking-line center, this was all according to Peter Laviolette’s plan.
Nic Dowd was the hero tonight against the Flyers, but it was absurd.
His first goal was a complete trainwreck while his second tally was breathtakingly beautiful.
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