Each week over the course of 10 weeks, NoVa Caps’ contributor Michael Marzzacco will take a look back at what he believes were the Top 10 Moments of the 2015-2016 Washington Capitals’ season.
#5: Caps clinch playoff berth on Ovechkin’s OT goal – March 15, 2016
After five weeks of revisiting incredible moments from this past season, we have now reached the top half. We start this final five with the playoff clincher in March against the Hurricanes.
On Russian Heritage Night at Verizon Center, the Caps were looking to clinch a playoff spot for the eighth time in the last nine seasons as well as win #50 on the season. The Caps were coming off a two game losing streak from their west coast road swing. They got a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in exciting fashion in front of their home crowd. You can read the game re-cap by clicking here.
After a scoreless first period, which saw Washington outshoot Carolina 10-8, the Caps found the back of the net 90 seconds into the second period. Jason Chimera had the puck on the left side of the goal line along the boards where he found Justin Williams right in front of Canes goaltender Eddie Lack to his right. Williams lit the lamp and the Caps took a 1-0 lead.
The Hurricanes evened the contest at 10:50 after Dmitry Orlov failed to clear the puck. Jordan Stall took advantage of Orlov’s miscue and put it past Braden Holtby to tie the game at 1-1.
The third period was scoreless and the game headed to overtime. Midway through the extra session, Evgeny Kuznetsov made his way behind the net where he found Alex Ovechkin making his way to the front of the net. Kuzy fed him the puck and Ovechkin buried it to give the Caps the win.
The goal went to a review as there was some question on whether Kuznetsov was offsides or not when entering the zone, but after further review it was a good goal.
It was also the most complete game the Capitals had played since the snowmeggadon hit the DC-Metro area in late January.
Fittingly on Russian Heritage Night, Orlov, Kuznetsov, and Ovechkin were all on the ice together during the game-winning goal. Ovechkin told reporters after the game, “Kuzy make nice sauce.”
By Michael Marzzacco