Let’s Get Spooky: Caps Beat Nucks 5-2

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Photo: Vancouver Canucks

Halloweekend is upon us. Any normal person would be heading out in their Halloween best, bingeing their child’s candy, or if you’re my age, heading to a party of this variety. The Caps celebrated Halloween previously this week, and continued their trek across western Canada with a visit to Vancouver to face off against the Canucks. Michael has your game preview here. Coffee? Chugged. Candy? At my disposal. Leopard onesie? Costume is a go. Let’s rage. 

Per CSN, the Capitals typically outscore opponents 7-2 in the first period, while the Canucks are outscored 7-1. Those numbers would be tested 7 minutes and 57 seconds in as TJ Oshie was called for holding. Fortunately, Vancouver’s anemic power play stayed that way, while Marcus Johansson bull rushed Jacob Markstrom outside the crease. The squads traded chances, with Grubauer stymying a 2-on-1 one-timer from Sven Baertschi. The Caps would strike first off of a Niskanen bomb that was deflected by Marcus Johansson at 17:57.

Newly minted 2nd liner Tom Wilson would follow suit with a snipe 15 seconds later. That would be Willy’s first goal since March of the previous season.

Vancouver would counter with a rebound bobbler from Jannik Hansen with 5 seconds left in the period, leaving the score 2-1.

philipp-grubauer-washington-capitalsProbably very necessary after that 1st period.

The 2nd period got off to a rocky start when Karl Alzner was called for high-sticking, but it was nullified with stout defending from the Caps penalty kill. Shortly after, Alex Ovechkin jack-hammered a Justin Williams blast through to make it 3-1. But a coaches challenge would make an appearance and after further review the score would revert to 2-1. The Capitals would then get a power play and convert, with JoJo scoring his 2nd goal of the game. This one wasn’t overturned thanks to the coaches challenge.

With 5:28 remaining, Gruby went full splits to deny a Sedin 2-on-1 opportunity. But Bo Horvat would clean up a Jake Virtanen rebound with a little over 2 minutes remaining. The period would end 3-2.

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The third period commenced with Carter Hutton taking a penalty 3 minutes in giving the Caps a man advantage. The Capitals couldn’t convert, and the period see-sawed with chances. Lars Eller corralled Jannik Hansen in front of the net and the Caps would go short handed again, but again they had a successful kill. Jacob Markstrom’s best effort wasn’t enough as the Capitals peppered him throughout, and TJ Oshie put away a one-timer top shelf with two and a half minutes left. With a 4-on-4 and empty net situation, Karl Alzner bumped a shot down the ice and into the net.

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Good guys win 5-2!

Some extra nuggets and parting thoughts:

  • Alex Ovechkin’s denied goal brings me back to this post on coaches challenges. This years scoring has been up, but is goalie interference the new off-sides when it comes to denying goals? We’ll have to wait it out the rest of the season to know for sure.
  • Remember when people wondered if re-signing MoJo was worth it or not? Pretty sure he was, since he was money in the bank tonight with 2 goals and 1 assist.
  • This was the Tom Wilson Caps fans had been clamoring for when he was drafted in the first round of 2012. I’m not surprised considering Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson were his line mates, but Barry Trotz has stated he wants to see more from Wilson. I’d bet that putting him on a line with stronger players forced him to play a more evolved power forward role, especially given that the “power forwards” Kuzy and MoJo typically play with are Ovechkin and Oshie.
  • The Caps power play was 1 for 2 tonight. Allelujah, it has risen, albeit ever so slightly.
  • Craig Laughlin stated that half the Swedish National Team was on the ice tonight. I wouldn’t say half based on the World Cup of Hockey roster, but definitely a sizable portion played.

Good guys get the win against a team they should beat with their best game of the season. Now get to your Halloweens (or sleep), and follow this kids lead.

By Julia Karron

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