Photo: NHL/Getty Images
Each week during the remainder of the offseason, NoVa Caps reporter Michael Marzzacco will take a trip down memory lane and share with you what he believes to be the Top 10 moments from this past season. Here is #9: Kevin Shattenkirk’s overtime winner during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Pittsburgh.
I attended Game 2 of the series between the Penguins and Capitals. The home team came close in Game 1, so I predicted they would even the series up. The streets were jam-packed. The atmosphere was electric and I couldn’t hear myself think inside Verizon Center. But, the Penguins piled on six goals in a tough blowout loss.
Down 2-0 in a series that shifted to enemy territory in Pittsburgh, the Capitals’ backs were already against the wall. This game was a game the Capitals needed to win to save their season.
Shattenkirk, the newest Capital that was acquired at the trade deadline, had his best game in a Capitals sweater and he helped give the Caps life in this series. He only had a brief time in Washington so this is the one fans will remember the most.
This game had several story lines. Matt Niskanen’s controversial stick hit on Sydney Crosby also took center stage. The hit took the eventual back-to-back Conn Smythe winner out of the game, causing many Penguins fans and a “journalist” to come up with crazy conspiracy theories. Regardless, the Capitals didn’t let the drama distract them and they nearly pulled off a 3-1 comeback. That wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for this game.
Adding insult to, uh, Penguins injury, the Capitals got a 5-on-3 power play and cashed in right away with a goal by Nicklas Backstrom. Evgeny Malkin tied it early in the second period or so they thought. The goal was waved off for goalkeeper interference. The Capitals nearly went up 2-0 on a chance by Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Kuzy would redeem himself late in the third to put the Capitals up 2-0, a safe lead right? Not at all, against the Pens. The Penguins continued to frustrate the Caps by rallying from a two-goal deficit to tie the game.
The Capitals got a power play early in overtime and Shattenkirk slapped it in from the point to give the Capitals the win and life in the series.
What is #8? Tune in next week!
Top 10 Moments
#10: Capitals Countdown, Top 10 Moments from 2016-17: #10
By Michael Marzzacco