Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. A saying worth bringing up after the Capitals 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. With just about three minutes left in the first period, a period in which the Capitals did not play very well, the Caps were down 2-0. A goal by Devante Smith-Pelly with 18 seconds left in the first possibly changed the game.
The next forty minutes were very good for Washington, who after trailing 2-0, scored four unanswered goals and added an empty netter.
Before we say too much, let’s get to the charts.
A close game in the shot attempts department. It really only became one-sided when the Capitals got their third goal courtesy of Evgeny Kuznetsov. As you can also see, the Oilers tried to pull away in the first period, but Washington was terrific in the second period, where they had 27 of their 53 attempts.
Looking at the scoring chances chart, after watching the game I was surprised the Oilers had as many chances in tight as this shows. We can all see things differently but I didn’t think Holtby was challenged that much after the first period. Maybe that’s when all those dots showed up was the first twenty minutes.
There were not many Capitals who ended up with a good Corsi number vs the Oilers. Only six Caps ended the game over 50% Corsi and two guys finished right at 50%, The two being Peluso and Stephenson. Peluso played under five minutes, while Stephenson played just over ten minutes.
Dmitri Orlov for the second straight game led the Capitals tonight in shot attempts differential, but like the game vs Vancouver I didn’t think he had a great game. I was only tracking scoring chances for individuals for about half the game but he was one of the few who I had with a couple of chances against.
John Carlson didn’t have a good possession night and like Orlov, was one of the few who had multiple chances against.
Lars Eller: +2
Evgeny Kuznetsov: -1
Lars Eller had a great night. He tailed off a little towards the end of the game but he did get his first goal of the season, and if he plays like that (cutting out the 3 penalties he took) the Capitals third line will be dangerous.
Faceoffs were not the Capitals friend tonight. Winning 24 of 61 draws, they won just 39% of the total faceoffs. Beagle and Eller continue to be reliable at the dot while the Capitals top two centers had really bad nights going a combined 6 of 29.
Other faceoff takers:
Devante Smith-Pelly: 1 of 2
T.J. Oshie: 1 of 4
Alex Chiasson: 1 of 1
Chandler Stephenson: 0 of 1
Braden Holtby, much like the entire team, had a little bit of a rough start. Holtby got pulled in Vancouver and let in two first period goals against the Oilers. I don’t think either of the goals were that great, but I’m not sure you can blame Holtby THAT much on either. In the final forty minutes Holtby shutout the Oilers and made some nice saves along the way. A good night for the Washington netminder.
The Capitals special teams, or PK team was good tonight. They did not get a power play tonight. The only time they came close to a power play was the Lars Eller goal that came on a delayed penalty. The leaking penalty kill I thought was very good and they kept the Oilers power play off the board all four times.
It was looking a little grim in the first period. The Capitals, who got smoked in Vancouver on Thursday night were down 2-0 late in the first period. Adversity faced, and test passed. A good win and a great night for the Capitals.
Next up the Calgary Flames in a little less than twenty-four hours.
By CJ Witt