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The Capitals were back in action after losing to the Flames by a 4-1 count on Monday against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday at Capital One Arena. The Capitals defeated the Senators by a final count of 5-2. Braden Holtby made 29 saves in the win. The Capitals put Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom together for the first time in an effort spark the offense. The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs for the game:
8-Ovechkin, 19-Backstrom, 43-Wilson
13-Vrana, 92-Kuznetsov, 77-Oshie
10-Connolly, 20-Eller, 25-Smith-Pelly
18-Stephenson, 83-Beagle, 39-Chiasson
Holtby vs. Anderson.
Scoring: Jakub Vrana opened the scoring with 4:39 left in the period. Oshie circled around the offensive zone and fed Evgeny Kuznetsov in the crease. He was stopped by Anderson but Vrana was right on the doorstep to put it into the net. The goal marked his fifth of the season.
— #CapsGiving🦃 (@Capitals) November 23, 2017 Alex Ovechkin scored on a breakaway with 5 seconds left to make it 2-0. Former Senator Alex Chiasson fed the Capitals’ captain from center ice and Nicklas Backstrom also got an assist. That marked Ovechkin’s 14th goal of the season.
— #CapsGiving🦃 (@Capitals) November 23, 2017 The Good: The Capitals may have tied the Senators with 11 shots on goal but led 7-4 in scoring chances. They scored first for the third consecutive game and won 53% of the faceoffs in that period. Alex Ovechkin had 3 shots on goal that period five of the Capitals’ top six forwards recorded a point. Tom Wilson did not get a point. They also had 11 hits in the first 20 minutes.
The Bad: 9 of the Capitals’ shots were blocked by the Senators’ and the Capitals only had 3 blocked shots through the first frame. The Senators led in takeaways 2-0.
The Ugly: The Capitals turned the puck over again and again. They had eight giveaways alone in that first period.
Second Period: Scoring: Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on the power play with 12:19 left to make it 3-0 Washington. He took a feed from T.J. Oshie and used defenseman Dion Phaneuf as a screen. He fired one past Anderson to make it 3-0 Washington. It was his 6th of the season and 3rd power-play goal of the year.
— #CapsGiving🦃 (@Capitals) November 23, 2017 Jakub Vrana made it 4-0 with his second of the night with 10:02 left in the period. He shot one from the left dot and it snuck past Anderson. It was Vrana’s 6th of the season and his first career multi-goal game.
— #CapsGiving🦃 (@Capitals) November 23, 2017 Ryan Dzingel made it 4-1 to deny the Capitals’ shutout. Alexandre Burrows fed Dzingel from behind the net and he went top shelf on the Senators’ first power play of the night.
The Good: The Capitals got scoring from all of their big guns throughout the first two periods. Jakub Vrana scored for the first time since being scratched from Washington’s 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche last week. The Capitals killed any momentum the Senators’ may have gotten from their first goal by killing off 1:16 of a 5-on-3 Senators’ power play at the end of the period. Washington went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill in the second period while they scored on their lone power play. They also won 58% of the faceoffs and blocked 10 shots through 40 minutes.
The Bad: The Senators led in shots 11-6 during the second period.
The Ugly: The Capitals led 14-5 in giveaways after two periods of play.
Third Period: Scoring: Mike Hoffman cut the Capitals’ lead in half on a rebound from Mark Stone. Holtby made a nice save on Stone but he banked it off of the net and it went right to Hoffman, who made it 4-2 Capitals.
Alex Chiasson sealed the deal with an empty net goal against his former team. He cleared the puck on his backhand into the empty net to make it 5-2. The goal came with 18:29.
The Good: The Capitals were 55% at the faceoff dot. The Capitals’ stars showed up for this contest as Vrana scored twice, Kuznetsov once, and Ovechkin once. The Capitals also didn’t have any penalties called against them after having 3 in the second period alone. The Capitals also took advantage of its only power play of the night.
The Bad: The Senators led in blocked shots 15-12 and takeaways 8-5. The Capitals only had 7 shots in the 3rd Period.
The Ugly: Notta.
Shots: Senators – 31 Capitals – 25
Blocked Shots: Senators – 16 Capitals – 14
Power Play: Senators – 0/3 Capitals – 1/1
Hits: Senators – 23 Capitals – 20
Up Next: The Capitals close out their four-game homestand against the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday at 5 P.M. The Capitals will go up against the league’s most dynamic duo of Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, who lead the league with 33 and 35 points respectively. They will also face the NHL wins leader, Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has 14 wins. In addition to that, he has a .928 save percentage and a 2.34 goals against average. They were in action against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight and won 3-2 in OT. It should be a star-powered game and a very entertaining one, but nonetheless a big test for the Capitals. Faceoff is at Capital One Arena on NBC Sports Washington.
By Harrison Brown