Vrana Sends Capitals Past Senators

Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

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

44-Orpik, 74-Carlson
9-Orlov, 2-Niskanen
4-Chorney, 22-Bowey

Holtby vs. Anderson.

First Period:
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.

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.

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.

Game Stats:

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

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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9 Responses to Vrana Sends Capitals Past Senators

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Stats update – Bowey 5 assists, Orlov 4 pts, Nate S – 10 pts… after 23 games, tied with Pens… Flyers not looking good… Rangers on a roll… Canes are up and down

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