The Washington Capitals ended a three game in four night stretch with a nail biter. After yielding the tying goal with less than three minutes left, the Caps ended it quickly in overtime with a Nicklas Backstrom snipe.
Taking into account that the Caps were without top players like Evgney Kuznetsov, TJ Oshie, and Braden Holtby, and playing their third game in four nights, the Capitals did quite well against the most offensively dangerous team in the league, the Colorado Avalanche.
This visual by MoneyPuck shows what many saw: the Avs came out flying in those first few minutes. But after that the Capitals really turned it on until the third period when their tired legs showed.
If the refs call the high sticking against Dmitry Orlov with about five minutes left in the game this graph would look better.
How great is it to have Tom Wilson back in the lineup? Only Alexander Ovechkin did better at creating scoring chances than Wilson. And if we switch to “all situations”, meaning including the power play where Wilson got some time, then he leads the whole team.
Something kind of extraordinary is how the Capitals did against the Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen line, also considered the best line in hockey currently. Not only was that line held scoreless but they were outplayed by the Ovechkin-Eller-Wilson line. The MacKinnon line started in the offensive zone 66% of their shifts, yet only had 39% of the shot attempts, 48% of the scoring chances, and 5% of the high danger chances. That’s simply amazing especially considering it wasn’t even with Backstrom or Kunzetsov on that line. [Those stats provided Natural Stat Trick]
The Capitals might not have dominated the game but considering injuries and energy levels they did more than enough to deserve two points in the Mile High City. Now they get two days rest before heading to Montreal to end their road trip.
By Luke Adomanis