The Washington Capitals beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 Friday night at Capital One Arena. The win ends the Capitals losing streak at seven games and improves their record to 28-17-6 (62 points) on the season. The Capitals season-long six-game homestand continues on Super Bowl Sunday when they host the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 12:30 PM.
Nic Dowd deflected a shot from the point by John Carlson three minutes into the contest for an early 1-0 lead. The Flames would answer late in the period, but Dmitrij Jaskin would score a dirty goal in the last minute of play to give the Caps a 2-1 lead at the first intermission. Tom Wilson would make it 3-1 just 54 seconds into the middle frame, but the Flames would quickly answer for a 3-2 game at the second intermission. The Flames would tie the game with eight minutes left in regulation to make it 3-3, but Evgeny Kuznetsov would pot the game winner with 57 seconds left in regulation for the 4-3 Capitals win.
Braden Holtby (17-12-3, 3.11 GAA, .905 sv%) got the start in goal for the Capitals. Mike Smith (14-9-1, 3.04 GAA, .888 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Flames. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Alex Ovechkin served his mandatory one-game suspension for missing the All-Star game. Madison Bowey and Travis Boyd were the healthy scratches.
The Capitals struck first with a deflected goal from Nic Dowd at 3:00 of the first period. John Carlson lofted a shot on goal, which was deflected by Dowd in front of the net. John Carlson (40) and Michal Kempny (12) were credited with the helpers.
The Flames would tie the game with a goal from Michael Backlund at 17:37 of the first period.
But the Capitals would get it back with a goal from Dmitrij Jaskin at 19:24 of the opening frame. Lars Eller (16) and Brooks Orpik (3) were credited with the assists.
The period would end with the Capitals leading 2-1. The Flames out-attempted the Capitals 27-18 with shots on goal (SOG) tied 13-13 for the opening frame. There were no penalties called in the first period.
The Capitals would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a goal from Tom Wilson just 54 seconds into the middle frame.Jakub Vrana (14) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (33) were credited with the helpers.
But the Flames would quickly answer. Garnet Hathaway would pot his sixth goal of the season at 2:17 of the second period, making it 3-2 Caps.
Lars Eller skated just two shifts in the middle frame be he left with a lower body injury. He would not return for the remainder of the game.
The second period would end with the Capitals lead 3-2. Shot attempts were tied 16-16 with the Capitals leading in SOG 16-7 for the middle frame. The Capitals were 0 for 3 and Calgary 0 for 0 on the power play in the second period.
The Flames would tie the game midway through the final frame with a goal from Elias Lindholm at 12:01 of the final frame.
The Capitals would win it with a late goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov at 19:03 of the final frame.
The Capitals would hang on for the 4-3 win. Things got a bit chippy after the game ended:
Just a friendly post-game conversation. #CapsFlames #CAPS #ALLCAPS #NHL pic.twitter.com/h6Ug6LXkfw
— Julia Goodwin (@JuliaKristine) February 2, 2019
- John Carlson recorded a primary assist on Nic Dowd’s goal. He now has points in four straight games (2g, 3a) and his 25 primary assists rank second among defensemen this season (Brent Burns: 27).
- Tom Wilson gives the Caps a 3-1 lead with his 14th goal of the season. He has now tied his career high in goals in a single season, set last year, in 46 fewer games.
- With a primary assist on Tom Wilson’s goal, Jakub Vrana has tied his assist total from last season (14) in 22 fewer games.
- The Capitals blocked 13 shots that period. Their most in a single game this season is 23 (Nov. 5, 2018 vs. Edmonton).
- Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal marked his 10th of the season and his first game-winning goal of the year. It’s the seventh time this season the Capitals have recorded a game-winning goal in the final 10 minutes of a game.
- The NHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT
It appeared to me that the Flames were more affected by the Allstar break early in the first period. No doubt the Caps were able to take advantage of this situation by scoring the first goal of the game. Once Calgary regained their shaking legs they started to take control in the offensive side of the ice. But the difference was last year’s winning cup style of play return protecting the house around goalkeeper Holtby. Then I realize we could possibly secure a victory against a first place team in the Western Division. The true test will come tomorrow against the Bruins in a Sunday matinee game at the Capital One Arena. Let the fans know were back in championship form once again.
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