Capitals Come Back From Down 5-1 To Conquer Canucks, 6-5 (SO); Evgeny Kuznetsov And Michal Kempny Each Strike Twice

1178174080_slidePhoto: Derek Cain/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 6-5 in a shootout at Rogers Arena on Friday night to improve to 3-0-1 on their season-long five-game road trip. The win built the Capitals’ a five-point lead over Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Metropolitan Division, though the Hurricanes currently have three games in hand on the Capitals. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov pitched 29 saves in the win.

Capitals Lines at Canucks

The Capitals made a couple of changes after their four-game winning streak ended with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday as forwards Jakub Vrana and Carl Hagelin were flipped in the middle-six forward group while defensemen Radko Gudas and Nick Jensen did the same on the blueline. Forward Travis Boyd also made his season debut against the Canucks, drawing in for Chandler Stephenson on the fourth-line. Forward Richard Panik (upper-body injury) missed his fifth consecutive game.

First Period

Vrana picked up a loose puck in the offensive zone and found a wide-open Evgeny Kuznetsov cruising down low. He fed Kuznetsov and he went backhand to forehand to beat goaltender Jacob Markstrom to the blocker side to make it 1-0 Capitals 3:18 into the game.

Forward Brock Boeser tied the game for the Canucks on the doorstep after getting fed by rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes, who circled around the rink to generate the scoring chance, on the power-play 2:15 after Kuznetsov opened the scoring.

After the Canucks won a draw, forward Tim Schaller raced all the way into the offensive zone and zipped one under the arm of Samsonov to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead while shorthanded at 7:29 elapsed time.

The Capitals led 10-3 in hits and had only three giveaways while the Canucks had six in the first. They didn’t convert on two power-play opportunities in the opening period.

The Canucks led 12-10 in shots and 4-2 in takeaways after one. They won 65% of the faceoffs and went 1-for-1 on the power-play in the first period.

Each team blocked three shots in the opening 20 minutes.

Second Period

Center Elias Pettersson one-timed a shot past Samsonov’s shoulder from the right circle after getting a loose puck off of a weird bounce off a Capital to make it 3-1 5:59 into the period.

Schaller batted his own rebound out of midair past Samsonov after driving to the cage once defenseman John Carlson blocked his initial shot to extend the Canucks’ lead to 4-1 at 13:59.

Forward Jake Virtanen sniped a shot above Samsonov’s glove from the slot after getting fed by center Bo Horvat from the left circle to give the Canucks a 5-1 lead 55 seconds after Schaller struck.

Kuznetsov beat the buzzer with a wrister from the right circle after deking out defenseman Troy Stetcher and scoring on Markstrom under the glove to make it 5-2 with his second of the game.

The Capitals led 18-8 in hits, 11-9 in blocked shots, and had five giveaways while the Canucks had eight through two. They went 0-for-2 on the power-play in the first two periods.

The Canucks led 25-16 in shots, including 13-6 in the second, 7-2 in takeaways, and won 58% of the draws through the first 40 minutes. They went 1-for-4 on the power-play in the first two periods.

Third Period

Center Lars Eller tapped in the puck through the pads of Markstrom after forward Garnet Hathaway threw it towards the net from the wall while shorthanded to cut the Canucks’ lead to 5-3 1:57 into the third.

Defenseman Michal Kempny blasted one from the point three minutes later after getting a pass off of the wall from forward Carl Hagelin to get the Capitals within one.

Kempny bombed another one from way out with Boyd screening Markstrom in front after forward Brendan Leipsic fed him from along the half-wall with 12:19 left. It marked the first multi-goal game of his career.

The Capitals led 22-14 in hits, 16-15 in blocked shots, and had seven giveaways while the Canucks had nine. They went 0-for-2 on the power-play.

The Canucks led 32-22 in shots, including 7-6 in the third, 9-3 in takeaways, and won 61% of the draws. They went 1-for-5 on the power-play.

The game would go to overtime for the second consecutive night for the Capitals.


The game would head to a shootout. The Capitals outshot the Canucks 7-2 in overtime but trailed 34-29 for the game.


Boeser was thwarted by Samsonov with the glove after he tried to pick the top corner in the first round.

Forward T.J. Oshie ripped one through the five-hole of Markstrom after waiting for him to make the first move.

Pettersson faked Samsonov out, got him out of the net, and potted one into the open cage to tie the game.

Kuznetsov was shut down by Markstrom after he went back and forth on the toe drag.

Forward Tanner Pearson was denied by Samsonov with the glove after walking in.

Backstrom potted the game-winner off of the post and in after ripping it down the left-wing blocker-side to finish off the comeback for the Capitals.

The Capitals conclude their road trip on Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Action from Scotiabank Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM ET.

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 Capitals Come Back From Down 5-1 To Conquer Canucks, 6-5 (SO); Evgeny Kuznetsov And Michal Kempny Each Strike Twice

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    What a come back!

  2. Pingback: Kuznetsov, Kempny Score Twice, Capitals Rally To Win 6-5 In Shootout: Inside The Numbers | NoVa Caps

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not happy with Samsonov goal tending first two period during last nights Vancouver game! But the third period and thereafter he was terrific. Many key saves 10 bellers for sure. Loved his overtime saves. But certainly he stepped up grew up in his shoot out round. The team continues to make mistakes that cost them goals. Hopefully a little more time together these issues will be discontinued. Early on in this young hockey season, teams the Capitals have faced seem to be younger and quicker. I hope this is not a sign of things to come on the ice for this Capital’s team. We’re veteran laden a few youngsters mixed in hopefully some gas left in the tank for the playoffs. Certainly a circling of the wagons beating Vancouver a great team win only adds to the commoradity/team chemistry on and off the ice. A few days off certainly much needed rest before playing the high flying speedy Toronto Maple Leafs.

  4. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Ilya Samsonov got SCHOOLED in last night’s game. But he did redemption in the shootout.

    We’ll always take an ugly win on the road, and this was one of the ugliest. Edmonton game was ugly too. West Coast road trips are hard

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