Capitals Beat Sharks 5-4 (OT); Lars Eller Scores Game Winner, Jakub Vrana Scores Twice

Photo: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 (OT) Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena. The win improves the Capitals record to 29-9-5 (63 points) on the season.

After a scoreless first frame, the Sharks Evander Kane would score a hat trick in the middle frame and Nic Dowd and Jakub Vrana would dent the twine for the Capitals for a 3-2 Sharks lead at the second intermission. San Jose would add an empty net goal late in the third period, but Jakub Vrana would answer with a 6-on-5 goal just 13 seconds later to make it 4-3. T.J. Oshie would score to tie the game with 15 seconds left in regulation, sending the game to overtime. Lars Eller would score the game winner in overtime.


Braden Holtby (17-7-0-4, 2.99 GAA, .902 sv%) started between the pipes for Washington. Martin Jones (13-15-0-1, 3.13 GAA, .893 sv%) got the start in goal for visiting San Jose. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Christian Djoos.

A sleepy start to this one following the 12:30 pm puck drop. San Jose led in shots on goal 9-5 after 13 minutes of play.

The first period would ultimately go scoreless. San Jose led in shots 12-10. The Sharks led in shot attempts 24-19 in the first frame. There were no power plays in the first period.

The Sharks would pot the game’s first tally on a power play goal from Evander Kane (16) at 6:25 of the middle frame.

But the Capitals would quickly answer. Nic Dowd would score the Capitals first goal of the game just 1:04 later at 7:29 of the second period. Brendan Leipsic (7) and Garnet Hathaway (7) had the helpers.

The Sharks would regain the lead with a goal from Evander Kane (17), his second of the game, at 10:06 of the second period, making it 2-1. Kane had just left the penalty box on the rush.

Evander Kane would complete the second period hat trick with a power play goal at 16:49 of the period.

But the Capitals would quickly answer with a goal from Jakub Vrana at 18:42 of the second period, making it 3-2. T.J. Oshie (15) had the lone assist.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a clean breakaway, and looked to tie the score late in the frame, but failed on an attempted between-the-legs shot.

The frame would conclude with the Capitals trailing 3-2. The Capitals led in shots on goal 12-11 for the middle frame with the Sharks leading 24-22 after two periods.

The Sharks led in shot attempts 16-14 in the second period and led 40-33 after two periods. San Jose was 2 for 2 and the Capitals 0 for 1 on the power play after two periods.

The final frame would go scoreless for most of the period. The Sharks added an empty net goal late to stretch their lead to 4-2, but Jakub Vrana would answer with a 6-on-5 tally just 13 seconds later at 19:13 to make it 4-3.

T.J. Oshie would then tie the game with 15 seconds left in regulation.

The Capitals would win it in overtime with a goal from Lars Eller.

The Capitals are back on the ice on Tuesday when they host the Ottawa Senators. Puck drop is just after 7:00 p.m.


  • Jakub Vrana has 17 goals this season at even strength, tied with Leon Draisaitl and Nathan MacKinnon for the fourth most in the NHL.
  • Nic Dowd ties the game 1-1 with his fifth goal of the season. Brendan Leipsic and Garnet Hathaway recorded the assists. It’s the ninth goal this season that trio has produced at five-on-five, and they now have a 69.2 goals-for percentage at five-on-five.


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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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10 Responses to Capitals Beat Sharks 5-4 (OT); Lars Eller Scores Game Winner, Jakub Vrana Scores Twice

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    The following phenomenon has occurred with the Washington Capitals’ NHL franchise: The 23 roster players have “tuned out” their Head Coach and his Staff. That’s right — the Coaches have lost the Locker Room — irretrievably. It’s just true. The evidence is overwhelming, and my favorite symptom is to see the huge minus-ratings of the immortal Alex Ovechkin and Hall of Famer Nick Backstrom. They are minus 13 and minus 6 respectively. There is ONE and ONLY ONE way that this happens: They have tuned-out the Coaches, and are demonstrating that they’re not buying what Baldy is selling. It’s not “good on them,” Ovechkin and Backstrom, for tanking the season. But the reason they have done so is that Reirden & Co. haven’t the vaguest clue how to properly deploy them — or any other part of their team.

    There is no remedy except to fire the Coach. I call for GM Brian MacLellan to do the right thing and immediately fire Todd Reirden. His staff can wait until next season to be replaced. But the Caps will free-fall at minus nine point eight one meters per second per second until they have comprehensively crashed and burned. Either they will miss the playoffs altogether or get skunked in the First Round.

    It’s disgusting!

    TOR Maple Leafs got it right. Their GM and President canned Coach Babcock, and without excessive hand-wringing. Instantly the Leafs turned around their plunging season and are now on the verge of passing the Caps on their way to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. The Leafs are good. The Caps stink.

    Day One believes that, unfortunately, too much damage has been done to the Caps on-ice performance that the season will be unsalvageable. That is unless GMBM recognizes the dire emergency and cuts out the cancers that are devouring his team. Not precisely sure with whom they should replace Coach Hair Club! But it is the INDICATED course of action. The only plausible decision. Maybe Spencer Carbery can put some FIRE into this deflated team. They really need Dale Hunter but he knows better.

    Today’s bizarre miracle finish against SJS is a mirage. The Caps are broken. Time to fix it

  2. Esteban says:

    Kuzy needs to sit for a few games for those antics. I can’t wait until he is traded and McMichael can take his place.

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