Capitals 4, Jets 2: Alex Ovechkins 40th goal is the game-winner for Washington

Forty minutes into Thursday night s game against the Winnipeg Jets, the
Washington Capitals didn t look like a team desperate for points before the NHL
s two-week Olympic break. But after being heavily outshot and facing a one-goal
deficit heading into the third period, they came out with a no-frills approach
and were rewarded for it.

The Capitals scored three times in the final 20 minutes to capture a 4-2 win
at Verizon Center. The critical tying and decisive goals came from Tom Wilson
and Alex Ovechkin — and each came from hard-working play and winning battles in
front of the net Mike
Green Jersey
.

I don t think we play well first two periods and [the third] was great
example how we have to play all three periods, said Ovechkin, whose tally was
his 40th and stood as the game-winner. Everybody move their legs, everybody
finish their checks. If we make mistakes nobody yell, nobody was putting finger
on this guy and if you make mistakes different guy step up and cover it. It was
a great period by us and we have to dictate it and play like that every
game.

Washington s rally came after it jumped out to an initial lead on Troy
Brouwer s first goal of the game just 4 minutes 56 seconds in. After taking that
advantage, though, the Capitals let Winnipeg back into the contest.

Martin Erat, who has yet to score a goal of his own in 50 games this season,
accidentally knocked a rebound past Braden Holtby gifting the Jets a tying tally
that would be credited to Bryan Little before the first period came to a close.
Then early in the second period, Washington lost track of 6-foot-5, 265 pound
Dustin Byfuglien as he joined a rush.

The hulking defenseman wristed a shot over Holtby s left shoulder to give the
Jets, winners of nine of their past 11 entering the contest, a 2-1 lead at 5:41.
Winnipeg controlled the rest of the middle frame, outshooting the Capitals,
16-7, in the frame and 30-18 through the first 40 minutes. If Washington was
going to get anything out of this game, things needed to change quickly.

We came in [the locker room] after the second period, we were extremely
unhappy with the way we were playing, the way we were giving up chances, our
execution, it was just poor all around, said Brouwer, who recorded his first
multigoal game since April 20. So we came out, we started winning battles as a
result, we were holding the puck a little bit more, creating some more
opportunities.

Enter the improbable offensive efforts of the fourth line and two
inexperienced defensemen, Julien Brouillette and Patrick Wey, who had just been
recalled Thursday morning.

Brouillette, making his NHL debut at age 27 after playing for eight teams in
two minor leagues over seven seasons, shot the puck off the end boards and it
caromed out in front of the Jets goal. Rookie winger Wilson found the loose puck
and deposited it into the yawning net while goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (26 saves)
was scrambling in the crease http://www.washingtoncapitalsstore.com/Jason_Chimera_Capitals_Jersey,
making it 2-2 just 3:38 into the third.

It was Wilson s second career goal but it marked the first NHL points for
Brouillette and Wey, who had the primary and secondary assists, respectively.
Receiving such an important contribution from players not necessarily expected
to etch their names on the scoresheet was just what the Capitals needed.

The play [Brouillette] made, banking it off the boards perfectly like that
was a great play, great play and obviously it worked, the bounce was right,
popped in the right spot, Coach Adam Oates said. It was a great play, gave us a
lot of life actually.

Then the Capitals top line followed a simple but effective recipe to push the
home team ahead once more.

Karl Alzner put a shot on net as Nicklas Backstrom jockeyed for position in
front. Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom sent Backstrom tumbling into Pavelec and
with the netminder preoccupied http://www.washingtoncapitalsstore.com/Braden_Holtby_Capitals_Jersey,
Ovechkin was able to snatch the rebound and fire the puck in at a steep angle to
make it 3-2. The goal marked the sixth time Ovechkin has hit the 40-goal plateau
in his career, but the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Brouwer added his second goal of the night on a two-on-two rush with 4:45
remaining in regulation to offer some security as the Capitals carried their
lead the distance Nicklas
Backstrom Jersey
. On this night, though, it was the gritty goals that made
the difference.

You look at the goals that we got it was — aside from Brouwer s last one
there — they were goals that you go to the dirty areas for, that you deserve as
a team, Holtby said. It s not always easiest to go there and find the puck in
those areas and we did that and it ultimately got us the game.

Capitals notes: Mike Green missed a fourth consecutive game with a
concussion. . . . Aaron Volpatti was placed on long-term injured reserve with an
undisclosed upper-body injury that is believed to be a left arm or shoulder
problem.

Sign In or Register to comment.