The Washington Capitals continued their on-ice clashes with Canadian clubs in this Monday night matchup with the Ottawa Senators.
The Capitals’ latest effort was a losing one to the Calgary Flames last Saturday. They started slow in that game, going down 3-0 in the first period, before battling back to take the game to overtime. It would be Elias Lindholm who ended that one with his third goal of the game, but the Caps earned a point in a game that got away from them early.
The lineup for this game vs. the Sens was the following:
Nic Dowd missed this game with a lower-body injury which forced rookie, Hendrix Lapierre, back into the mix to play at Canadian Tire Centre — Only a few miles away from his hometown of Gatineau, Quebec.
Ilya Samsonov was given the nod between the pipes after Vitek Vanecek was pulled against the Flames after letting up three goals on 14 shots.
Much like with the game against the Calgary Flames, the Senators got the scoring started early with a perfectly placed Drake Batherson wrist shot from the wall that found its way over the shoulder of Samsonov to make the game 1-0.
The Capitals would respond not too long after with a goal by T.J. Oshie. After a solid forecheck, Trevor van Riemsdyk was able to slide the puck over to Oshie who roofed it on Anton Forsberg from in tight to tie the game at one.
It would be Oshie who would strike again on an absolute rip from the hash marks. The puck went shortside top shelf on a filthy feed from Anthony Mantha. Also of importance, Connor McMichael recorded his first career point with an assist on this one. He is still in the hunt for his first career goal.
The Capitals struck again with a nice shot from the point by Nick Jensen who continues his hot start offensively. Lapierre provided a solid screen in front and looked right in place on that “fourth line” with Sheary and Sprong.
Following that, it was John Carlson who sniped the Capitals’ fourth goal from the top of the hask marks and chases Senators’ goaltender, Anton Forsberg, from the net in the first period.
The first period ended with the Capitals up on the scoreboard 4-1 and leading in shots 18-13.
In the second period, it would be the Senators who struck first on a one-time blast from Josh Norris from another sharp angle that beat Samsonov five hole. This goal, as well as the first one, are goals I’m sure Sammy would like to have back as this one just slipped through his legs and trickled in.
After a series of penalties, and an especially questionable interference call on Oshie, the Sens struck again to bring the game within one. The goal was a back-door one-timer courtesy of Chris Tierney after a dominating shift by Ottawa.
The Senators complete the three-goal comeback that the Capitals completed the game prior. This goal was an unfortunate bounce on a failed John Carlson pass attempt behind the net that found its way right to the front of the net to an open Senator who dragged the puck around Samsonov to tie the game.
The Capitals needed a response, and they got one from a familiar face. Alex Ovechkin blocked a shot and went barrelling down the other way and slipped the puck five hole in a Kuzy-esque fashion to retake the Capitals’ lead.
Then, with seven seconds remaining in the second, T.J. Oshie wrapped the puck around the net and received a fortunate bounce off a defender’s skate and into the back of the net for his third goal of the game — the second hat trick in as many Capitals games. McMichael received his second career point/assist on this goal.
The period ended 6-4 for Washington, but the shots that period were 16-6, and 29-24 overall in favour of the Senators. As shaky as Sammy looked on a couple of the goals, he definitely kept the game closer than it could’ve been as Ottawa was pressing hard in that second period.
The Senators struck first in the third period. After another dominating shift by Ottawa, Drake Batherson scored to match Oshie’s hat trick with one of his own; This one being his first career hatty. That goal made the score 6-5 Caps.
The Capitals responded in this cocaine-induced game and it came off the stick of Alexander Goatvechkin. After receiving a slick pass from Tommy Wilson, Ovi ripped his seventh goal of the season from the hashmarks to make it 7-5 for the good guys.
With three minutes remaining, both Wilson and Brady Tkachuk received 10-minute misconducts after getting tangled up in front of the benches.
The Senators pulled their goalie with a few minutes remaining, but nobody would find the empty cage and the Capitals would secure the 7-5 win.
The shots in the final period were 8-7 for Ottawa in the final period and 37-31 for the Senators overall.
Although the Capitals’ offense exploded in this one, the Senators dominated for long stretches of this game after the first period which solely belonged to Washington. This was another shaky game by Washington following the Calgary game and Samsonov looked shaky as well, but also bailed the team out during the stretches the Senators dominated. Although it’s good to see them scoring at will and in response when they need them, the Caps will need to work on shutting down other teams’ forechecks because they have struggled to maintain their last two opponents.
Additionally, Evgeny Kuznetsov had a quieter game by his standards which, in all honesty, he was due for so we can absolutely let that slide.
Ovechkin continues to climb the scoring charts, McMichael collected his first two points and there were two hat tricks (nearly three) in this adrenaline rush of a hockey game.
The Capitals improve to 4-0-2 and face the Detroit Red Wings this Wednesday.