F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 10/14/13 at 10:17 PM ET
The Washington Capitals managed to get back in the win column thanks to a 4-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Prior to tonight, the Capitals had lost three straight and had looked pretty mundane in the process. It also marked the first regulation win for the Capitals this season. On to the reCap:
Washington Goals: Laich 1 (Oleksy); Ward 1 PP (Backstrom, Ovechkin); Ovechkin 6 (Johansson, Backstrom); Brouwer 1 PP (Grabovski, Backstrom)
Braden Holtby: WIN; 28 Saves; 2 Goals Allowed
Edmonton Goals: Gordon 4 (J. Schultz); Acton 1 (Petry, Perron)
Jason LaBarbera: LOSS; 16 Saves; 4 Goals Allowed
A game might take 60 minutes, but this one was decided over a 3:55 span in the second period where the Capitals were able to score three times in three different scenarios. Joel Ward started it off with a 4-on-3 goal after a beautiful saucer pass from Backstrom gave him an open net. Ovechkin followed that up with an even strength knuckle puck goal. Troy Brouwer finished the flurry with a 5-on-4 goal from his signature spot in the slot.
The Caps might have had four different goal scorers, but Nick Backstrom figured into three of them. It was Backstrom's third multi-point game of the season.
On Edmonton's side of things, it was bittersweet to see Boyd Gordon starting the scoring off in the first. Gordon is currently the top goal scorer for the Oilers. He was playing the fourth line with Matt Bradley when he left Washington after the 2011 season.
Mike Green took a bit of spill in the first period.
The NHL might be looking at a couple of moments from tonight's game. Jason Chimera was penalized for boarding Justin Schultz in the final minute of the first period. They were both racing for the puck and not a lot of contact, but Schultz went awkwardly into the boards, but wasn't injured. In the third period, Ovechkin sparked a bit a of a brawl when he shoved Mike Brown from behind into the boards. It was not boarding per se (and was actually called interference), but it didn't look 100% clean either.
The first period was still rough for Washington. It took them 6:14 to register their first shot on net, and only managed three for the period. They consistently struggled to get the puck out of their own zone, and it was a bad clear that led to Gordon's opening goal. They did manage to get the game evened up through Brooks Laich's goal (thanks to a great play by Steve Oleksy), but I'd still mark the goal as fluky.
After a rough first period, the Caps looked in control for the rest of the game. Despite that, they still only put 20 shots on net. Had me having some flashbacks to the Hunter days.
The Caps were rather dominant in the faceoff circle in their own end, where they won 12 of 18 faceoffs. Backstrom led the way with 6 wins and Jay Beagle was a perfect 3/3.
And it happened yet again. For the fourth time all season, and the third game in a row, the Capitals gave up a first career NHL goal. This time around, it was rookie Will Acton as he beat Braden Holtby late in the third period. If you get the chance, I'd put some money on Jesper Fast scoring against the Caps Wednesday night.
ERAT WATCH: 11:50 THE INCREASE CONTINUES. Many of us on Twitter were going crazy when we saw Erat take a shift on the third line with Fehr and Ward, but alas, it was only because Jason Chimera missed a shift while back in the locker room
While this game was a great sign, I'm far from convinced. Edmonton is not exactly a great team thus far into the season. And the Caps' four goals is actually less than the five Edmonton has allowed on average. What was a great sign was the production from Brouwer and Ward on the powerplay. Teams are going to give those guys chances when they shade Ovechkin as heavily as they do. They'll get a chance to build on this win though as the hapless Rangers (allowed 11 goals last two games) come to town for a Wednesday night game. Make sure you note the time, as puck drop is not scheduled until 8:00 pm EDT.
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About F Street Faithful
Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.