That was sweet. The Washington Caps, once again, overcame a mutli-goal deficit late and beat the Boston Bruins in overtime. The Caps opened the game well, but largely looked flat over two periods of play.
I was ready to turn it off before the third period. Luckily, I didn’t. The Caps finally started using their legs, and they got a few power plays early in the third. A healthy Mike Green should be fun for the playoffs, huh? He absolutely sniped the top left corner from just inside the blue line on his first goal. Adam Oates called it a “world class shot,” and it’s safe to say that I agree.
Green’s second shot was a worm-burning rocket. He made a beautiful stretch pass to Mike Ribeiro to exit the zone, and Ribeiro waited and flopped a perfect saucer pass back to Green right as he was entering the zone. Green buried it, and suddenly D.C. had all the momentum.
I was ecstatic just to see the Caps show some life in their regular season home finale, and figured that just getting into overtime would be a decent way to battle into the postseason. Eric Fehr decided to one up that, and he whacked home another ugly goal while falling down to beat the Bruins in OT. Boston, I’m sure, thought there was some kind of glitch in the matrix, because the game followed the exact script from their last game in the nation’s capital.
Before Green led the comeback, it was troublesome to see the lack of power plays, dating back to the previous game against Ottawa. The Caps get their jump from the power play, obviously, because they lead the league in PP percentage by a decent margin. The easiest recipe for this team to get back into a game is to move their legs and earn power play opportunities. Credit Ottawa and Boston for doing their best to stay out of the box, but hopefully the Caps learned from this third period that they must start with their bread and butter.
This notion would be huge in any playoff series, but especially in a series against the New York Rangers, which is the Caps first round matchup. New York, as we all know, is a relentless defensive team. Alzner joked postgame Saturday night that the Rangers “have six goalies on the ice.” It’s no joke, they actually do, so the Caps are going to have to work hard to earn their opportunities and man-advantages. Their series success depends on it.
Marc Staal, stud defenseman for the NYR, has started skating again recently. Staal took a frozen, rubber puck to the eyeball at an extremely high speed. This, understandably, has put quite a dent in Staal’s season. He has missed almost two months now, and isn’t expected to be available for the beginning of the playoffs.
The Rangers have been playing well since their trade deadline shakeup that sent Marion Gaborik to Columbus (good riddance.) The Caps, I think, have been playing better.