A throwback to the Washington Capitals 2015 Winter Classic.
On New Year’s Day in 2015 the Washington Capitals hosted an epic Winter Classic that was hosted at Nationals Park. In front of a crowd of 42,832, the Caps delivered a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The pregame ceremonies were cool with a flyover and the teams entering on a replica of the national mall and Capitol building.
The Caps wasted no time getting on the board early with Eric Fehr finishing a breakaway at 7:01 to put the Caps up 1-0. Fehr loves the Winter Classic. He scored two goals in Washington’s win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh four years prior.
At 11:58, the Caps doubled their lead thanks to Alex Ovechkin pouncing on a rebound off a shot by Mike Green. Jack Hillen had the secondary assist and it was Ovechkin’s 18th goal of the season and first outside. He loves the big stage.
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The Blackhawks would go on the power play after Nicklas Backstrom was called for holding and scored at 13:36 thanks to Patrick Sharp. Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane had the helpers. 2-1 was the score after one.
In the second, Brandon Saad tied it up at 3:15 with the helpers by Jonathan Towes and Marian Hossa. 2-2 was the score entering the final period.
The third period was evenly matched and in the final seconds the Caps won a faceoff for one final push. Ovechkin had a look at the goal but his shot was blocked by Brent Seabrook and then his stick broke in the process. Ovechkin threw his hands up looking for a call but little did he know Troy Brouwer was there to save the day.
Brouwer spun around at the left faceoff circle and beat Corey Crawford with 12.9 seconds left to go. It put the crowd into a frenzy and then the final seconds ticked off. Kane got another chance but his shot was blocked and bang, zoom went the fireworks. The Caps hung on for the curly W. Braden Holtby made 33 saves on 35 shots for a .943 save percentage.
“I’ve had some good moments in my hockey career before. But this one, with all the intangibles that play a part of it, my parents being able to come into town . . . the dramatic fashion at the end of the game of how it played out, it’s definitely going to be a memorable day.”
Being in the stands for that game was memorable. It was probably the best Winter Classic game of all time with the way it ended and the overall back and fourth flow of the game. Were you at the Winter Classic? What were your memories?