Washington Capitals Secure a Win in a Boring Game Against the Devils

Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

After getting bullied by the New York Islanders on Thursday night, the Washington Capitals looked to redeem themselves in their first-of-two games against the New Jersey Devils; A team that the Caps have had a successful season against thus far.

This big story heading into this game was that Richard Panik was re-entering the lineup in exchange for forward, Jakub Vrana. This came as a bit of a shock to Capitals’ fans, as Vrana is tied for the 5th-most points on the team with noted goon, Tom Wilson. Head coach, Peter Laviolette, discussed scratching the talented forward with the media, and said he hoped that scratching him would “reignite a fire inside of his game and start to push him in the right direction.”

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In addition to Vrana being removed from the lineup, Laviolette also elected to start Vitek Vanecek after last night’s goaltending debacle.

In what seemed like a polar opposite version of yesterday’s game, the first period in this game was rather uneventful. Both teams exited the first period having not found the back of the net. Washington led the game in shots at the end of the first, 9-5. Both teams’ power play units came up short in the first frame.

The second period was a much better one for the Capitals, however, both teams would score only once-a-piece in this segment of the game. John Carlson scored his third goal in two games about 8-and-a-half minutes into the period on a slick feed from Lars Eller. Carlson continues to be hot offensively for this Caps team. Roughly five minutes later, the Devils scored on a rebound to tie the hockey game. Both teams, again, had one power play that was killed off by the other. The Capitals led this period in shots, 15-8.

The third period was, again, an uneventful one which saw very few prime scoring opportunities for either team. In fact, it was so uneventful that this game ended in regulation tied 1-1, with both goals being scored in the second period. As a result, this game headed to overtime.

The Capitals outshot the Devils for the third-straight period. This time, the difference was 13-7.

In the extra time, both teams had some quality chances, including a semi-breakaway by young Devils’ star, Jack Hughes, which Vanecek was able to stop to keep the game alive. But, with 20 seconds remaining in overtime, Dmitry Orlov carries the puck from his own end and sniped it past Mackenzie Blackwood to win it for the Capitals. In fact, he shot it so hard he didn’t even know it went in.

The Capitals take the game 2-1 in overtime and out-shoot the Devils 40-23.

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These two teams will meet again Sunday, April 4th, in New Jersey at 3:00pm EST.