The Washington Capitals played the New Jersey Devils tough and came away with a point. But it was just one instead of two as the Caps fell in the shootout 3-2.
The Caps struck first in the McNugget Minute with 10 seconds left in the first period. Trevor Van Riemsdyk scored his seventh goal of the season and the New Jersey native’s goal song was fittingly Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. 1-0 was the score after one with the Devils outshooting the Caps 9-7.
Erik Haula scored on the power play at 6:55 of the second period to tie the game. The Devils took the lead at 7:32 on a goal from Dawson Mercer. Dylan Strome tied it back up at 9:50. T.J. Oshie and Sonny Milano had the assists and it was his 15th goal of the season.
The score was tied at two through the end of regulation. The Devils outshot the Caps 16-7 in the second period and 14-4 in the third period. The game would require overtime. Nobody scored as the Caps outshot the Devils 4-1 in the three on three. The Devils led in overall shot 40-22. It would take a shootout to decide the winner.
T.J. Oshie missed while Darcy Kuemper stopped Jack Hughes on the other end. Kuemper played outstanding so this loss wasn’t on him. Evgeny Kuznetsov got stopped. Jesper Brat missed. Nicklas Backstrom got stopped. So did Nico Hischier. Alex Ovechkin missed while newcomer Timo Meier won it for the Devils.
The Caps hit the road tomorrow night to take on the New York Islanders as they trail the Pittsburgh Penguins by five points for the second and final wild card playoff spot. So the clock is ticking with 16 games left in the season.
Will the Caps get hot and make things interesting or will they pack it in and get ready for next year?