The Washington Capitals needed a win after getting blanked on opening night and they got it in shootout fashion over the Calgary Flames with a final of 3-2. It was played before a crowd of 16,489 as their 588 consecutive game sellout streak came to an end.
That first game saw the Capitals fall 4-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday the 13th. In the first 20 minutes of the contest, it would look like a repeat performance from the boys in red.
At 4:47 the Flames struck first with a goal from Adam Ruzicka. They doubled their lead on the power play at 17:12 with a goal from Dillon Dube. The Caps were down 2-0 after one and were outshot by a whooping 18-3.
But that didn’t last forever. The Capitals looked like the team we were used to seeing light the lamp in the second period. At 6:50 Sonny Milano glided down the ice and fed a quick cross ice pass to Matthew Phillips in front of the net. The 2016 Flames draft pick buried it for his first career NHL.
At 9:54 it was a brand new game. Connor McMichael drove to the middle and shot it right up the gut. It went in. 2-2 game. Phillips and John Carlson had the apples. That would be the score after the second period as the Flames had the edge in shots 13-9 in the middle frame. Still better than an 18-3 disadvantage by the home team.
The third period saw the Caps put the pressure on but to no avail. They had the edge in shots 10-8 in the third period. The game required overtime but that wasn’t enough either. Both teams only managed to get one shot on goal in the three on three skills challenge. The Flames led in shots 40-23 overall.
The game was decided in a shootout. Evgeny Kuznetsov did what he does best. Take his time while going to the net to fake out Jacob Markstrom before ripping one in. That would be all the Caps needed.
Jonathan Huberdeau got stopped by Caps goaltender Darcy Kuemper. T.J. Oshie missed on the other end. Yegor Sharangovich hit the post. Alex Ovechkin had a chance to win it but he can’t make everything. Nazem Kadri got stopped by Kuemper as he rocked the baby.
That rocking the baby was a tribute to his boy that was born Thursday night. It caused him to miss Friday’s season opener. What started as a simple doctors checkup for him and his wife turned into his wife going into labor.
It was a good night all around for the team. Kuemper wins for his kid behind 38 saves. Phillips gets his first NHL goal. And Spencer Carbery gets his first NHL win.
The Caps return to action on Wednesday night when they hit the road. First up is a 7 p.m. start against the Ottawa Senators with the game airing on Monumental Sports Network.