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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Wilson, Capitals Power Through Adversity To Top Ducks

The Washington Capitals saw two key defensemen go down with injury, but Tom Wilson played hero to lead the team past the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2. Here are the takeaways.



The Washington Capitals had 18 skaters and both goalies for Wednesday's tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, but they still felt somewhat shorthanded as they said goodbye to Marcus Johansson, Lars Eller and Marcus Johansson in the 24 hours leading up to puck drop. And then, during the game, two more skaters went down with injury, and with the team feeling the effects of a shortened bench, Tom Wilson played hero.

Wilson's two-goal night and several players stepping up led to a 3-2 overtime win for the Capitals over the Ducks.

Here are all the takeaways from the victory, which makes the playoffs more within reach:

Washington Capitals Lose Jensen & Fehervary To Injury, Alexeyev & Remaining Defensemen Step Up

Just over five minutes into the game, Nick Jensen headed down the tunnel with an upper-body injury. He did not return, leaving the Capitals to operate with only five defensemen in Trevor van Riemsdyk, Martin Fehervary, Alex Alexeyev, Matt Irwin and Dylan McIlrath. And then, in the third period, there were just four remaining after Martin Fehervary suffered a lower-body injury.

While all of the remaining defenders took on more ice time, Alexeyev and van Riemsdyk were the ones that stood out and played top-pairing minutes for the club.

TVR led the team with 25:57 minutes, while Alexeyev logged a personal-high 25:08 minutes. Van Riemsdyk picked up an assist and also logged time on the power play with the team missing all of its previous power-play quarterbacks. Meanwhile, Alexeyev had three shots and two hits and relied on his size, and expect one bad turnover, he played a solid overall game and looked more confident with each shift. He also assisted on the OT winner.

It is unclear how severe the injuries are for Jensen and Fehervary at this time. Jensen just signed a three-year extension, and Fehervary is an RFA at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Capitals still have two days to go until the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline.

Washington Capitals Pile On Shots, Tom Wilson Plays Hero

Throughout January, the Capitals not only struggled to score goals, but they also had issues getting pucks on net. That was far from the case on Wednesday, as Washington broke out and made it a busy night for John Gibson.

The team generated a lot on offense and generated some quality scoring chances while pulling off strong passing and sustaining pressure in the offensive zone.

Ultimately, it was Tom Wilson who saved the day. Just eight seconds into the third, Wilson scored on a rocket of a shot for the Capitals' second goal of the game. He now has goals in four of his last six contests.

Then, with the game tied and things heading to overtime, Wilson ended things quickly by driving to the net and tipping a T.J. Oshie pass past Gibson to secure the win.

The 28-year-old also led the way with seven shots and also dropped the gloves in the third to spark his team, which led to him going off for repairs to address his bloodied hand.

Top Shelf Takes

– Dylan McIlrath picked up a secondary assist on Fehervary's goal, marking his first point with the Capitals.

– Washington went 0-for-3 on the power play, including a critical one with 2:13 left to go in regulation. The man advantage had gotten a goal in four straight games.

– Oshie now has points in four straight games.

– Nicklas Backstrom has points in three of his last five games.

– Matt Irwin logged 22:48 minutes, a season-high.

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