On Wednesday night in New Jersey, the cover finally came off the goal for the Washington Capitals.
Entering the day with the fewest goals scored league-wide, the Capitals tallied three first-period goals against the Devils, laying the foundation for the team’s eventual 6-4 win.
Anthony Mantha opened the scoring for the Capitals with a goal six minutes into the game, which was quickly followed by scores from Dylan Strome and Sonny Milano. But the Capitals’ second win of the season was anything but a sure thing at that point.
The Devils fought back in the second period, tallying four unanswered goals to not only raze the Capitals’ three-goal lead, but to wrestle the lead away from Washington. Two of the four goals came by way of Tyler Toffoli, while Jack Hughes assisted on three of the four scores.
Come the third period — at least initially — momentum swung back in favor of the Capitals. Strome’s second goal of the game tied the score at 4-4, before Connor McMichael took the lead back two minutes later.
Not long after the Devils pulled their goalie in the final minutes of the third period, Alex Ovechkin was able to add a late score — cementing the Capitals’ win.
Also a factor was the third-period performance of goalie Hunter Shepard, who made his NHL debut between the pipes for the Capitals. After surrendering the four goals, Shepard stopped each of the Devils’ third-period scoring chances and finished with 19 total saves.
OFF TO THE BOX
Only Milano, who was called for hooking, drew a penalty for the Capitals.
The Capitals return home to host the Minnesota Wild (3-2-1). Friday’s puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.