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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Ovechkin Powers Capitals Comeback Win Over Canucks



Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON — After a lackluster second period against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, the Washington Capitals headed to the locker room for an intermission and reset. That break proved vital, as the team came out and tilted the ice in the third to pull off a rally and stay in the win column. A lot of that was thanks to captain Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin had an offensive outburst, dishing four points while Conor Sheary, Dylan Strome and more also helped Washington to a dominant 6-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

“I think we were kind of pissed with what happened in the second, and it was a great response by everybody,” Ovechkin said. “You can see when we play the right way, it doesn’t matter what kind of score. We can always bounce back and win the game.”

Here are all the takeaways from the hard-earned win:

Ovechkin Back On Board, Has Four-Point Night For Washington Capitals

Ovechkin and Capitals fans shared a major sigh of relief on Monday, as the Great 8 finally found twine after going the first three games of 2022-23 without a goal, marking the first time that happened in 10 years.

The captain’s first of the year came on a rather odd play, as Ovechkin made a pass up to T.J. Oshie at the net front. However, it ended up going off the pad of Thatcher Demko and in.

He wasn’t done there. Ovechkin was all over the place, making smart passes, moving his feet and generating grade-A chances. He played with Strome and Connor Brown — who was injured in the third period and did not return — before moving to play with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Conor Sheary. There, he added two more assists and also scored on a nice redirect off a Kuznetsov pass later on to make it 6-4. It was challenged for offside but was ruled onside and a good goal that stood (a better ending than he got against the Montreal Canadiens).

He is now 18 away from 800, 21 from passing Gordie Howe and 113 from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record.

Washington Capitals Fight Back, Rally In The Third With Line Changes After Sloppy Second

After going up 2-1 on a Lars Eller goal just eight seconds into the middle frame, the Canucks turned up the pressure, and the Capitals couldn’t keep up. Vancouver scored three unanswered goals in the second, with Bo Horvat and Curtis Lazar striking 11 seconds apart before J.T. Miller added a power-play goal.

The Washington PK has now surrendered a goal in three of four games. Evgeny Kuznetsov took a questionable penalty after waking Kyle Burroughs in the face with his stick.

Down 4-2 in the second, the Capitals changed up the combinations to try and ignite a spark.

“We’re still looking for more production,” Laviolette said of shuffling the lines. “After the first period, I think we had one even-strength chance. It just wasn’t clicking. And instead of just continuing to ride it out, we switched it up.”

It worked. They got back in the fight and turned up the pressure. Strome injected some life back into Washington, burying a rebound on another power play chance to cut the deficit to one.

Shortly after, the Capitals evened the score with some pressure in the offensive zone. Evgeny Kuznetsov got the puck to an open Ovechkin, who slid the puck to John Carlson for a top-shelf tally. It marked Carlson’s first of the season and made it a tied game.

After that, Sheary would give the Capitals the go-ahead goal on a nice pass from Ovechkin. It was his team-leading third goal of the season.

Strome Looking Solid In Backstrom Spot

Strome has been off to a red-hot start in the District, and he kept that going on Monday.

The 25-year-old has looked solid filling in for an injured Nicklas Backstrom as the second-line center and power-play half-wall worker. He not only assisted on Ovechkin’s PPG, but he also scored his first goal with the Capitals and his fourth point in as many games this season and his third power-play point of the year.

“I feel comfortable, feel good,” Strome said. “Could make some more plays, but always room for improvement.”

Washington Capitals Ice Chips

  • Sheary scored his team-leading third goal of the season, which would hold as the game-winner.
  • Brown left Monday’s tilt with a not-so-hot-looking lower-body injury. He took a hard hit from Noah Juulsen along the boards and didn’t put weight on his leg after getting up.
  • Kuznetsov finished with two assists.
  • Darcy Kuemper allowed some fluky goals and finished with 26 saves on 30 shots (.867 save percentage).