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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Top-6 Heroics Power Capitals Past Flyers To End Skid



Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers both had quite a bit on the line on Thanksgiving Eve, with both teams going 2-6-2 in their last 10 games and suffering from lengthy losing streaks. And ultimately, a late rally and heroics from top-6 led to a huge victory.

Washington dominated throughout the game and, despite going down 2-1 on an unfortunate goal against late in the second, got a big game-tying strike from Sonny Milano and a huge Alex Ovechkin overtime winner to emerge victorious, 3-2, over the Flyers to end a four-game skid.

“It’s important two points. We was struggling, was in kind of a hard position,” Ovechkin said. “But it’s a good thing we battle through it and get the two points.”

Washington is now 8-10-3. Here are all the takeaways from the victory.

Alex Ovechkin Scores No. 790 To Win It For Washington Capitals

The Great 8 was hungry going into Wednesday after Washington got shutout on Wednesday, and he was all over the place on Wednesday. ANd while he got a couple of good looks and an assist on what at first appeared to be his goal early on, he still found twine with a huge OT winner.

Ovechkin made no mistake on a great 3-on-3 feed from Dylan Strome, rocking a quick shot past Felix Sandstrom to win it, 3-2. It marked his 25th career OT winner (and first ever against Philly), which is six more than the next player on the NHL’s all-time OT goals list. The tally was career goal No. 790 for Ovechkin, who is now 12 away from passing Gordie Howe and 105 from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record.

T.J. Oshie Provides Washington Capitals With Spark

While the Capitals didn’t get the result they wanted, they still played with a lot more jump in their step, and a lot of it is thanks to T.J. Oshie. The 35-year-old returned on Wednesday after missing the last 11 games with a lower-body injury, and immediately, he made an impact.

“Osh coming back, and he was flying out there, throwing the body around. And we follow him,” Ovechkin said postgame. “That kind of game, you have to think about not only scoring goals. You have to think about put some energy, give energy to a different guy. That was the idea, too.”

Oshie was skating on the second-line right wing, working in tandem with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Milano. He helped that line generate quite a few chances and also chipped in with helping the power play get right back up to speed. No. 77 got right back to work with a secondary assist on Marcus Johansson’s first-period PPG to make it a 1-1 hockey game. It was huge for the power play to get him back, and though the man advantage was 0-for-3, there wasn’t a shortage of chances.

Later on, Oshie assisted again, this time on Milano’s game-tying goal. He also got time with Milano and Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin and Kuznetsov as well in the third. He ultimately finished two helpers and with a team-leading seven hits and provided much-needed spark through 18:07.

“I think we were working pretty hard there most of the game up and down the lineup… a majority of the game, it was kind of on our side,” Oshie said of the win.. “And when they pushed, we did a good job of cleaning it back and getting more O-zone shifts. So kind of a gutsy win out there. Proud of the boys, glad we were able to do it in overtime.”

Sonny Milano Plays Hero To Force OT For Washington Capitals After Tough Goal Against

Washington dominated the game, generating a lot of changes, hitting posts and getting pressure going in the offensive zone. However, late in the second, the game turned in Philly’s favor after Darcy Kuemper allowed a tough goal against — and it’s a play that has plagued him a few times of late.

Patrick Brown’s shot squeaked through his pads and in, as he didn’t get a complete hold of the puck. It became a 2-1 game then, and ultimately, the Capitals couldn’t get the breaks they needed to come back.

With Washington down 2-1 late in the third, Milano kicked things into gear and with the help of Oshie and Kuznetsov, got the Capitals their game-tying goal. Milano managed to stay onside before tapping in a nice feed from Kuznetsov past Sandstrom to make it a 2-2 hockey game.

“Saw [Evgeny Kuznetsov] had a lot of space and I just tried to match his speed, and I got to the back door and he threw it to that spot and it went in.”

Philadelphia elected not to challenge, and Milano would get his third of the season and fifth point in nine games since arriving in the District.

Meanwhile, Kuemper finished the night with 21 saves on 23 shots (.913 save percentage).

Washington Capitals Have Decent Effort Through 60

Although the game ended in a defeat, it wasn’t a terrible effort for Washington, as was somewhat the case against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (though this loss looks better on paper).

The Capitals tilted the ice in their favor throughout the game, especially in the second period as they dominated 14-5 in shots on goal. And in the end, the rally was huge, and Washington got its stars to step up to the plate.

Not only that, but the Capitals were also better in their own end. They went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill, and though the four penalties against were costly with regard to time being taken off the board, the PK did provide some momentum to work off of as well.

More Washington Capitals Takeaways

  • Lars Eller now has minor penalties in four straight games.
  • John Carlson led the team with seven shots.
  • Strome now has points in three of his last four games.
  • Johansson’s goal was his first in five games.
  • Erik Gustafsson picked up an assist on Ovechkin’s OT winner, and his eight assists are the second-most on the team among blueliners (Nick Jensen leads with nine).
  • Nicklas Backstrom got surprised with a birthday cake from TNT on the air. He turned 35 on Wednesday.