The Capitals last night faced Carolina for the second time in a week and came away with a win. In a tight divisional matchup with the Hurricanes, the Caps got out to a blazing fast start, racking up a pair of goals on the sticks of Marcus Johansson and Alexander Semin, and it would’ve been many more than that, had Cam Ward not been playing an absolute gem for the ‘Canes. The Caps put 17 shots on goal in the first, and there were at least three more that were nearly in but for the efforts of Ward.
Of course, the ‘Canes weren’t the only team with a solid performance in goal; Semyon Varlamov put up another amazing effort tonight, and his work in the shootout earned him the number one star for the evening. Varly turned aside 28 shots on goal tonight before the shootout and rejected all three Hurricanes in the shootout and absolutely saved the game for the Capitals tonight.
The Good: The penalty kill was great tonight. The Caps managed to defend against three minor penalties without issue, and without overwhelming Varly too significantly. Strong efforts from the Defense managed to keep the Capitals engaged when their offense lightened up after the first. Hendricks and Steckel had amazing chemistry tonight, working their line hard to make some noise. In the first, a particularly nice connection was deflected by Cam Ward’s
The Bad: It would’ve been nice to have finished this one out without the extra 5 minute period and ensuing shootout, and the Caps could’ve done it if they’d managed to convert the last face-off. Staal pushed Poti around and managed to get the shot off with seconds to spare. The Caps played a lot of finesse hockey tonight when they should’ve been gutting it out, and that was difficult to watch. The whole of the second period was uninteresting after the Hurricanes put one in 50 seconds in.
The Weird: Before the game, tradewinds were swirling around Tomas Fleischmann, who’s at the end of a contract. There are rumors galore about Flash departing DC for a defenseman, but there’s nothing even remotely concrete out there yet. We’ll see what we can find over the next few days.