Settling into one’s seat last night at the Verizon Center, one would wonder what roller coaster the Washington Capitals had planned next? Visiting the seven-game-streaking Caps were the Anaheim Ducks on a six game road trip. The Caps, fresh off a 7-2 blowout of the New York Islanders on Tuesday where seemingly everyone grabbed a point except captain Alex Ovechkin, were looking to lengthen their 19 point lead in the Southeast Conference and remain atop the East as the NHL drove towards the Olympic break.
Ovie had to have felt left out of the fun on Long Island and let it show early by burying the puck only 36 seconds into the game. A solid twelve minute run through the first period saw the Caps dominating in the Duck’s zone, racking up a 13-3 shots on goal advantage before Anaheim’s offense settled down. The Caps ended the period with a season-high matching 19 shots on goal, peppering Jean-Sebastien Giguere in spurts during his first game back in over two weeks.
The game settled down in the second; both Giguere and Michal Neuvirth had some terrific saves as both teams hammered into the zones. Dan Sexton managed to finally get one past Neuvirth and it looked as if the game would settle into a classic low-scoring goalie duel. But everything flipped in the span of less than three minutes as the third period unfolded.