The Capitals went into Sunday afternoon’s tilt with Ottawa hoping to awake their offense and leave behind their struggles against the Senators they way they broke their losing streak against the squad back in December. They got their wish in the third period, scoring three goals on the Senators and playing strong enough defense to pickup a pair of points.
Okay Caps fans, you may now exhale.
Thanks to Mathieu Perreault and a herculean second period effort, the Caps finally killed the streak monkey on their backs, defeating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 yesterday at Scotiabank Place.
Perreault opened and closed the Caps’ second period surge, scoring 34 seconds into the second frame. Eric Fehr backhanded the puck in less than a minute later, putting the Caps back into the game. They were down 2-0 coming into the period. Perreault then wristed in the game winner five minutes later.
The team survived a last-minute flurry by the Senators and then, as the game ended, they mobbed the ice and goalie Michal Neuvirth, who managed to knock away 24 shots on the night. “We felt like we won a championship,” said Perreault. “We needed that win so much for our confidence and just for the team. That was a huge win for us.” The two-goal effort was Perreault’s second multi-goal game since his recall from Hershey.
The Caps not only knocked out the streak that has netted only 11 goals in their 0-6-2 stretch, but also reclaimed the lead in the Southeast Division from Atlanta. The Thrashers used the Caps’ misfiring to gain ground and slipped ahead after the Caps lost to Boston on Saturday. The division race, once thought to be a runaway Caps win, is now neck-and-neck, with the Caps, Thrashers, and Lightning all one point from each other.
The streak’s end probably came at the best time possible. The Caps face a tanking New Jersey team tomorrow and then the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday for a quick home stand before the holidays.
Fresh off their shellacking of New Jersey on Saturday, the Caps were looking to extend their success last night against Ottawa. The Senators were looking for some redemption after being pasted by Toronto and in search of their first point on the season. A point they got, but the Senators left the Verizon Center winless, thanks to the overtime heroics of one Alex Ovechkin.
With a great fake, Ovechkin slammed a low shot home past Pascal Leclaire with only 31 seconds remaining in overtime, giving the Caps their second win in a row and on the season. The goal capped a high intensity game that by rights, Ottawa could’ve won.
“Only Alex can play like he did and still score the overtime goal and be the hero,” said Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. “That’s what superstars do. That’s why he’s out there in the last minute – because he can win you a game at any chance.”