I often find myself questioning the will on this team, and games like last night make those questions even more difficult to answer.
The Washington Capitals showed all their sides in last night’s 4-3 victory, though they picked the right time to show their resilience, scoring two unanswered goals in the third period to force overtime.
After giving up three first-period goals and trailing 3-0 heading into the second period, it was easy for the Capitals to prepare for Thursday and give up on yesterday’s task at hand. However, Washington put the pedal to the metal, fought all the way back, and find themselves now having won seven of their last 10 games.
The Capitals have finally started to improve their discipline, only logging two minor penalties in last night’s victory. Both came against captain Alex Ovechkin, although one was a highly-questionable interference call. Ovechkin needs to up his game down the stretch if the Capitals hope to make a push for a low playoff seed, however he played far more disciplined hockey than the box score shows.
Again, the key to the victory was determination. After a shaky first period, the Capitals began to play much more inspired hockey, and didn’t quit when all seemed lost. They didn’t cave when calls (and I mean all of them) were going the other way. The fought, they battled and they won. They looked like a playoff team in those final 40:37, and now find themselves just two games under .500 after starting the season with an abysmal 2-9 record. Perhaps it’s a trade that’s needed to add another spark, or to take more pressure off of Ovechkin. Maybe another minor-league call-up like Steve Oleksy will continue to fuel this team. Whatever’s changed in that locker room, it’s working.
The Capitals will look to continue their hot streak tomorrow night as they host the Florida Panthers at the Verizon Center at 7 PM EST.