Cap’s comeback douses Flames

  • Michael Prosser

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and one in the shootout as the Caps came back to defeat the Calgary Flames 5-4 (courtesy of CSN Washington)

As fans of any team, we’ve all had that one (or multiple depending on the team) moment where you just wanna turn off the tv (or radio) because your team was losing badly. Admit it you’ve done it! But last night the Washington Capitals gave their fans a reason never to do that again.

Down 4-1 in the second period, the Caps rattled off three straight goals in the second and third periods, sending the game into overtime and won in a shootout 5-4 in front of a sell out crowed at Verizon Center for the team’s home opener.

The Flames, who most people didn’t expect to be in the game at any point at all, much less lead most of the game, started the scoring just over five minutes into the first when rookie center and 6th overall pick in last June’s draft Sean Monahan fed David Jones who streaked into the offensive zone and roofed a shot right over Braden Holtby for a 1-0 lead. Calgary would score five minutes later when Lee Stempniak stood on Holtby’s doorstep and put back a Mark Giordano point shot for a 2-0 lead. After a Karl Alzner interference penalty, Jiri Huddler made it 3-0 Flames, which ended Holtby’s night early.

Rookie Connor Carrick gets a congratulations from the team for scoring his first goal (courtesy of JaspersRink)

The Caps would get on the score board when Marcus Johansson found rookie defenseman Connor Carrick who snuck behind the Flames defense, breaking Kari Ramo’s ankles with some nifty stick work for his first career NHL goal. But a miscue of the puck by goalie Michal Neuvirth made Flames forward Lance Bouma a very opportunistic man, putting the Flames back ahead by 3, however that would be the last goal the Flames scored all night.

After Bouma’s goal, John Carlson took a high stick from David Jones, sending the ever dangerous powerplay unit on the ice and they did not disappoint as Alex Ovechkin, doing as only as Alex Ovechkin does, got into his favorite spot on the left circle and ripped a shot past Ramo to bring the Caps within two. The Great 8 would add his second of the game four minutes later to bring the team within one.

It was in the third period that Nicklas Backstrom became a hero, taking a Mikhail Grabovski pass and wristing a shot past Ramo with 5:50 left to go in the game making the comeback seem all but likely. The team rallied against Chicago three times before taking the lead only to see the Blackhawks come back to win on Tuesday and were looking for a little come back magic of their own.

A scoreless overtime led to a shootout, and with the Caps shooting first, head coach Adam Oates sent out Grabovski as the team’s first shooter and he did not disappoint, scoring to put the Caps up 1-0 in the shootout. Former Portland Winterhawks winger and 2012 1st round pick Sven Baertschi was Bob Hartley’s first choice but was stonewalled by Neuvirth. Alex Ovechkin scored the second goal for the Caps making the comeback all but complete. It was all up to Jiri Huddler to save the game for the Flames, but again Neuvirth came through, sealing the deal for the Cardiac Caps!

IN OTHER GAME NEWS:

.Defenseman Jack Hillen suffered yet another leg injury, which will require surgery. Hillen is now out for what Adam Oates said as “months” which is not a good sign for both Hillen and the team. Hillen was injured when Lance Bouma checked him into the boards. Coach Oates did say that it was too early to tell if Hillen would miss the rest of the season, but it could be a possibility.

. Rookie winger Tom Wilson recorded his first NHL fight defending Jack Hillen, squaring off with the aforementioned Bouma.

. Alexander Urbom, who was claimed off waivers from the New Jersey Devils, was a healthy scratch last night, but Hillen’s injury could lead to the 22 year old Stockholm native seeing some ice in the not so distant future.

. Fresh off of his new contract signed just before the season, Marcus Johansson finished the night with 3 assists. Both Alex Ovechkin and Mikhail Grabovski lead the team with 5 points.

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Michael Prosser

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