19>2: Capitals 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT)

While the Washington Capitals managed to sleepwalk through 40 minutes of hockey, they shook off the cobwebs to score three times against the Chicago Blackhawks in a span of 2:16 during the third period to climb from a 3-0 deficit- pushing the game to overtime for the third time in their last four games. With 1:50 left in the extra inning, a gassed Nicklas Backstrom rushed through the transition zone, whizzed passed Chicago’s Duncan Keith and potted the game-winner past Antti Niemi on DC’s only shot of overtime. Backstrom was impressive all afternoon, assisting on Brooks Laich‘s goal starting the Caps’ comeback before netting his first goal of the contest nearly 2 minutes later. Eric Fehr lit the lamp 13 seconds later for DC, moving the United Center’s noise level from “Library” to “Morgue.”

Caps are the first NHL team with triple-digit points, Ovechkin being “reckless”, and more- after the jump!


The Great:

– The crew at Prime Time to watch the game. Many, many thanks to everyone that came out.

The Good:

Dave Steckel, you are my hero. Two games in a row, you’ve played with a fire to prove that you belong on the ice and not on the scratch list. Leading all skaters with 7 hits and leading the Caps with 3 blocked shots is nice, but hustling to wash out an icing that would result in the game-tying goal for Fehr is proof of the kind of passion you can’t coach into someone.

– The Caps were able to out-hit and out-block the Blackhawks while limiting them to 23 shots on goal, including just one in the 3rd period.

– DC’s PK, although allowing an early goal by Johnathan Toews, was very impressive when faced with an extended 4-on-5 situation killing off just under 6 minutes of shorthanded play.

– I’m not sure what it is about playing day games on NBC, but the Capitals love the drama of a good come-from-behind win. Might be something about a snub after being deemed “not exciting enough to watch.”

The Bad:

– I’m not sure what it is about playing day games on NBC, but the Capitals love the drama of a good come-from-behind win. My solution? Play 60-freaking-minutes of hockey to prevent Bruce Boudreau‘s behind-the-bench heart attacks.

– I realize Joe Corvo isn’t even used to writing Washington DC as his return address yet, but an immediate must is increasing on-ice communication with his new teammates. Today was the second time I’ve noticed him abandon a top offensive player, and is not something I’d like to see him make a habit of.

Alex Ovechkin‘s 5 minute major after checking Brian Campbell into the boards was excessive. The hit did not warrant an ejection in my eyes (it looked like Campbell was turning mid-hit and lost an edge to me – good for a 2 minute minor, if anything), the refs looked lost and scared when Campbell remained on the ice. We will never know if the decision had to do with Ovechkin’s reputation as a “reckless” player, the men-in-stripes’ fear of a nationally televised game getting out of hand, or Boudreau’s less than PG rated “discussion” with the ref- let’s just be happy DC was able to overcome.

– More and more Alex Semin reminds me of Luis Mendoza from the Mighty Ducks 2.  I had high hopes when I saw him knock the puck of the air and start on a fast break, but it looked like he confused himself with the number of dekes and drags he attempted. It almost looked like he kept waiting for a hooking or tripping from the Chicago player than ran him down, and he should still know better than to try to bowl over Niemi. But hey, worked when he tackled Neuvi – right?

The Ugly:

– Following hockey with golf? Programming fail.