Joel Ward celebrates his goal Sunday (TBT).
The Washington Capitals won yet another game on Sunday night, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-2 inside Verizon Center for their fourth consecutive win. After falling behind twice, the Capitals got goals from Alex Ovechkin (twice), John Carlson, and Joel Ward to come back and top the Bolts. Michal Neuvirth made 28 saves in a rare start, but was superb in net for the Caps. With their win, the Capitals are 29-17-2 on the year, and now have over a 70% chance to make the playoffs according to SportsClubStats.
Alex Ovechkin was magnificent, following up his three-goal, four-point night against the Panthers on Saturday, Ovechkin with two more markers that put him in to the league lead with Steven Stamkos at 25. As I have always maintained throughout my nervousness with Alex over the last year, we all knew that Ovechkin had extended periods of dominance in him still despite his statistical decline over the last 18 months or so. Ovechkin is in one of those stretches now, and he has been absolutely otherworldly for a month and a half now, rejuvenated after a series of Adam Oates adjustments at even strength and the power play. If what Adam Oates has done can get Ovechkin to produce like this for a full 82-game season, it will be one of the best individual rejuvenations in league history.
Michal Neuvirth looked good, making 28 saves and filling his new role as Braden Holtby’s de facto backup very well. Neuvirth still has awesome talent and he showed it with this game as some of his saves were spectacular, especially with the team training in the first and second periods. This net belongs to Holtby for the rest of the season barring an injury, but Mikey can still get the job done and has been a victim of circumstance this year again.
John Carlson scored a goal tonight, the sixth marker of his 2013 campaign. The Caps’ young stud two-way defenseman has come under criticism recently because of a short run of bad play, but has proven with his overall play this season just how talented he is and how good he has the potential to be. The guy is still young and will continue to work his way though his development. Fear not.
The Capitals are going to make the playoffs. Take it to #TheBank.
That’s all for me tonight, school commitments make it a short recap. The Caps are next in action on Tuesday against Montreal.