Caps Dominate in Second Period; Win 4 to 2 over Oilers

The Capitals scored two power play goals in the second period to break open a 1-1 game against the Edmonton Oilers. The 4-2 victory improved the Capitals record to 2 and 4. The Capitals have two more home games in this five-game home stand to improve to .500.

Here are the “snapshots” I would have taken if I were rink side with the photographers (instead of in the press box):

Snapshot 1: I don’t want to pick on Alexander Urbom. His bad clear less than ninety seconds into the game, which led to two Oilers shots, was only one of several examples of poor play by the Capitals to start the game. The Oilers scored halfway through the first on their 7th shot; the Capitals by comparison had only shot at that point. The Capitals finished the period with only 3 shots.

After the game, Mike Green expressed that the slow first period bothered the team. “It was just a matter of regrouping after the first and making sure we do the simple things to get pucks to the net, and we ended up doing that and they were going in.”

Joel Ward, whose power play goal gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead in the second, also explained why the Capitals were able to rally in the second period. “We made our own mistakes. So it was something easy to correct.”

Snapshots 2, 3 and 4: In a four minute stretch in the middle of the second period, Ward (power play), Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer (power play) all scored. 3 shots, 3 goals. Nicklas Backstrom assisted on all three goals. This was the first time in the game the offense seemed to be clicking.

Adam Oates discussed the Ward goal after the game. “Teams are trying to figure out ways to cover guys and we made the right reads. That’s what we talk about all the time, is just making the reads, execution.”

Snapshots 5 and 6: In an odd play with eight minutes left in the game, Ovechkin checked Oilers Mike Brown into the boards. But, Ovechkin was called for interference as the referee did not see the puck near Brown. Before the whistle blew, Ovechkin checked Oilers Will Acton, which the Oilers did not appreciate. A 5 on 5 scrum on the ice resulted. Karl Alner (Capitals), Green (Capitals), Luke Gazdic (Oilers) and Brown (Oilers) all received roughing minors.

NOTES:

The Capitals frequently posted on the scoreboard encouraging instructions to the fans of “Make Some Noise” and “Get Loud”. However, the Verizon Center seemed relatively quiet. The Capitals own decibel meter generally peaked in the 90s. This is in stark comparison to the Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium which broke an NFL record Sunday at 137.5.

Edmonton gave the Capitals no power plays in the first. The Capitals scored on two of their three power plays in the second and third periods, improving their power play percentage to 36.4%.

Four Capitals entered the game with 31 or less games experience (Steve Oleksy (31), Alexander Urbom (16), Tom Wilson (5) and Nate Schmidt (1)).

Ovechkin had one goal (6th of the year; second in NHL) and two points (9th of the year; tied with Sidney Crosby in the NHL for 1st). Backstrom leads the NHL in assists with 7, and is tied for third in points with 8.

Marcus Johannson got his 100th career point on Ovechkin’s goal. The assist was Johannson’s 5th of the year.

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