After nine seasons photographing the Capitals for Inside Hockey from rink-side, I covered the Capitals’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes from the press box as a columnist. But old habits are hard to die, so here are my observations of the game from the six snapshots I would have taken if I were down by the ice.
Any picture of the Ovechkin, Laich, Johansson line during their first two shifts of the game. The three dominated the ice as they played as a unit. Especially Brooks Laich. After one period, the three had four shots and two attempts blocked.
Troy Brouwer getting his own rebound with six minutes to go in the first period. Brouwer had taken a pass from Keith Aucoin at the blue line, skated and shot to Carolina’s Cam Ward’s right pad. Brouwer took the rebound, skated around the net and lifted a backhand over Ward’s left shoulder for a one to nothing Caps lead. Pure individual hustle and effort by Brouwer. Brouwer ended the period with three shots, tied for most.
Game tied two to two. Less than two minutes into the third period. Capitals are being aggressive with Mike Green joining the rush. Dennis Wideman is the lone Capital back on defense, standing right inside of the blue line. In an effort to keep the puck in, Wideman whiffs – i.e., not fails to get there – but whiffs. Carolina’s Brandon Sutter gets the puck on a breakaway (assists from Jeff Skinner and Tim Gleason) to make it a 3 to 2 Carolina lead. Snapshot 3 is Wideman’s whiff.
Snapshots 4 and 5
Two great individual defensive plays kept the margin only one and allowed the Capitals to eventually earn a point. With less than seven minutes to go, John Carlson broke up a two on one without allowing a shot off. With less than five to go, Mike Green broke up a break away. These two plays set the stage for the final minutes.
Clearly the “money” shot. Brooks Laich to Marcus Johansson back to Laich to force overtime. The play of the Ovechkin, Laich, and Johansson line highlighted in snapshot 1 proves to be the key to savaging a point.
No photos are available of Carolina’s Justin Faulk’s goal winner.
Jay Beagle scored his first goal of the season. Dennis Orlov and Dennis Wideman assisted in a series a sharp passes.
Dennis Orlov received a 10 minute game misconduct in the second period for what appeared to me as Orlov motioning to the referee that he wanted to drop his gloves with him. The ref declined, avoiding Orlov’s first fight of the season.