The Caps win in a wild one in Winnipeg

Certainly one of the most entertaining games of the year featured arguably one of the best NHL shoot outs in Capitals franchise history. Photo: (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Trevor Hagan)

WINNIPEG, October 22, 2013 — The Washington Capitals continued their winning ways as they began their five game road trip in Canada. In a back and forth game, the Caps never let up their intensity. Although Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby gave up four goals, this was one of the best games of his career. Holtby stopped 43 shots, many of which were on breakaway chances for Winnipeg. Holtby stayed strong, however, and was again very decisive and patient in net, shutting down Jets shooters from point-blank range with amazing poise and precision. 

Alexander Ovechkin notched his eighth and ninth goals of the season tonight while Troy Brouwer, Martin Erat, and Mikhail Grabvoski added to the Capitals’ tally. After a four to four tie in regulation, the Caps and Jets went scoreless in overtime, forcing a shootout.


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In the first two rounds of the shootout neither team scored a goal. The game looked all but lost for the Capitals after Winnipeg scored to make the score one to nothing with one last chance for the Caps to tie and extend the shootout. If the Caps miss, it is game over.

Nicklas Backstom took the puck and cruised at an extremely slow speed approaching the goaltender. Backstom then suddenly blew a shot past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec to tie the game at one and the Caps were still alive. Then the Jets scored again, forcing the Capitals to fend off elimination a second time. The Capitals answered when Brooks Laich scored to keep Washington alive for a second straight time.

The Jets fans in the arena reacted emphatically as the Jets scored and took the lead for the third straight time in the shootout, thus forcing Washington into a demoralizing third consecutive must-score scenario. And just like that, Troy Brower approached the Jets goalie and went top shelf, pinging the cross bar, and netting the Capitals’ third straight game saving goal in a row. All three of Washington’s goals up until that point in the shootout were scored by answering the bell by fending off three separate potential game winning goals by Winnipeg.

Finally, in the sixth shootout round, the Jets blinked. Evander Kane missed his shot wide-left and it gave the Capitals an opportunity to steal the win, but only if they could capitalize and score their fourth straight clutch goal in a row. Martin Erat did not let this opportunity get away as he scored the game winning shootout goal for the Capitals. Erat’s shot went straight through the wickets of Ondrej Pavelec and lighting up the goal lamp. 


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The Washington Capitals demonstrated unbelivable perservierence and heart by continually answering the challenge left by Winnipeg’s goal scorers. Although this win seemed unlikely three separate times during the overtime shootout, the Capitals somehow deserved this win. The Caps fought hard throughout and won a tough game in a hostile environment.

Washington’s next game is Thursday in Edmonton. The Oilers have struggled so far this season and this could result in the Caps’ third straight win. Good times, eh? 


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John Heibel

 

Born in Southern Maryland, 34 years old, John Heibel grew up a Washington DC  sports fan, playing pretty much all sports. Heibel served in the US Coast Guard for 7 years and has two bachelors degrees.
The writer currently lives in Kensington, MD covering all DC Sports for Communities.

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