Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cool A Two Point Night Comeback Victory Against the Islanders; #Caps 3 #Isles 2 (OT)

So the Capitals won their third game in a row for the first time since January 15th. This is also only the fourth time this season the Capitals have won more than two games in a row. That felt good, to have two point night and stay only three points behind the Florida Panthers for the Southeast Division lead, as the FlaCats also won their third in a row against the Maple Leafs in Toronto tonight. Tonight's comeback victory in overtime kept the Capitals in eighth place, within reach of the post season, in the Eastern Conference. However the Caps sure had me worried there for a while. I came home late and turned the game on the TV and just as the TV picture pooped up "BOOM," Josh Bailey scores his seventh goal of the season to put the Islanders up 1-0 at 4:14 of the first period. Then it seemed to be a pretty even game even though the Capitals were outshooting the Islanders 20 - 15 by the end of the second period. The Caps had a few scoring chances by Islander goaltender Evgeni Nabokov held them scoreless.

The third period started with the Capitals continue to trail the Islanders by a score of 1-0 but Matt Moulson of the Islanders put his team up 2-0 with a solid effort that netted his 27th goal of the season. Even though I was watching from home, I could tell that hushed the crowd and took most of the energy out of Verizon Center. However, the Capitals did not give up and kept playing their game plan as they had all night but again Nabokov held them scoreless. That is until the Capitals got a bunch of traffic in front of the net and Troy Brouwer scored his 16th goal of the season at 16:31 of the final period of the game. Could it be? Were we in for an episode of "The Cardiac Kids?" Well at about the 18:00 mark, the Capitals pulled Michal Neuvirth in favor of a sixth skater. For a while though it looked like the Islanders once again had the Capitals number as they kept the Caps off balance and didn't allow them to force the play into the offensive zone for a while. However then the Caps forced an offensive zone face off and stacked up lots of traffic once again in front of Nabokov. At first to me it looked like Brooks Laich scored the tying goal but on the replay it was once again Troy Brouwer with his seventeenth goal of the season. How's that for getting off the schneid? Awesome night and game for Brouwer, he scored two goals tonight and his total combined distance from the net couldn't have been more than five feet. That tied the game at 2-2 setup the game to go into "Sudden Victory" overtime. I like probably very other Caps fan in the world was ecstatic at the time of the goal, even though at the time I had no idea how the game would turn out when it was over, the fact the Capitals scored to tie the game and they did so by once again "playing the game the right way" made me quite happy and restored my hope in the Capitals ability to pull something out of this up and down season.

Overtime, what can you say about it? Tonight overtime ended up being "Ovi-time" and that happened at just 1:35 into the extra period. The happy end to a two point night for the Capitals. This latest three game winning streak is important thing for the Capitals, hopefully they are the first three of several more. Tonight's result means the Caps finish the month of February with a 6-7-1 (0.464) record while the other two Southeast Division teams in the race for the playoffs Winnipeg and Florida finish the month with respective records of 7-5-2 (0.571) and 8-5-1 (0.607). Also, don't look now but the Tampa Bay Lightning are 6-4-0 in their last ten games and only one point behind the stumbling Maple Leafs with 64 points in 11th place in the conference. Things are getting interesting, crowded and interesting.

Next up New Jersey on Friday evening - LETSGOCAPS!!!

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