Thoughts on the game
The Capitals were getting lots of scoring chances once the puck dropped. They did open up the scoring from Evgeny Kuznetsov off a weird bounce off the stanchion and then Kuznetsov. Thatcher Demko was moving to his right and it took him a few seconds before he realized the puck was behind him. You were probably saying “what in the world happened?” out loud after seeing that.
Kuznetsov got another not long after on the power play. It looked like it was Ovechkin’s 767th career goal which would have moved him past Jaromir Jagr for third on the all-time list for goals. However, Kuznetsov got a piece of it as Ovechkin’s shot went off the post.
The Canucks looked kind of sluggish in areas in the first period and particularly in the second. The passes weren’t connecting and but there were a few good chances, most notably Juho Lammikko trying the between the legs move but the puck was cleared off the line by Anthony Mantha.
Washington was testing Demko left and right and fortunately, he was up to the task. Vancouver was throwing the puck to the slot but many of the shots ended up being blocked, fanned on or the passes weren’t taken cleanly.
Luke Schenn was got physical as he always does and he led the team with five hits in the game. His biggest was on Axel Jonsson-Fjallby.
It was in the third where the Canucks found their spark.
Quinn Hughes got it started with a shot through a screen.
Shortly after, Bo Horvat scored on the power play from his sweet spot: the bumper. Great patience by J.T. Miller before making the pass.
The captain wasn’t done there. A few minutes later, the Canucks took the lead after Horvat slotted in Travis Hamonic’s rebound.
The Canucks came out flying in the third. They looked engaged and faster than in the first two periods. There was some good zone time and the passes looked cleaner. The Canucks were transitioning up the ice quickly and were winning some of the battles.
Miller’s two assists extended his point streak to 11 games. That is 23 points for Miller in those games. It looks like he isn’t getting traded any time soon.
Unfortunately, Kuznetsov got his hat trick on the power play and the Capitals ended up tying the game.
Now we have to talk about the officiating. Before Kuznetsov’s goal, Tyler Myers got a penalty for an illegal check to the head. Keep in mind, the height difference: Myers is 6’8″ while Kuznetsov is 6’2″. Kuznetsov did look fine scoring his goal though.
There was also this earlier. T.J. Oshie didn’t get penalized for taking down Hughes which was baffling.
There was also an incident in the first period where Oliver Ekman-Larsson got two minutes for hooking TJ Oshie. But Oshie also got his stick high on Brad Hunt who was fortunately OK. Why didn’t Oshie get a penalty? We’ll never know.
There have been poor displays of refereeing in recent NHL games and it isn’t a good look for the league.
The Canucks continued to push for the winner with their energy and speed. They had a late power play but there was too much passing and the game eventually went to overtime.
Miller and Pettersson ended up losing the puck battle and they were slow on the backcheck. Hughes lost track of Lars Eller who beat Demko who got some of it with his stick. He probably should have had that one though.
Vancouver did a good job of coming back in the third period after kind of a slow start. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and the bounces and officiating didn’t help. It is still a big point for the Canucks in the playoff race.