Heading into Monday night’s contest, the Capitals hadn’t won on home-ice in nearly three weeks. Goaltender Pheonix Copley also hadn’t started a home game yet this season. Both of those changed as the Caps’ stifled the high-powered Edmonton Oilers offense.
The boys in red looked prime to change that with Jakub Vrana scoring just 2:44 into the game. Vrana started Monday’s game on the fourth line after spending a few game on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Vrana’s fourth goal of the season was assisted by line-mates Devante Smith-Pelly and Travis Boyd; Boyd made his season debut Monday night after suffering an injury back in preseason action.
Smith-Pelly doubled the Washington lead scoring a goal of his own exactly three minutes later. DSP’s goal marked his first since October 19th in the shootout loss to the Florida Panthers.
For all the good in sports, every once in awhile you must endure the bad. The home team killed off their first penalty of the night but didn’t wind up as lucky the second time around.
Ovechkin was called for slashing, a call the crowd didn’t agree with to say the least. In turn Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid cut the Caps’ lead in half with 9:36 left in the first period scoring his 10th goal of the year.
Washington extended their lead eight minutes into the second period via T.J. Oshie’s seventh goal of the season. Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson tallied assists on the goal.
DSP’s little bit of bad for the night came on his delay of game penalty in the middle of the period. The Caps in turn killed the penalty but allowed a goal the second Smith-Pelly returned to the ice; cutting the lead down to one once again.
The best power play unit in the game cashed in at the 13:09 mark of the period. Ovechkin’s 11th goal of the season gave Washington a 4-2 lead. Carlson’s 11th assist of the season, along with Kuznetsov’s 12th assist of the year played a part in the goal.
The Capitals took a 4-2 lead into the final period where the score remained for the remainder of regulation.
Copley’s 31 saves marked a new career-high for the second year goaltender.
The Caps look to tally back-to-back wins for the first time this season Wednesday night against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena.