It’s been quite the start to the year for Jason Chimera. First a two-year contract extension for the Edmonton native and now three goals in two games, including the milestone marker of the 100th tally of his career.
Let’s start there, on Chimera’s first of two goals against Tampa Bay when he followed up on Brooks Laich’s rush to the net and wound up with an easy rebound in the third period. It gave the Capitals their first lead in the contest and marked the second time in as many games that the “meat and potatoes” line combined for a goal.
“My wife mentioned it before I left for the game. She said ‘You should get your 100th tonight.’ I didn’t even know. I thought she jinxed me but she didn’t,” Chimera said with a laugh. “It’s just one of those pucks you keep and look back and down the road you can be pretty proud of. It was nice. It’s nice when you have kids – your three-year-old son said, ‘Score a goal for me’ – so you take it to heart. Maybe it’s my good luck charm because you hope they keep saying that.
“But any time you get 100 goals, no matter what league you’re in, but especially the National Hockey League,” Chimera said, “it’s a privilege to play here and it’s great to get that 100th.”
It wasn’t the flashiest goal, but one where Chimera simply made sure to back Laich up en route to the net. When the puck popped out to him, he had a nearly open net to shoot at with Dwayne Roloson sprawling on the ice and out of the play. Those are the kind of goals that can benefit the Capitals immensely.
“It’s a talent to be in the right place at the right time,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I know a lot of people who made a lot of money who just have been in the right place at the right time.”
Chimera’s second goal, which came with less than three minutes left in regulation and forced overtime, was a shot from the right faceoff circle after the veteran left wing saw Mike Knuble position himself directly in front of Roloson. Four of the Capitals’ five goals came with traffic in front.
“My goal was indicative; maybe Knubes didn’t get an assist on the play but he was right in front of the goalie. You couldn’t see nothing,” Chimera said. “I saw the top corner there and shot it, he just went down – I couldn’t see nothing. Knubes does such a great job of getting in front of goalies.”
— Photos: Capitals top Lightning in shootout