Given the superb play by both goaltenders in this series, when Troy Brouwer shot from the right side boards late in the third period it looked like a harmless shot. Tim Thomas had turned away tougher shots, but this particular one caught him off guard.
Brouwer’s shot flew over Thomas’s left shoulder and into the corner of the net. It isn’t the type of goal that Brouwer has scored many times this season, but was it ever a time for the winger to cash in.
“He fooled me and beat me clean,” Thomas said. “He’s coming down with a lot of speed and he shot and I read that the shot was going lower. And by the time I even realized that the shot was going that high, I didn’t even have time to raise my hand.”
Said Brouwer: “I curled and just kind of came up the wing and I saw the D-man was shading a little bit to the middle, so I thought maybe if I get some speed I could have a step wide. I came in and was able to just beat Thomas over his shoulder.”
If you watch the replay below, as TD Garden falls silent you can hear Brouwer yell in celebration right before Marcus Johansson starts the pile around him. Brouwer, who along with Mike Knuble is one of two players on the Capitals roster that has won the Stanley Cup, said his emotions after scoring were two-sided.
“Some relief, that’s for sure. A lot of joy,” Brouwer said. “Especially late in the game like that. We were getting buzzed a little bit and I think they had a little bit of momentum off [Johnny Boychuk’s] power play goal. So for us, to get a power play late, create a little bit of offense – ultimately get a goal – it’s good.”
As for what it was like to be on the bench as Brouwer’s shot beat Thomas, well, here’s Karl Alzner:
“We all looked at each other on the bench as a D core with just kind of our eyes wide open like, ‘Holy smokes, I can’t believe we just scored there.’” Alzner said. “That’s a huge goal. It’s so emotional, that entire game back and forth, that it’s a little bit of a sigh of relief and you breathe for a second. But it was just amazing. It was a good shot by Brouw.”