RALEIGH, N.C. – They aren’t the most well known members of the lineup, but if there was ever any doubt who the Capitals’ most valuable players at even strength this season are the third-line trio offered a reminder Thursday night.
Joel Ward, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr each recorded a goal in Washington’s 5-2 win over the Hurricanes and they all finished with three points as each of their tallies came with assists from the other two forwards on the unit. The game didn’t hold any significance, but it showcased one of the few consistently positive elements of the Capitals’ season.
It was remarkable in a way, considering that both teams played the meaningless contest at half speed. But even in a matchup between two teams that will miss the playoffs, the third line did what it’s been doing so well all year – working as a unit along the walls to create scoring chances.
“We try to play the right way, take pride in that and just get pucks in deep and we’re able to make some plays. I think our skill set is a little underestimated at times,” Ward said. “Chimmer’s been making a lot of great plays and great passes, Fehrsie too. We just try to make the most of our opportunities but the main thing we just have fun. Just come to the rink and have a good time. It shows out there that we go out there and play hard but have fun.”
Every player acknowledged the difficulty enjoying a win or scoring a goal when they don’t hold much significance aside from personal statistics, but Fehr managed to find some levity postgame in joking about how he noticed his linemates were confident in their play.
“It was one of those nights where things were going well for us. You could tell when Chimmer tried the 20 foot sauce pass across the ice and hit Wardo in the head,” Fehr deadpanned. “You could tell that he was really feeling it. You could tell that the guys were feeling good.”
Joel Ward’s 24th goal of the year:
Jason Chimera’s 15th goal of the year:
And Eric Fehr’s 13th: