On the shift following Evander Kane’s goal, Dustin Byfuglien leaned into a booming slap shot from the red line — a shot that likely should have been harmless. Instead, the shot deflected off defenseman Karl Alzner as he stood at the blueline causing the puck to change directions and evade goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
“There’s really nothing,” Alzner said when asked what he could do differently on the play. “If I get out of the way earlier than that he just skates in. If I try to block the dump in, who knows what happens. It’s just one of those that caught Vokey, I think, trying to stop the dump in so we could turn it up and was a little bit out of the net.”
If that was a shot taken by perhaps anyone else on the Jets roster, it might not have ended up that way but Byfuglien – listed at 6 foot 5, 265 pounds – is known for having a powerful shot that can be hard to contain.
It was a fluky goal, this time a long-range shot that knuckled its way into the net. None of the Capitals or Coach Dale Hunter could fault Alzner or Vokoun on the play, and the group accepted that it was an unlucky bounce.
“I’d like to hear the best explanation you can find on that one,” Matt Hendricks said. “It looked like everyone was positionally sound. It just took a bad deflection. That guy shoots the puck extremely hard and it’s tough to react to that….It was a ‘what the heck just happened?’ type of thing. We wanted to bear down and win the hockey game. You chalk that one up to one bad bounce.”
Said Hunter: “You get beat by a long shot that hit a D’s stick that goes in. It’s one of these hockey plays that happens in hockey. It goes for you sometimes, it goes against you sometimes.”
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