The Capitals knew they weren’t working hard enough in the first 40 minutes Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. That much was readily apparent, and down a pair of goals in a season — and threatening to drop further down the Eastern Conference standings — the plan was simple: attack the Blue Jackets with all the offensive firepower they have.
“It’s a credit to the guys there. Come out in the third period, you’re down 2-0, teams are going to be tight, low scoring chances and they came out and we threw everything at them,” Coach Dale Hunter said. “After playing last night they’ve got to be a little tired but they didn’t care they kept going.”
The everything-but-the-kitchen sink strategy on offense worked. A pair of goals by Alex Ovechkin, another by Alexander Semin and the game-winner from Dennis Wideman in a furious third-period comeback led to a 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets that hearkened back to the cardiac Capitals team that used to make rallies like this look commonplace. In fact, it was only the third time this season that the Capitals have claimed victory after trailing through two periods.
“It’s good to see us come from behind,” Wideman said. “I don’t think we’ve done that a whole lot this year, where we’ve come from behind in the third and ended up winning a hockey game. I think that’s good for us.”
Washington claimed its third straight win for its longest winning streak since staring the season with seven victories. But while Saturday’s much-needed win will boost morale, rallies like this one aren’t exactly what the team wants to rely on every night.
“We didn’t have a good effort for 40 minutes, we need to change that,” Brooks Laich said. “But there was no way we were leaving here without two points.”
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