The Capitals haven’t scored many important goals — or many goals, period — on the power play recently. Saturday afternoon in Boston, though, the unit found a way to cash in for what would prove to be the game winner in a 4-3 victory.
Washington received three power plays in the second period in less than eight minutes and from the earliest one, the group was able to zip passes around the offensive zone and manufacture scoring chances.
Those qualities shouldn’t be underestimated, considering the power play has often struggled to even set up in the opposing zone and had gone 2 for its last 37 dating back to Feb. 12 at New York. Washington’s last power play goal was recorded by John Carlson on Feb. 22 at Ottawa.
“I think we move the puck well and the guys who was out there knows exactly what they have to do,” Alex Ovechkin said. “When we move the puck and make a move it work well for us.”
After many near-misses, Brooks Laich deflected a shot by Dennis Wideman past Tim Thomas to put the Capitals up 4-2, 17 minutes 31 seconds into the second. The tally came when there were only three seconds remained in the third man-advantage, created by a roughing call on Greg Zanon.
“We went over video before and there were areas that we thought could expose them,” Laich said. “On our goal, I had one two, two shots on that shift before I scored. I talked before that our power play was getting one look and that was it, tonight we got those second and third opportunities. That’s when the penalty killers are tired and they’re going to make mistakes.”
For the Capitals it also helped to see several opportunities with the man-advantage in succession to work out some of the kinks.
“It does help you get more rhythm going,” Coach Dale Hunter said. “If you don’t have a game you try to do it in practice but it’s your own players you don’t shoot the puck as hard because you might hurt them with the puck. It’s good to get a few power plays.”