It was Brouwer’s tally that stood as the game-winner against Ottawa and the winger now sits fourth on the team in goals (8) and sixth in points (16) after his third multi-point game of the year. Brouwer, one of five free-agents signed by the Capitals this summer, didn’t get off to the strongest start this year but has seven goals and 12 points in the past 18 games.
Against the Senators, Brouwer was not skating with his usual linemates this season of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, but rather Marcus Johansson and Jeff Halpern. The move, Brouwer said, added a little more motivation to make an impact and that’s part of the reason he decided to drop the gloves with Jesse Winchester just 5:39 into the contest.
“Just being moved off the line, I knew I needed to do more,” Brouwer said. “I only have a handful of fights but we had a good start I thought we were loosing a little bit of momentum and it was more of just a momentum thing — trying to get the guys going. It was such a big game, road game we needed to get a win and I just thought, here’s a good time to have the first fight.”
Brouwer said he didn’t have any type of discussion with Coach Dale Hunter about being moved away from Backstrom and Ovechkin – and it could be a short-term relocation – but he didn’t need the coach to tell him to step his game up.
“We haven’t been working and I think we had what? [Three] goals as a line in the last five games? That’s unacceptable and we all know that,” Brouwer said. “Alex, Alex [Semin] and Nicky have played a lot together, so I don’t take it personal. I want to win no matter what. We all have to do what it takes.”