The signs were there. Even after Florida took a two-goal lead in the third period Tuesday night, the Capitals didn’t seem like a team ready to retreat. They started crashing the net, pressing for goals until they were able to pile enough on quickly enough to leave Sunrise, Fla., with two points.
The final 5 minutes and 39 seconds were just as hectic as the first 54 and change, but at this late stage in the game the Capitals found a way to overcome the errors and bend the contest in their favor.
“In the third period, it’s a do-or-die situation for us,” said Mike Ribeiro, who had a three-point night with a goal and two assists. “It’s a big game and we felt like we were getting better as the game was going and just to keep doing the right thing, put pucks deep, forecheck, create turnovers and never quit. And I think it’s a good lesson for us to see that and learn from that.”
Eric Fehr recorded his first goal of the season to kick off the comeback when he redirected a shot-pass from the blue line by Mike Green. Then, for the second time in as many games, Alex Ovechkin scored after winning a faceoff.
Nicklas Backstrom won the power play draw and even though he didn’t expect it, Ovechkin took advantage of the opportunity when the puck made its way toward him.
“To be honest with you, I was not ready for it. Because I just circle, turn and puck’s coming to me right away. I’m like, ‘Oh, OK’. So I just shoot it,” said Ovechkin, who now has goals in each of the past three games and seven points in the past five. “When I have time and when I have some space, I know exactly what I’m going to shoot because I see it and it was pretty good shot.”
The Capitals killed off a high-sticking penalty to Mathieu Perreault that stretched briefly into the overtime session, where they didn’t waste time to end the contest. Backstrom found Troy Brouwer with a splendid lead pass in overtime to send the winger off to the races. He failed to score on the first shot, but his second shot was true. The Capitals then readied for a short flight to Tampa, where the Capitals will practice on Wednesday.
“He made a beautiful pass,” Brouwer said. “It went in on the second chance, but it doesn’t matter, it went in.”