As inconsistent as the Capitals have been this season, it’s still impossible to count out their ability to engineer a late-game comeback. After being thwarted by Mike Smith and the Phoenix Coyotes through the first two periods, Washington came out rejuvenated at the start of the third and went on to score three goals in a span of 5 minutes 2 seconds to capture a 3-2 win that snapped their three-game losing streak.
It started near the midway point of the third as the Capitals worked the puck around the offensive zone and Eric Fehr sent a pass to Karl Alzner at the point. As bodies drifted in front, screening Smith, Alzner put a floater on net and somehow it found its way through the traffic and into the upper left-hand corner of the net.
“You’ve got to be patient. You can’t try and gamble to get that first goal,” Coach Adam Oates said. “It’s amazing when the first goal goes in what happens in the game, right?”
Here is Alzner’s goal, from Fehr and Beagle at 9:45 of the third:
On the next shift, a recently united line of Brooks Laich centering Jason Chimera and Joel Ward was able to establish a cycle. Chimera protected the puck in the left corner and at the same time sent a hard centering pass to Laich out in front for a booming shot that made it 2-2 just 32 seconds after Alzner’s goal.
Laich’s goal, from Chimera, at 10:17 of the third:
Then the Capitals went back to old faithful, or the power play, to complete the rally when David Moss tripped Dmitry Orlov. Nicklas Backstrom put a shot on net and Troy Brouwer retrieved the rebound on the left side of the crease, sending the puck under Smith’s outstretched paddle for the 3-2 lead.
And here is Brouwer’s power-play goal, from Backstrom and Carlson, at 14:47:
More on Kuznetsov on Sunday.