The Runner Sports

Backstrom Keeps Capitals’ Home Streak Alive

On Saturday night, the Washington Capitals were riding a 14-game home winning streak. They managed to keep the streak going with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

For the second game in a row, the play was very tight. It took until the third period for someone to break the goose egg on the scoreboard. Sean Couturier opened the scoring with a deflection past Braden Holtby to put Philly on top. It didn’t take long before Dmitry Orlov put a slap shot past Steve Mason to knot the game at 1. Midway through overtime, Nicklas Backstrom scored a power-play goal to continue Washington’s home streak.

Washington owes much of this victory to the work of their penalty killers. They faced six Flyer power play opportunities and they killed off every single one. The Flyers may not have as vaunted a power play as Washington but it’s dangerous to give a team that many chances. The penalty killers stood on their heads and kept the Capitals in the game.

Kudos also should be given to CSN’s Player of the Game: Tom Wilson. His time on the top line in recent days has really seen him transform his game. Wilson was a force of nature on the ice against the Flyers. He threw his weight around frequently, leading all skaters with 9 hits. Wilson also sacrificed his body by taking a slap shot in the lower part of his back. He was in visible pain but he toughed it out. He also had several close scoring chances but just missed cashing in.

For the second straight game, the Capitals had trouble scoring goals before the third period. This may be due to the playoff style game that they faced. The Flyers are a team on the bubble of a playoff spot and they gave the Capitals a run for their money. It was a tight defensive game from the start.

It didn’t help matters much that Washington’s power play struggled heavily. The Capitals failed to score on their first three attempts until Backstrom netted the overtime winner on their fourth man advantage. Washington failed to get any sustained zone time on their first three chances. They were constantly hounded on the boards and their zone entrances were broken up frequently. It’s only one game but this should be something to work on during practice going forward.

What’s Next: The Capitals will continue to defend their home ice when they host the Dallas Stars on Monday night. Dallas is currently fighting to snag the second Wild Card slot in the Western Conference.

Andrew Markowitz

Longtime Capitals fan hoping to see a Stanley Cup parade in D.C. this year...or at least once in my life

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  • Titty Thomas

    Great work on the article Andrew! This is definitely Titty approved!