From the moment the puck was dropped, the Capitals were on their heels. In the opening seconds the Nashville Predators had a breakaway on Michal Neuvirth, then Brooks Laich took a penalty just :24 seconds in the game. It would be the first of several penalties the Caps would take through the first two periods. But Neuvirth held strong, and the Caps used a late rally to defeat the Predators in overtime 3-2.
Brooks Laich scored the game winning goal in overtime after he tipped in an Alex Ovechkin point shot. Alex Semin also scored on the power play to get the rally going for the Capitals early in the third period. Tomas Fleischmann scored his second goal of the season to tie things up late in the third off of some hard work by the second line.
The Capitals had a hard time clearing the puck from their own zone. It lead to both Nashville goals in the first and second periods. J.P. Dumont scored a picture perfect shot over Neuvirth's right shoulder to catch the top corner for the first goal. That came after a Caps' turn over at their own blue line. The second goal was a cross ice pass that caught Brian Fahey's skate and deflected into the open net behind the Caps' goaltender.
Besides those two blunders, Michal Neuvirth was the story of the game. While the Caps' offense was dormant, Neuvy came up big with save after save keeping the score close. He would stop 28 out of thirty shots on net through the first two periods. He would finish the night stopping 37 shots out of 39, making a few beauty glove saves and taking the game's number two star.
Alex Ovechkin was originally credited with the game winning goal, but it was changed to Laich afterward. Ovechkin sees his goal streak end at three games, but he has scored a point in every Caps' game this season (a five game point streak). Ovi has also either scored or assisted in every game winning goal in the past 4 games.
The Capitals' penalty kill was heavily tested in this game, but came up perfect. The Caps took 4 minors in the first period, another two in the second. The Caps PK remains one of only two teams that are 100% so far this season (Florida is the other). Their power play also came through for them late in the game. Their power play goal early in the third started the rally, and the game winning goal was a PP tally.
Bottom line, the Capitals stole these two points. They might have even not deserve the win with their play through the first two periods. But they rallied behind Neuvirth's play in goal and when the puck started to go in for the Capitals, the Predators' lost their steam. The Caps must play much better, especially in their own zone.
The Caps next play the Boston Bruins in a home and home two game series first at the phone booth then at Boston.
- Brian Fahey was recalled from Hershey to play for injured Mike Green and Tom Poti who did not dress for the Nashville game. Both defensemen have been listed as day to day. Fahey was a -2 in 9:50 in ice time and was credited with one hit.
- The Hershey Bears received their championship rings and lifted their banner tonight. But they lost their home opener to the Rochester Americans 3-2.