Week 9 Recap: Despite Lead Issues, Caps Keep Winning

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Posted March 14, 2021

Ilya Samsonov’s last three games – and wins – came against the Flyers. (Caps Outsider)

The Caps have stayed on a roll with four straight wins this past week, including three against the Flyers. 

On Tuesday, the Caps hosted the Devils for their lone home game in a span of two weeks. The Caps managed to give up a three goal lead in the game despite the penalty kill going 3/3 on the night. Vitek Vanecek was in the net, his only appearance this week, as coach Peter Laviolette continues to navigate Washington’s interesting goalie situation. Jakub Vrana’s overtime goal saved the Caps from the Devils’ comeback bid as they won, 5-4.

The Caps were back at it on Thursday night for the second of three games with the Flyers in less than a week. Despite taking another three-goal lead, Washington gave up two but held on for a 5-3 win. Alex Ovechkin recorded his 715th goal on Thursday as he set the tone for the night early. Ilya Samsonov was in the net. Despite winning by two goals, the Caps still were outshot 33-22, a trend that continued all week despite the victories.

On Saturday, the Caps finished the week with another win against the Flyers, despite once again losing a three-goal lead in a nail-biting 5-4 win. Ovechkin netted his 716th career goal which brings him within one goal of tying Phil Esposito for sixth on the NHL’s all time scoring list. 

With a strong push this week, the Caps have earned their spot among the top half of the East Division, finishing two points behind the first place Islanders with a game in hand.

In order to garner more success, the Caps will need to tighten up a few areas moving forward. For instance, Washington will need to do a better job of closing games and holding on to substantial leads.  While the Caps have done a good job putting up wins regardless of being outshot or losing leads, cleaning up on these problems will be crucial in the long run. 

It is clear that the Caps are a strong squad with high playoff aspirations as coach Laviolette has fostered great success in DC. With key wins and players stepping up, the Caps have shown great consistency and will look to continue their winning ways as they enter the second half of the season.