Week 11 Recap: Caps Go 3-0

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Posted March 28, 2021

T.J. Oshie and Zdeno Chara won the Cobra Kai headbands of the game on Sunday (via the Caps)

After a perfect week, going 3-0, the Caps find themselves sitting atop the East division.

The week began on Thursday for the Caps as they played host to the New Jersey Devils following a four-day break from action. Despite an early lead for the Devils, Washington continued to push in what was a back and forth game for most of the night, eventually winning 4-3.  The heroics from Alex Ovechkin, who scored his 721st career goal as well as two goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov made all the difference for the Caps.

The Caps played the Devils again on Friday night in the second game of a back-to-back. This time it was all Caps from the start as Washington cruised to a 4-0 win to pick up their second straight victory. Ovechkin continued his recent goal scoring tear as he netted two goals on Friday night, bringing his career tally to 723. The goalie situation has also seemed to become more clear for coach Peter Laviolette as Ilya Samsonov continued his excellent play with 24 saves in the shutout. Samsonov has started to make a great case for himself to be the starting goaltender moving forward for the Caps. 

On Sunday the Caps played host to the New York Rangers in their third game in a span of four days. Washington saw great production from big names on Sunday including Ovechkin, who opened the scoring with career goal number 724, his eleventh goal in as many games.  The Caps also started the game off well by outshooting New York and generating offensive production, something that has been rather difficult for Washington when playing the Rangers this season. Tom Wilson has also made his presence felt since returning to action from his suspension. Wilson scored twice, tallying nine goals on the season thus far, and now has 5 pts (2g, 3a) in his four games since rejoining the team on the ice.  As if those contributions weren’t enough, Kuznetsov joined the scoring as well and now has 12pts (4g, 8a) in his last 10 games of action.  Despite this, at 4-0 in the third period, the Caps once again squandered a big lead, something that has been a theme this season. The Caps gave up four goals in about ten minutes, but escaped with the 5-4 win.

The Caps have struggled on the power play this week, going 0/7 in their three victories. While this is not particularly concerning or seeming to have a major effect, it is still somewhat significant for a Caps team that has one of the better power play units in the NHL. Regardless of minor struggles, the Caps have looked dominant as they continue to find ways to win and stack up points. Washington is right up there with the league’s best and they are making quite the case to win the Presidents’ Trophy. 

In the coming week, the Caps are back in action on Tuesday as they play the Rangers once again. Then on Thursday it will be a challenging game from two top teams as Washington faces the Islanders, followed by two more games against the Devils on Friday and Sunday. Moving forward it will be a tight divisional race. The Caps have asserted themselves as a threat and will continue to rely on their dominant play and key players if they look to lock up the top spot in the East Division. If the Caps can continue their current level of success for the 22 remaining games of the season, they will be making a strong case to be Stanley Cup contenders once again. 

Ilya Samsonov Gets Shut Out, Ovi Doesn’t Get Cobra Kai Head Band