Washington Capitals Report Card: Offense kills it against Sabres

The Washington Capitals offense picked up where they left off from Tuesday night. On Thursday they only scored three goals, yet it was once again enough to get them in the win column. The Caps won 3-1 and got contributions up and down the lineup in their second complete game in a row.

The Caps struck first thanks to tremendous pressure around the net. Unfortunately, a shot from Alex Ovechkin didn’t go in but thankfully Nicklas Backstrom was there to keep his hot scoring streak alive, banging in the rebound. T.J. Oshie was credited with the secondary assist and after the game was given the Cobra Kai headband.

In the second period, defense turned into offense when Tom Wilson scored a shorthanded goal backhanded style. For Wilson, it was his sixth of the season.

In the third period, the third line picked up where they left off as Conor Sheary got another snipe into the net for his fourth goal of the season. It was the second straight game Sheary scored and like the previous game came against one of his former teams.

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For Nicklas Backstrom, his first period goal was his eighth of the season. He was asked by the media about his offensive production this season which has spiked after a down season last year. Via Samantha Pell of The Washington Post (subscription required):

“I don’t know. Good question. I think maybe just the mind-set of maybe going to the net a little bit harder. I think the coaching staff wants the team to play harder in front of the net, create a lot of shots and create those secondary chances. Yeah, maybe that’s the reason. Also, maybe I’m at the right spot at the right time, too, a lot of times.”

The third line once again had a solid game with Conor Sheary’s goal. It was redemption for Sheary after he got robbed of a goal early in the game. He talked more about the tally:

“I think Lars said to me on the bench that I deserved that one after getting robbed. I think it’s a good sign that our line is creating chances and I’m getting opportunities. I don’t know what else I could have done; I got all of that shot. Linus just made a great save on me. . . . I was fortunate to get another bounce and be able to score at the end there.”

Grade A: Once again the offense put together a solid game and got two big points as a result against a team they were supposed to beat anyway. They dodged the potential trap game and now are tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for 19 points in the East Division. They hope to carry this momentum into this weekend’s games.

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