Hershey’s Night in DC: Kings beat Capitals 3-2
The always-depleted Washington Capitals played better than the Los Angeles Kings at home on Sunday night. It’s just that the scoreboard disagreed. Three unanswered goals blew up what should have been a scrappy win for the Washington Bears.
Connor McMichael scored in the run in the first period, assisted by hometown boy Joe Snively. In the second period, Justin Schultz waited just after a four-minute power play ended before scoring to make it 2-0. Blake Lizotte scored a shorthanded goal late in the second, then Christian Wolanin grabbed a big rebound early in the third to tie the game.
With just ten minutes remaining in the third, Adrian Kempe earned a lucky break by beating Vitek Vanecek with the puck rolling off his stick, giving the Kings the lead.
- The Capitals had six power play opportunities in the first two periods, and they were upgraded at that time. Blaine Forsyth should be very grateful that Backstrom, Oshie and Kuznetsov are unavailable at this time. These are individually his quarterback, hidden dagger, and area entry key. They are collectively his excuse. The PP has one goal on its last twenty-one chances.
- Joe Snively grew up not too far from here, and on Sunday night he scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. Snively had a great assist in McMichael’s opener.
—Tim McDonough (@mcdonough23) December 20, 2021
- Calmly, Conor Sheary brewed a five-game point streak. Ian and I both loved when he attempted a goal line action on the power play.
- The officials were short of a linesman. You’ll never guess why unless you guess COVID. It was COVID. The shorthanded officials loved giving penalties, and this game was particularly hectic for no apparent reason I can discern. Excessive AHL energy?
- The Los Angeles Kings came up with a brilliant strategy to quit Alex Ovechkin: human shields. The Kings blocked eight. Missing most of his friends, Ovechkin played a ton of minutes in this one: 26:30.
- Vitek Vanecek didn’t face a ton of shots, but that rebound off Christian Wolanin to allow him to score for the first time since 2019 was really bad. Kempe’s goal was just a monster rebound in my eyes, but it’s hard not to see this game as a setback for him.
- Truly strong diffusion of the NBC Sports Washington team. We’ll miss them on Tuesday, which airs nationally (sort of) on ESPN+.
— good tweet pete 🌮 (@peterhassett) December 20, 2021
Yeah, that was unfortunate.
See you Tuesday as the Caps head to Philly. Or do you think this game will even happen?
Main photo: Pam Ford