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WSH 5, NYR 1 - Ovechkin and Special Teams Propel Capitals over Rangers

October 13, 2021, 11:34 PM ET [6 Comments]
Brian Sickles
Washington Capitals Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Annnnnnd we’re back!

What’s going on HockeyBuzz Fam? Your favorite (or in some cases least favorite) Caps blogger is back after a long hiatus. I will say, it feels damn good to have NHL hockey back. I just moved back to the DC Area this summer and just seeing Caps jerseys all around today was awesome. Now that I am home, I ended up purchasing a 10-game pack for the Caps this season and had tickets to tonight’s game. Due to the fact I am getting married on Saturday, my fiancé/soon to be wife put a quick axe on my plans to take us both to the season opener tonight. “But bebe, it’s the season opener!” I get it…Covid. Instead, I gave the tickets to my brother free of charge. Special shout out to my bro bro, Crazy Chris! Anyways, enough about me…lets get to the game:

Here Are the Stats:

Shots on Goal:

WSH – 27
NYR – 24


Shots on Goal (5v5):

WSH – 17
NYR – 12


Corsi For %
WSH – 47.52%
NYR – 52.48%

Corsi For % (5v5)
WSH – 52.38%
NYR – 47.62%


Power Play:

WSH – 3/6
NYR – 1/5


Hits:

WSH – 12
NYR – 27


Blocks:

WSH – 15
NYR – 8


Scoring Chances For:

WSH – 26
NYR – 26



Scoring Chances For (5v5):

WSH – 21
NYR – 12



High Danger Chances For:

WSH – 5
NYR – 7



High Danger Chances For: (5v5):

WSH – 3
NYR – 1


Goaltending:
Vitek Vanecek
SV% .958 (Saved 23 of 24 shots faced)

Alexandar Georgiev
SV% .815 (Saved 22 of 27 shots faced)

My Takeaways from the Game:

1. Caps Capitalize on Special Teams – It took the Capitals just under 5 minutes into the first game of the season to get a power play goal. They finished the night 3 for 6 on the PP and at times the top unit looked unstoppable. In addition to scoring three goals, it felt like the Caps were getting lots of offensive zone time and clean shots when they were on the PP. To be fair, the Rangers generated an equal amount of opportunities on the power play but simply were unable to convert until midway through the third period. In addition to the PP goals. I thought the Rangers started this game fairly strong, but it was the Capitals who took advantage of early opportunities on special teams to seize momentum on home ice and never look back.

2. Alex Ovechkin Starts 2021 With a Bang - Ovechkin was a game-time decision heading into tonight’s game but there was really no doubt about his status tonight. The dude is a tank. Some folks may even say the Russian machine never breaks. Ovechkin finished the night with 2G-2A, good for four points. Ovechkin scored career goals 731 and 732 and officially passed Marcel Dionne for 5th ALL-TIME. 5th! That is pretty crazy if you think about it. You all know I am firm believer that Ovechkin will eventually pass Gretzky. It was great to see him get on the scoreboard right away this season. Not that he needs it, but that has to feel good and give him extra confidence moving forward this season.

3. Hendrix Lapierre Scores in NHL Debut – Wow! What a feed, what a goal, what a moment for the rookie! Lapierre was selected by the Capitals in the 1st round of the 2020 draft at the 22nd pick. Between his stellar camp and preseason and the Backstrom injury, Lapierre earned himself a spot in the starting lineup tonight. He finished with one goal on two shots and he took one minor penalty. I thought the kid looked slick out there. It’s amazing what good things can happen when you don’t trade all your first rounders away!

Honorable Mention - Vitek Vanecek played a great game. He had timely stops against some pretty strong Rangers chances. He made the stops he was supposed to and that's all you can ask for in a game like this. Vanecek was certainly solid last year but had moments where he couldn't stop a beach ball. He appeared to be moving well in the crease and looked confident/strong with his positioning. Man, I am happy we got him back!

Next up the Capitals are at home again vs the 0-1-0 Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning laid a dud on opening night and I expect them to bounce back against the Caps. Caps will still win of course. Maybe 4-3.

I am getting married Saturday and will not be blogging this weekend. Ill see you buzz boys on Tuesday for the Caps vs Avs game.
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