Washington Capitals Gain Confidence in 5-3 Victory over the Ottawa Senators

Paddy MillerContributor IIIDecember 9, 2011

OTTAWA, CANADA - DECEMBER 7: Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators defends the net against Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals as Mike Knuble #22 of the Washington Capitals and Jared Cowen #2 of the Ottawa Senators look on during an NHL game at Scotiabank Place on December 7, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals got back to their winning ways on Wednesday night by defeating the Ottawa Senators for the second time this December.

It was a much-needed victory which saw the faltering Capitals get back to some free-flowing hockey in lighting the red light five times in the Canadian capital.

Five different players would score those goals in Scotiabank Place which would be another hallmark of Caps hockey when you have the depth of having three or four lines that are scoring threats

Jeff Halpern would be the first Capital to get on the board banging in a rebound from a Dennis Wideman drive for his second goal of the season in the second period.

However, after going one goal down, the Senators would have other ideas before the horn blew on the second.

Erik Condra would tally his fourth of the season, and Nick Foligno would score an excellent goal late in the second to give the Sens a one-goal lead.

Foligno would take the puck out of the corner and wait as the flow of the play went past him and in front of Caps netminder Tomas Vokoun. Foligno waited until he would get a clear shot at net—that never happened. However, as Foligno circled the net he would tuck it back in on the same side for his ninth of the season.

While it was an excellent, highlight-reel goal by Foligno, it also showed how lackadaisical the Capitals could be in the defensive end as nobody picked up Foligno from the corner and remotely harassed him as he circled freely in front of Vokoun. Nevertheless, Foligno showed tremendous patience to bury the opportunity.  

Nick Foligno scored a highlight-reel goal against the Capitals which displayed his patience, and the Caps sorrow defense.
Nick Foligno scored a highlight-reel goal against the Capitals which displayed his patience, and the Caps sorrow defense.Rob Carr/Getty Images


As the third period began, it looked as though it may be another frustrating night for the Caps away from Verizon Center.

However, just under 10 minutes into the third Nicklas Backstrom would finish up on a classic Caps power play breakout that finished with Backstrom burying an effort from the left circle—the storm would continue.

Alex Ovechkin would break through about four minutes later with a brilliant individual effort that saw him skate a lap around the entire offensive zone, shake off a defender and bury a wrist shot from the right circle.

Ovechkin—who came into the game on a lengthy cold streak—will hopefully be able to keep his confidence going after this vintage Ovie goal.

On the next shift Troy Brouwer would convert a centering feed from Marcus Johansson, and the Capitals seemed well on their way.  

Milan Michalek would get on the score sheet for Ottawa a few minutes later, but the Caps would hang on, eventually getting an insurance empty-netter from John Carlson in the final minute for a 5-3 victory.

With that goal, John Carlson recorded his sixth point in the last two games and appears poised to take some weekly honors from the NHL if he has another strong game at home against Toronto on Friday night.

It was also a big night for Alex Ovechkin who was able to light the lamp with a very important goal and also will hope to escape supplementary discipline with an apparent spear to the midsection of Sens forward Chris Neil.

It will be up to Dale Hunter’s squad to keep the momentum going as the Caps head back to D.C. to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While they showed moments of brilliance at times on Wednesday night, it is consistency the Capitals need to put on display to get back to where they were at the start of the season.


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