The Caps game tonight started at seven pm. I wasn't in front of the TV; my son had a swimming class that started right then. When we were leaving, the people working there had the game on, so I had to try to avoid looking at it.
We got home, and I still wasn't able to turn it on right away. Then, when I did, I found out that the DVR didn't record it (since the program title was something like '2013 NHL Playoffs' instead of 'NHL Hockey'). So by the time I did turn it on, half the game was over, and the Caps were just starting to kill a penalty. Even worse, shortly thereafter, they took another penalty (two, actually, but one of them was offset by Callahan also taking one) to make it a 5-on-3. Yuck.
I was really feeling down about the team's chances (despite the score being tied), but they killed the whole thing. What's more, less than two minutes after finishing the kill, Oleksy looked up-ice just after turning around in his own zone, and saw MarJo at the far blue line. He beamed the passed all the way there, and MarJo was in, alone, behind the defense, He went a little bit left-to-right, and put it five-hole (above the stick; sweet placement) on Lundqvist. Sweet play.
Even better, less than a minute later, Perreault's line was generating some pressure when Chimmer got the puck on the left half-wall. He threw it towards the net and it found its way past Lundqvist (possibly tipped by Perreault; it was hard to tell). A bit of a lucky score, no doubt, but it was exciting to see.
That was the last goal of the period; it turned out that the Caps had all three of their goals in the second period (OV cleaned a nice rebound next to the net on the power play about three minutes before I turned it on), on only nine shots.
Not thrilled about the nine number. In fact, the Caps were outshot on the game 36-30. Even worse, the Caps had more blocks, 25-15. That's a pretty heavy shot imbalance.
But Holtby stood on his head repeatedly to hold the score there; he had a fantastic game (first star). I'm happy that he was able to, less so that he needed to.
Anyway, the third period was pretty heavily in New York's favor; if not for a huge flurry on the power play, and for a minute or two afterwards, it would have been wildly unbalanced.
But again, Holtby was awesome, and managed to keep New York off the board for the entirety of the third period.
Well, I might be less than certain about my feelings on the third period, but I'm certainly thrilled about the overall result, with the Caps taking the first game. Let's hope they can continue that on Saturday; game time is nominally 1230 (not sure if that translates to 1235 or 1300 with heavy pregame. I'm hoping the former). I'd love to see a two-game lead heading up to New York.