I was able to watch last week's Caps game against the Wild, and it was the challenge that was expected. And I'm not sure if I'd call the challenge one that was met, despite the final result.
Anyway, it started out well enough, with the Caps looking pretty good, despite not getting shots. Then, the Wild got a power play. Although the Caps survived, there were a number of chances.
But they went back to it after the PK, and got their own power play chance a few minutes later. Only nineteen seconds in, Backstrom, next to the net, sent a beautiful (no-look?) pass across to OV in his normal spot. Surprising no one, OV buried it before Harding had a chance to get across to cover the net.
But Minnie was undeterred, and kept their steady attack up, eventually beating Holtby on their own power play late in the first. It felt like the Wild were basically in control for the rest of the game.
It helped that they added another goal (at evens) six minutes into the second, but my saying that isn't really based on the score. It just felt like they were the ones with all the offensive chances, although the Fenwick chart shows the Caps did manage to close the gap towards the end of the third.
There was a Wild attempt to push for a late goal to break the tie, but Washington withstood it to get a regulation point.
In overtime... well, neither team managed to get their first overtime goal, despite some good chances (and some odd line choices by Washington; Chimmer and Ward as a forward line were followed by Grabovski and Backstrom).
Again, it looked like Washington's shooters were outclassed by Minnesota's (without counting Parise; who was apparently hurt blocking a shot late in the game, and didn't appear), but Holtby didn't seem phased. Holtby held up his end of the bargain, stopping all three shooters, leaving Backstrom's lone goal as the winner.
It wasn't a terribly pretty game, although it looks like it was a bit more even than it felt, watching.
For tracking purposes, I'm going to post separate notes of the two weekend games, which I did not manage to watch at all (travelling).