In a meaningless hockey game that had little intensity to it, the Washington Capitals smoked the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-2, in Raleigh on Thursday night.
The Caps best line all season of Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, and Joel Ward notched three goals while Troy Brouwer added the two other markers off of sweet feeds from Marcus Johansson.
Braden Holtby was super in net again, stopping 36 of 38 shots. #70 had 0 chance on either of the goals against. Holtbeast has now won three games in a row and had the team gone with a more normal goaltending rotation all season and not tried to change Holtby’s game in the fall, they might have overcome their defensive deficiencies to make the post season.
But that’s water under the bridge, at this point. Holtby should be the Caps goaltender for a long time and he’s showing why with his play.
Basically, these final three games are a showcase of pride and a chance to improve one’s statistics. Brouwer now has 25 goals in 2013-14. The third line, however, has been bringing the effort all season and their numbers prove it. They play well as a unit and they seem to really enjoy the game. Let’s hope they can bring that production next season.
Looking at the raw numbers in this one you might think the Canes dominated as they won the face off battle 36-17 and out shot attempted the Caps, 73-41. Score effects likely explains a portion of that delta in the shots department.
With the victory the Capitals improve to 37-30-13 (87 points). But as you know, that won’t be good enough, even if they win their final two games, to make the post season.
On Friday the Caps will play at home against the Chicago Blackhawks and then close out their season on Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Center against Tampa.
Notes: The Caps went 0-1 on the power play and allowed a short handed tally….Tom Wilson played 14:43…Tyson Strachan and Dmitry Orlov received the most ice time as a d-pair logging over 22 minutes.