Marcus Johansson hadn’t scored a goal in forever. All right, perhaps it had only been since Nov. 11, but that means the young forward’s goal drought lasted 20 games, or almost a quarter of the Washington Capitals’ season.
And while Matt Hendricks admitted earlier in the week he was pressing and “squeezing the stick” during his season-long slump, Johansson said he wasn’t.
“You always want to score, but not really. Of course you want to score, but if you give someone else a pass and they score instead, I see that as the same thing, almost,” Johansson said. “Of course I want to score – I want to score more. Sometimes you make the passes instead and sometimes you miss. That’s just the way it is.”
Johansson got 13 shots on net between goals but finally cashed in Wednesday night against the New York Rangers. In that time he put up an impressive nine assists.
After defenseman Michael Del Zotto turned it over in the neutral zone, Jeff Halpern joined in on the rush, and Johansson left him the puck on a drop pass. Halpern fired at Henrik Lundqvist and Johansson went to the net and was in perfect position for the rebound.
It was as if Johansson knew either he or Halpern would score.
“I wanted to get to the net and get some rebounds if there was any or screen the goalie,” Johansson said. “And it was a good goal.”
And a good way to snap out of a skid.