Troy Brouwer wasn’t looking for a Gordie Howe hat trick – a goal, an assist and a fight in one game. He said he’s had a few in his NHL career already, but the big winger picked up another Wednesday night in the Capitals’ victory over the Ottawa Senators.
“It’s a nice thing to have. The fight was just to try and get the guys going at the beginning of the game,” Brouwer said. “We needed a spark – just something to get us going.”
Brouwer dropped the gloves with Jesse Winchester 5:39 into the game – his first bout of the year.
“There was no personal animosity towards Winchester. I’m trying to get my team going; he’s trying to get his going,” Brouwer said. “Fighting is part of my game. It’s not a huge part, but it is there for support, whether it’s [as a response to] a hit on one of our guys or to get the guys going. It was just to try to get the guys fired up.”
With Matt Hendricks (knee) out of the lineup, the Caps’ only other traditional fighter is defenseman John Erskine, who has expressed some concern about his shoulder and fighting. Brouwer being another guy who is willing to fight certainly helps.
“He can fight, too. He knows how to,” said coach Dale Hunter, who was never afraid to fight during his playing days. “When you can fight like that people give you a little extra room out there. Definitely did a great job last night.”
The great job extends beyond fighting, as Brouwer assisted on Jeff Halpern’s second-period goal and scored thanks to a nice Marcus Johansson pass in the third.
“Halpy had a great goal going to the net, and the second one I didn’t do a whole lot,” Brouwer said. “JoJo did a lot. I just had to put it in.”
Voila, Gordie Howe hat trick.