For select games of the 2011-12 Washington Capitals season, The Washington Times will do a “Film Study,” looking at key plays and how they happened. Here’s a look at the Caps’ two power-play goals in Saturday’s 7-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings:
14:00 of the first period
It’s very early in the power play, and the Caps are able to set up around Detroit’s four-man box. Nicklas Backstrom gets the puck in the left corner of the defensive zone and taps it off the boards to Alex Ovechkin.
When both defensemen, Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall commit to Ovechkin, Backstrom is open with space as Troy Brouwer keeps Darren Helm busy from the weak side. Brouwer makes this play happen by forcing Helm to watch him, as Mike Green has plenty of ice to work with. Green could get to midway point of the circles unmanned if he wants to.
Backstrom sees Green going for that backdoor play, and though Justin Abdelkader tries to put his stick in the passing lane, Backstrom has been playing with Green long enough to anticipate – plus, the Swede is a deft passer.
Green gets the wrist shot off, and goaltender Ty Conklin can’t even see it because Brouwer and Helm are screening him. 1-0 Caps
Here’s the video:
4:59 of second
Another power play, and while this one didn’t happen as quickly, the puck movement was even more beautiful this time around. Ovechkin has the puck along the left wall, gets it to Brouwer behind the net – and instead of cycling it, the big wing works it out to Wideman at the point.
Detroit, which had been playing aggressively on Brouwer behind the net and Ovechkin along the boards, is able to get set up. But the Red Wings are far more prepared for a shot by Ovechkin than a cross-ice pass (he had taken a shot a few seconds earlier that was off the mark).
Ovechkin, like Backstrom, knows Green well. He sees the defenseman open just above the circles and fires a perfect feed over there. Again Brouwer is set up in front of the net, and this time Conklin doesn’t get over quick enough.
The result is a snap shot into the top of the net. 3-0 Caps
Here’s the video: