Jason Chimera is fast. That’s no secret to anyone who has watched the 33-year-old Washington Capitals forward motor down the ice.
But in these playoffs, and even last year’s, Chimera has apparently found a different gear. He scored his fourth goal of the postseason in the Caps’ Game 6 victory over the New York Rangers, with teammate Brooks Laich calling him “ the difference in that hockey game.
“He played fantastic,” Laich said.
It’s nothing new, as Chimera has thrived through the Rangers series and in the first round against the Boston Bruins.
“He’s been very good right from the start of the year,” coach Dale Hunter said. “He’s one of those guys with great speed and a big desire to win.”
Speed kills, and it killed Wednesday night when Chimera used it to draw the penalty that set up Alex Ovechkin’s power-play goal just 1:28 in.
“It’s a good feeling when you cause a penalty and then they score on it,” Chimera said. “It’s a great feeling.”
Even better to score perhaps. Yet again Chimera’s offensive production came from being at the right place at the right time. Alexander Semin did quality work along the boards to win a battle and get the puck out, and Chimera just had to bang it home.
He has five career playoff goals against the Rangers, with seemingly all of them coming from a foot or two out.
“It doesn’t matter how far out; it’ll be, maybe, a little breakaway goal to my kids when I get older,” Chimera said. “It’s nice to get those goals. It sounds corny, but that’s where you’ve got to go to score goals in playoffs. It seemed to find me there.”
The puck seems to find Chimera there because he’s doing the right things, too. He was excellent on the penalty kill in Game 6 and was a force all over the ice.
“It’s really good. He’s fast out there. It looks like you just gotta chip the puck and then he’s skating into it,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “It’s fun to play with him because he’s got a lot of speed and he’s creating a lot.”