Jason Chimera didn’t need to sacrifice a goat. His season-long scoring drought is over.
Chimera scored in the second period Sunday night against the Buffalo Sabres, beating Ryan Miller for the Washington Capitals’ third goal of the night. It was his first, in Game No. 28.
Coach Adam Oates talked to Chimera prior to the game about the left wing getting his opportunities.
Saturday against the Boston Bruins, “he was involved in six of our 11 chances in the game – directly or indirectly involved in six of the chances,” Oates said. “That means you’re doing a lot of good things. Obviously now he’s feeling really snake-bit around the net, but you’re doing a lot for our team, and we need that.”
Chimera knew last week that he was doing a lot of good things. But that wasn’t enough to keep him satisfied.
“My overall game, I think, has been pretty good,” the 33-year-old said Wednesday. “But you’ve got to finish. I take pride in getting in first, some checks and creating some energy, but when times come, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to score. You’ve just got to put it in the net.”
Chimera did so at the 9:45 mark of the second. Fresh off the bench, he got a perfect centering pass from right wing Troy Brouwer, who was behind the net, and buried it.
All along, Chimera has been hard on himself. His last goal came May 9 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Rangers. His last regular-season goal was April 2.
“I’ve never been through a stretch like this in my career,” Chimera said. “It’s not like I haven’t been getting the chances. I think the chances are there. Sometimes, like Ovi says, sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t. You’ve got to make them go in. …
“It’s pretty embarrassing when you see a goose egg beside your name. You’ve got to take it upon yourself and it starts with me. That’s the biggest thing.”