- Ben Sasse scores Sen. Ted Cruz’s endorsement for Nebraska Senate primary
- Beer-flavored lollipops make debut: ‘An All-American slam-dunk’
- Gabby Giffords’ gun control push gets high-profile speaker: Bill Clinton
- Tony Blair to warn West: Take sides against radical Islam
- Pfc. Bradley Manning’s name change to Chelsea heads to court
- NYPD’s attempt at positive Twitter outreach campaign proves to be an epic fail
- Michigan man among first in U.S. to get ‘bionic eye’
- JetBlue pilots vote to unionize; 2 previous attempts failed
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with ‘full-time’ robots
- Navy’s military dolphins may meet Putin’s porpoises in Black Sea
Despite loss, key 5-on-3 penalty kill kept game within reach for Capitals
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Mike Knuble was already in the penalty box for holding. Then, Brooks Laich sent the puck sailing over the glass from the defensive zone.
Predictably, it was deafening inside MTS Centre as the Winnipeg Jets got set for a five-on-three advantage of 1:39. Already trailing 2-1 in the latter stages of the second period, the Washington Capitals probably would have been toast if they allowed another goal.
But, Tomas Vokoun, Jay Beagle, Matt Hendricks and Karl Alzner simply didn’t. The veteran goaltender and those three skaters stayed on the ice for the entire two-man disadvantage, putting together the most impressive penalty kill of the season.
It was the kind of sacrifice that wins in the playoffs. Even in a game that ended up as a 3-2 loss, it was hard to deny the importance of those shifts.
“It gives us a lot of life,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “Those guys did a lot of things that no one likes to do: getting down blocking shots, out for long shifts, especially when guys are winding up like Dustin Byfuglien and taking [slap shots] at them.”
“They did a great job blocking. They’re shot-blocking guys. They sacrifice their body,” coach Dale Hunter said. “That’s hard to defend when you’ve got guys shooting the one-timers at 100 miles an hour, it’s going to hurt. They sacrificed for the team to kill it off.”
The Capitals‘ coach explained it as his penalty killers essentially getting a shift off.
“They called that timeout there, it gave us a chance to rest,” Alzner said. “I think once you’re in that groove, you’ve already played it for about a minute, a minute and 10 seconds, you kind of stick with the guys because you know what to expect.”
And know what to do, too. Ultimately, the success of the penalty kill came down to Vokoun making a sliding stick save on forward Blake Wheeler in the final seconds.
“Tomas was big in net,” Hunter said. “Your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer and he was.”
The momentum turned immediately, and Laich drew a penalty before the second intermission. Mathieu Perreault cashed in on the ensuing power play in the third, proving that a great killing shift can be just as valuable as anything else in this game.
“The guys really respect what they did out there,” Brouwer said, “and it gave us a big boost.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Ministry of Truth: SCOTUS skeptical of law to police campaign 'lies'
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- HURT: President Obama's 'Selfie Doctrine'
- SOWELL: The high cost of liberalism, open spaces and affordable housing
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'I'm not running for president'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.