- Kentucky city called socialist for buying gas station, undercutting competitor fuel prices
- Israel hits five mosques, sports complex in overnight Gaza strikes
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters’ questions on book tour
- EPA tweet baffles: ‘I’m now a C-List celebrity in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ iPhone game
- Australian P.M. Abbott: MH17 evidence tampered with on ‘industrial scale’
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez tells Hispanics to vote and ‘punish those’ who oppose amnesty
- Country singer Tim McGraw not sorry for slapping female fan: ‘Things happen’
- Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks
- White House takes credit for drop in unaccompanied children at border
- International crises be damned, Obama’s fundraising trip must go on
Mike Ribeiro goal gives Capitals crucial comeback victory
Hurricanes’ division lead cut to eight thanks to heroics in final minutes
Question of the Day
RALEIGH, N.C. – Alex Ovechkin clanked his shot off the post, and Mike Ribeiro only got a piece of the puck. Two minutes felt like 20 as the Washington Capitals’ hopes for a regulation victory hung in the balance.
“We were waiting to see,” coach Adam Oates said. “Another golden opportunity. I’m like, ‘Oh no, we didn’t waste another one.’ ”
It was a golden opportunity to cut into the Carolina Hurricanes’ Southeast Division lead and pick up two valuable points. A fraction of an inch separated elation from disappointment.
When the ruling came back that Ribeiro scored, the Caps had the lead they needed on the way to a 3-2 victory Thursday night that could be vital in keeping their playoff hopes alive. No one was more relieved than Ovechkin, who beat goaltender Dan Ellis and had a wide open net to shoot at before hitting the right post.
“I thought like, ‘Jesus, like please. Just goes in somehow,’ and it went in,” Ovechkin said. “Right now the kind of position we are it doesn’t matter if me or Ribs score, it’s huge two points for us.”
Outside the visitors’ locker room at PNC Arena in the moments after, Oates was ribbing Ovechkin for whiffing on his breakaway attempt. That’s much easier to do after Ribeiro managed to score with just 2:16 left.
Referee Chris Rooney called it a goal when it happened, but the Caps center wasn’t sure going back to the bench.
“It happened so quick. I actually missed my shot there, but the video don’t lie, I guess,” Ribeiro said. “I’ll take those, I’ll take the garbage behind there.”
It’s as good as a gorgeous snipe on the score sheet. Ribeiro’s game-winner pushed the Caps to 23 points on the season, seven back of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 22 games to play.
In snapping the losing streak at three, the Caps also returned to where they were before Tuesday’s shutout loss: eight points back of first place in the Southeast.
“With this schedule you can’t afford to go four or five games without a point or a win, especially in our position,” said tough guy Aaron Volpatti, who set up Joey Crabb for Washington’s first goal of the night. “It doesn’t matter how we did it. We got it done, and it’ll be big for us here.”
But how the Caps did it could be a source of pride moving forward. They spotted Carolina a 2-0 lead in the game’s first eight minutes on goals by Alexander Semin and Patrick Dwyer, and it felt eerily reminiscent of two days earlier when the Hurricanes went into Verizon Center and dominated.
Down two goals, players were staring at the possibility of being 12 points back and in serious trouble.
“We’re aware that every point’s important right now and every game’s important,” Crabb said. “We know that going down 2-0 in the first period isn’t good, but we also knew that if we play our game and play our systems and work hard, then we have the skill to finish the plays and we were lucky enough to do that tonight and get a win.”
Oates hopes that this kind of comeback gives his team a “boost” going into Saturday’s game at the Boston Bruins, one they’ll most likely have to play without defenseman Tomas Kundratek, who suffered an apparent right leg injury early in the first period.
© 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?
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- Edward Snowden to work with Russia on anti-spy technology
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- U.S. scrambles as violence escalates in Israel-Hamas conflict
- Humanists seek support from Congress on military chaplains
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Big milestone for Britain's little prince
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq