Watching the Washington Capitals this season has been a lot like watching a rerun of your favorite show. Despite knowing the outcome, you can't help but tune in, hoping that maybe, just maybe, you'll find something new to recapture your attention.
Take the first 55 minutes of Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers, for example. The Capitals took an early lead, but could not hold onto it as the two teams traded goals until the third period, when the Panthers took what looked like a commanding 5-3 lead with under 15 minutes to play. The goaltending was porous, unlucky bounces were plentiful and undisciplined play was prevalent.
Stop me if you've seen this one before.
But right as you were about to pick up the remote control and find something else to watch, the Capitals drew you back in. First, it was a timely deflection goal from Eric Fehr that cut their deficit in half, followed by a quick wrister from Alex Ovechkin that tied the game less than three minutes later. The Capitals killed off a late penalty that bled into overtime before Troy Brouwer beared down on Scott Clemmensen with the ferocity of an actual panther, collecting his own rebound and pushing it past the sprawling goaltender to give them their first road win and winning streak of the season.
By no means does Tuesday's win signal the triumphant return of the Capitals -- who are now not alone as the worst team in the NHL, a distinction they share with three other teams -- but it is certainly the kind of victory that can function as the catalyst for a resurrection. Ovechkin has now scored goals in three straight games; Mike Ribeiro continues to be a godsend with a team-leading 17 points, fourth-most in the NHL; the power play is starting to click, clocking in at 50 percent (7-for-14) in Washington's last five games. Most importantly, a comeback win ls a much-needed confidence boost for a team that has struggled with mental fortitude. Progress is being made slowly, but surely.
Just when it seemed that the Capitals were stuck on repeat, they flipped the script.
Tune in next game for the exciting continuation.
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