Three Capitals’ forwards got off the schneid during Wednesday’s 5-3 victory over the Flyers.
Chandler Stephenson scored a pair of goals to end a 29-game drought, T.J. Oshie scored his first goal in 14 games and Andre Burakovsky struck for the first time in 10 contests. The previously scuffling trio provided all the offense Washington would need to skate off with their first victory in three games over Philadelphia (1-1-1) this season.
Tarik’s three stars of the game:
1-Chandler Stephenson, Capitals
Stephenson had not scored a goal in his previous 28 contests. Then he scored twice on the same shift for his first multi-goal game in the NHL. Hockey is funny like that. Anyway, he’s almost assuredly earned himself a temporary stay as Coach Barry Trotz looks for a forward to scratch Friday in Pittsburgh.
Holtby wasn’t great in the All-Star Game. He was, however, great in his first game after the three-day break, with a number of big stops vs. the Flyers. The biggest? A second period pad stop on Claude Giroux kept the score level, 2-2.
3-T.J. Oshie, Capitals
It had been 13 games since Oshie’s last goal, and the drought was clearly starting to wear on No. 77. But the dry spell came to its timely end in the third period when Oshie fired a power play shot up and over Michal Neuvirth to put the Caps ahead 4-2.
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Gauging the Washington Redskins’ running back situation for 2018 feels like a glass half-full or empty situation.
Chris Thompson turned into the team’s top offensive playmaker last season. The quicker-than-quick back led the Redskins in rushing and receiving at the time of his season-ending leg injury in Week 11. Rookie Samaje Perine powered his way to a team-high 603 rushing yards. Injuries limited Robert Kelley, but let’s not forget about his impactful 2016 campaign.
On the other hand, Washington ranked 28th in rushing yards this season and 30th in yards per attempt (3.6). Thompson offers explosive ability, but the 5-foot-8 back isn’t built for every-down use. Perine showed enough rough edges in Year 1. Neither he nor Kelley is a premier athlete. Kapri Bibbs, Byron Marshall and Keith Marshall offer more depth, but not much wow.
The guess here is that the Redskins do not prioritize running back during the offseason. Get Kelley and Thompson back from injuries, put Perine through a second training camp and see what that does. Of course, that would not preclude Washington from selecting a runner at any point in the draft if the value stars align, including in round one.