How it happened: Mark Scheifele scored with 19.9 seconds remaining in the 3-on-3 overtime, but the Capitals immediately challenged the goal, hoping a video review would determine that Blake Wheeler was offside. After a long delay that pushed 10 minutes the officials determined Wheeler did not enter the offensive zone ahead of the puck and awarded Scheifele his 10th goal of the season. The two teams traded power-play goals in the first and second periods. Andrew Ladd opened the scoring for Winnipeg with seven seconds remaining in the second period while Tom Wilson served a double minor for roughing. Wilson made up for the penalty when he drew a roughing penalty on Anthony Peluso and that led to Nicklas Backstrom tying the score on the power play with his ninth goal of the season.
NHL situation room explanation: “… The Situation Room initiated a review under the terms of a Coach’s Challenge to examine whether Winnipeg was off-side prior to Mark Scheifele’s goal. Review was not conclusive in determining whether Winnipeg was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the On-Ice Official(s) will be instructed to confirm their original call.”
What it means: The Caps (18-5-2, 38 points) had their six-game win streak halted, but moved past the New York Rangers and into the Metropolitan Division lead with the overtime point. The Caps have two games in hand on the Rangers.
Injury update: Caps defenseman Karl Alzner took just two shifts in the third period and none in the five-minute overtime period. Left wing Marcus Johansson sat out his first game of the season, ending a playing streak of 106 games, with a lower body injury. He was replaced by Stan Galiev, who played on a fourth line with Michael Latta and Brooks Laich. With Johansson unavailable, Andre Burakovslky took his spot on a second line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams. Burakovsky also took Johansson’s spot on the power play. Tom Wilson moved up to the third line, where he played alongside Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera.
What’s next: The Caps are off on Sunday, then hit the ice at Kettler on Monday to prepare for Tuesday night’s game against Mike Green and the Detroit Red Wings.
MORE CAPS: BRAWL BREAKS OUT BETWEEN CAPS AND JETS
The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?
Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.
That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).
Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.
SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE
Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:
In contention for: Norris
Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.
In contention for: Hart
Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.
Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!
Vincent Trocheck scored on the power play with 18.7 seconds remaining and the Panthers escaped with a 3-2 victory on an emotional night in Sunrise, Fla.
Trocheck’s goal was Florida’s second in the final four minutes…and the Caps were left to lament yet another incomplete performance. Washington has now lost three of its last four games and fell to 4-5-2 in February.
Tarik’s three stars of the game:
1-Vincent Trocheck, Panthers
Trocheck did what Trocheck does in the third period: The Florida forward scored a clutch goal in the final seconds, redirecting a Jonathan Huberdeau shot through Brooks Orpik’s legs and past Braden Holtby.
Eller was in the penalty box when Trocheck scored his 13th third period goal of the season.
2-Andre Burakovsky, Capitals
After losing a goal to Eller in the first period, Burakovsky made sure he didn’t go home empty-handed. No. 65 scored on the power play in the second period to put the Caps ahead 2-1.
It was Burakovsky’s third goal in six games. He also earned a secondary assist on Eller’s redirection score.
3-Braden Holtby, Capitals
Following a handful of un-Holtby-like performances lately, Holtbeast roared Thursday night at BB&T Center. He made at least one game-saving stop in each period: an arm save on Trocheck in the first period; a pad stop on Denis Malgin in the second and another extended pad stop on Evgenii Dadonov in the third. Holtby finished with 30 stops.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.