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Caps Summer Series: Was the best save of the season made by...Tom Wilson?

Caps Summer Series: Was the best save of the season made by...Tom Wilson?

Braden Holtby was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy while Philipp Grubauer was arguably the best backup in the NHL. But the best save of the season was not made by either goalie, according to Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir.

In episode 2 of the Caps Summer Series, our experts counted down some of the best moments of the Capitals season. When counting down the best saves of the season, El-Bashir made the case for Tom Wilson.

RELATED: Caps Summer Series: Reliving the 1998 run to the Finals

Washington entered Game 4 in their series with the Toronto Maple Leafs down 2-1. The Caps took a 2-0 lead in the game, but Zach Hyman pulled Toronto within one. The Leafs came within inches of tying the game as a puck trickled through the pads of Holtby, but Wilson made a diving play to sweep the puck off the goal line and out. Wilson then joined the rush on the counter attack and scored to put Washington up 3-1.The Caps would not relinquish that lead or lose another game in the series.

You can watch the play and El-Bashir's argument in the video above.

Consider this: An underdog Toronto team up 2-1 in the series against the top team in the conference battles back from a 2-0 deficit in their own building to tie the game. There would have been a lot of confidence and momentum among the Leafs and it would have made them tough to beat. Wilson's play was essentially a two-goal swing for Washington. Instead of a 2-2 game, his play made it 3-1.

He may not be a goalie, but Wilson's save was arguably the most important one of the season.

Episode 4 of the Caps Summer Series airs 7 p.m. on Thursday. It will focus on the team's prospects and development camp.

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals re-sign Liam O'Brien

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4 reasons why the Caps beat the Senators


4 reasons why the Caps beat the Senators

The Capitals head into Thanksgiving on a high note after a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Here's why they won.

Line changes

Barry Trotz surprised everyone by changing up the lines and reuniting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom despite coyly telling the media that he would use the same "group" just two hours before the game. The move worked, however, as an energized Caps team took the ice. The moves were not just felt on the top line, there was a boost all throughout the lineup to start the game and the energy the team played with was evident.

The Caps’ best offensive players looked like their best offensive players

Much has been written in recent days about the Caps’ top-six and its offensive struggles, but they seemed just fine against Ottawa. Ovechkin (1 goal), Backstrom (1 assist), T.J. Oshie (2 assists), Evgeny Kuznetsov (1 goal, 2 assists) and Jakub Vrana (2 goals) all had big nights.

Ovechkin's late first period goal

Multi-goal leads have been hard to come by for the Caps of late. Despite a strong first period, Washington held only a 1-0 lead as the first frame drew to a close. Instead of having a chance to regroup in the locker room, Ottawa found itself suddenly down by two as Ovechkin scored with just five seconds left. That goal set the tone for the start of the second period where Washington was able to tack on another two goals to take the 4-0 lead. Does that momentum carry over to the second without Ovechkin's late tally? I'm not so sure.

Killing a 5-on-3 power play in the second period

Despite the 4-0 deficit, the Senators hung around and scored in the second period to make it 4-1. Then Ovechkin was called for a high-stick and Backstrom got into a bit of a tussle with Ben Harpur after getting a high-stick from him. The ref sent Ovechkin, Backstrom and Harpur to the box. Just 44 seconds later, Tom Wilson joined them after getting called for a slash giving the Senators 1:16 of a two-man advantage power play. One goal would have pulled them within two with over a period left to play. This game was not over. This was a critical moment for Washington and the penalty kill delivered by killing off both penalties. After that, the game really was no longer in doubt.

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3 stars of the game: Caps' stars shine against Senators


3 stars of the game: Caps' stars shine against Senators

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Caps gave the home crowd something to be thankful for with a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Barry Trotz elected to shake up the offensive lines before the game and it seemed to work. The Caps took control of the game from the drop of the puck and took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period and never looked back.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jakub Vrana

Vrana opened the scoring by crashing the net and was in perfect position for the rebound off of a shot from Evgeny Kuznetsov. His second goal came off a perfect shot, and I do mean perfect. This was the first multi-goal game of his NHL career and his third multi-point game. 

2. Evgeny Kuznetsov

This is why Kuznetsov should shoot more. Vrana's first goal came off a rebound from a shot by Kuznetsov. It was his first even-strength point since Nov. 6. On a power play in the second period, a loose puck came to Kuznetsov's stick. Rather than look for the pass as he has been his tendency, he did not hesitate. He shot it and the result was his third power play goal of the season. Kuznetsov finished with one goal and two assists.

3. Alex Ovechkin

Despite how dominant the first period looked for Washington, they still held only a 1-0 lead. What really set the tone for the game was Ovechkin's first period goal. A quick passing play from Nicklas Backstrom to Alex Chiasson to Ovechkin found the Great 8 behind Ottawa's defense. He finished off the play with the goal to put Washington up 2-0 with just five seconds left in the period. That turned a good period into a dominant one and really set the tone for the start of the second in which the Caps were able to put up another two goals.