Injuries have been a consistent theme for the Capitals all season and Wednesday night was no different. The team was down to four healthy defensemen by the end of the night but held on long enough for Tom Wilson to score the game-winner in overtime.
The injured blue liners in question were Nick Jensen and Martin Fehervary. Jensen took a hit in the corner on his third shift that left him shaken up. Playing in his first game since signing a three-year extension 24 hours prior, he left the bench for the locker room and was later ruled out with an upper-body injury. Fehervary suffered a lower-body ailment in the third that knocked him out for the rest of the contest as well.
However, that didn’t prevent Fehervary from making an impact on the scoreboard before he left. The 23-year-old got Washington on the board first, catching a a slick backhand feed from Nicklas Backstrom up front and beating Ducks goaltender John Gibson for the early lead.
Dylan McIlrath recorded the secondary assist on the play, his first point in an NHL game since Dec. 13, 2016 when he scored a goal for the Florida Panthers. The 30-year-old has appeared in six games for Washington after spending the first four months of the season as the captain of its AHL affiliate Hershey Bears.
The Capitals looked like the team in control for each of the first two periods, outshooting the Ducks 13-9 and 17-4 across the two frames, respectively. Even so, the score was locked at 1-1 after 40 minutes thanks to the efforts of Gibson. They finally got to him right off the opening faceoff of the third on a snap shot by Wilson for his first goal of the night.
Ducks center Trevor Zegras tied things back up four minutes later and that score held through the end of regulation. The Capitals had a couple chances to even things up including a penalty shot for Anthony Mantha — who made his return off Injured Reserve — and a power play opportunity with 2:13 to go in the period.
Ultimately, the game went to overtime where Wilson scored on a pass from T.J. Oshie right up front.
The two goals give Wilson six points in as many games since he returned to the lineup Feb. 18. He missed the first half of the season recovering from a torn ACL but has been making up for lost time, dropping the gloves often and pushing his point total up to nine in 14 games.
With the win, the Capitals improved to 30-27-6 to go into Friday’s trade deadline on a high note. They’ll return to the ice Saturday for a date with the San Jose Sharks.