After regulation ended in Monday’s game against the Ducks, forward Carl Hagelin, who’d scored the first goal of his season earlier in the night, turned to Conor Sheary on the Capitals’ bench and remarked, “It’s our time.”
The Capitals had yet to win a game this season once regulation had ended. But Hagelin felt it was time.
Washington and Anaheim went to overtime, where neither team scored to end the game in the five-minute period. Then, in the shootout, Washington scored on its last three attempts to win the long-awaited overtime game off the stick of John Carlson.
The win gave the Capitals their first victory past regulation this season after failing on their first six attempts. The team is still 0-5 in overtime, but they’ve moved to 1-1 in the shootout after finally earning the extra point.
“So I guess he was right,” Sheary said of Hagelin’s comment. “But yeah it is nice, Sammy made a couple big saves there and we got timely goals in the shootout and obviously Johnny ended it for us so that was a big relief for us for sure.”
The Capitals didn’t play in a shootout for their first 23 games, but have now played in two in the last three games (they lost 4-3 to the Blackhawks on Dec. 2).
There wasn’t a particular rhyme or reason to the team’s overtime woes, as they came inches away from breaking their overtime streak before Monday. Against the Blackhawks last week, Evgeny Kuznetsov hit the post in overtime before the shootout loss. They allowed a goal to Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos with just 15 seconds left in overtime in the team’s first extra period of the season.
But, finally, they broke through against the Ducks.
“...At the end of the day there’s still a point dangling out there and we haven't been able to get it done,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “So it was nice today in a game that wasn’t our cleanest where we were able to get into overtime and a shootout and get it done.”
Monday’s shootout was full of (American) shootout stars with T.J. Oshie and Troy Terry, too, as there was no shortage of talent on either bench.
The latter scored first for the Ducks to lift them to a lead and, were it not for Daniel Sprong’s tally in the third round of the shootout, his goal would’ve held up as the game winner.
Terry scored three shootout goals against Russia in the 2017 World Junior Championships semifinals to keep Team USA alive. Coincidentally, those three goals that game were scored on current Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov. And in the Gold Medal Game against Canada, Terry scored the game-winner, also in a shootout, to lift Team USA to a win.
But tonight, Samsonov and the Capitals rallied for their first win once regulation had expired.