WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) – With 15:19 left on the clock in the first overtime period, Nic Dowd scored the game winning goal, off the assist from TJ Oshie, to seal the Washington Capitals’ win against Boston; taking a 1-0 lead in the series.
This would be Dowd’s second career playoff goal, his last coming in April 20, 2019. T.J. Oshie recorded the primary assist on Dowd’s goal.
Early in the game, the Capitals had to overcome trouble early, as goaltender Vitek Vanecek sustained a lower body injury, and left the game with 6:50 left in the first period. Craig Anderson stepped in for the home team, as relief, stopping 21 of 22 shots faced; earning his 24th career playoff win.
“You’re one shot, one play away from being in the net.” said Craig Anderson. “Coming into the year, I knew the situation, I knew the role that I was supposed to do, and you know I think – the opportunity knocks, and you make the most of your opportunity.”
“It doesn’t matter what happened, somebody get hurt, I think somebody didn’t have a game right; we have to find a way.” said Alex Ovechkin, “I think everybody understands that, it’s time for us to step it up, and you can see; how he [Craig Anderson] come out and played. He made some big saves, and gave us a chance to win.”
According to the Washington Capitals PR staff, his .929 career save percentage in the playoffs ranks as the second highest among NHL goaltenders, with a minimum of 40 games played.
“He was so calm and poised in what he did, and he did it so well.” said Nic Dowd, “I mean it’s gotta be really challenging, having a player come off the bench like that, and be forced into that situation. Also being cold, I mean I dunno, there’s a lot of things that go into it. But I think our team, we’ve shown that we’ve done that all year, and we’ve able to be successful, and I think guys have learned how to do it.’
There is no update on Vanecek’s condition, and his injury only adds to the depth woes that the team has been struggling with previously.
“You always wish that you are at 100%, but that rarely ever happens. Not in the regular season, not in the playoffs.” said Head Coach Peter Laviolette, when asked how tough is it to be without his complete roster in a tough playoff series. “We focus on what we do have, and the way the guys have played tonight, I thought they played terrific.”
The Capitals have the rest of the weekend to regroup, before they’re back on the ice on Monday, for a 7:30 PM puck drop, at home before they hit the road.
“I think you can see it was a physical game.” said Alex Ovechkin, “I think both teams had pretty good chances, and it’s gonna be like that the whole series.”