Sure, the Western Conference is far more tumultuous than the East, but that doesn’t mean that things cannot change in a single evening. And yes, beating the Ottawa Senators shouldn’t be a cause for celebration, but the Washington Capitals will gladly take any win they can get after losing 8 in a row (0-6-2 in that stretch).
Perhaps the best thing about this win was that the Capitals finally came back from a deficit after occasionally shrinking under the pressure of being behind by a goal or two.
Ryan Shannon and Chris Kelly gave Ottawa a 2-0 lead after one period, but a three goal second gave Washington all they needed to win. Mathieu Perreault was the unlikely hero, scoring the Caps’ first and game-winning goals while Eric Fehr also scored for Washington.
Michael Neuvirth earned his 13th win of the season with a 24 for 26 save performance while Brian Elliott kept Ottawa in it, setting aside 31 of the 34 Capitals’ attempts.
While 10th-place Senators are seeing their playoff hopes fade, the Capitals regained everything they lost on Saturday. They’re back to being the second seed in the East and the top team in the Southeast Division, even if those leads are slim because they’ve played more games than their peers.
Still, for a team that was reeling under the HBO spotlight, any win is a beautiful win. They’ll take what they can get.