Capitals rally late, beat Canucks 4-3 in overtime

Capitals rally late, beat Canucks 4-3 in overtime originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals rebounded from a blown two-goal lead and scored two goals late with an overtime winner from Lars Eller in Vancouver to get the 4-3 win over the Canucks on Friday night. 

Washington led 2-0 for most of the game, allowed three-straight Canucks goals in the third, then scored late in the third period and in overtime to get the win. 

The Capitals will head home now at 32-18-10 on the season.

Here are a few takeaways from the late-night in British Columbia: 

Eller with the winner

Eller went five-hole on Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko in overtime just 42 seconds into three-on-three play to give the Capitals a 4-3 win on the road. 

He was sprung on a two-on-one by John Carlson as the Canucks’ defense was caught, and he lifted Washington to a much-needed win on the road. 

A five-minute collapse

The win didn’t come easy for the Caps, though.

After leading the game for nearly the entirety of the night, the Capitals lost their two-goal lead in less than five minutes in the third period.

The Canucks scored thrice in 4:59 to take a 3-2 lead in the third period and turn the pressure on the Capitals in a matter of moments. On a night that looked relatively safe through the first 40 minutes, the game swung rather quickly to start the final period. 

Kuznetsov rains hats

Evgeny Kuznetsov’s hat trick goal in the third period capped just his second-career hat trick and first since Oct. 23, 2015. 

He scored twice in the first period and his tying goal on the power play in the third period were all scored close to the net as the man who drew the penalty for the man-advantage opportunity was the one who got the goal. 

A quick start

It was a weird start in Vancouver. 

The Capitals peppered Demko in the opening minutes and got an opening goal from Kuznetsov on a weird deflection around the boards. The puck bounced in front of the net and, somehow, got behind Demko. 

No one was quite sure how the puck ended up in the net, but it did, and the Capitals took a 1-0 lead on a play that seemed sure to be the most exciting of the period. 

Until…

A hair away from history 

Just after Kuznetsov’s tally, the Capitals went on the power play and Alex Ovechkin uncorked a slap shot from his usual spot. It trickled by Demko and to the goal line, and a diving Kuznetsov slammed the puck into the back of the net. 

The problem was that no one knew if the puck had crossed the line before Kuznetsov touched it, which led to a few moments of uncertainty as to if Ovechkin had officially moved into third place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. 

The goal was later credited to Kuznetsov, his second in less than a minute, as the wait for history for Ovechkin continued.

West coast swing concludes

The Capitals went out west after a nice swing at home to begin March, and they’ll head home with the wind at their backs.

Washington went 2-0-1 on the trip, including an impressive win over one of the league’s best in Calgary and a come-from-behind win in Vancouver. 

With just 22 games left to the end of the regular season, and four until the trade deadline, the Capitals will have increasingly important games down the stretch to try and stack wins together. Friday, they moved to 4-0-1 since March began. 

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