Holtby comes through, the power play heats up and the 'brobeans' reunite

J.J. Regan
NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals' power play has been awful since December. On Thursday, it delivered Washington a big 3-2 road win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Check out a recap of the game here.

Observations from the win

More power

The Caps' power play has slowly and quietly been improving lately and was a major factor in the win. The turning point of the game was a high-stick drawn by Backstrom (more on that later) in which the Caps would score their first goal of the game. The second power play goal was the game-tying goal in the third period. Washington scored two goals on five opportunities and has been scoring at 24.1% since returning from the All-Star break.


The Caps do not win this game without Braden Holtby's performance. Washington was totally dominated for the first half, and this game could have turned ugly if not for a big performance from Holtby who saved 32 of the 34 shots he faced.

The wait continues

Alex Ovechkin fired seven shots on goal, but remains at 698 career goals. The best thing the Caps did offensively in this game was not trying to force Ovechkin the puck as they have clearly been doing of late. That was especially evident on the power play, which scored twice, even with no goals from Ovechkin. The goals will come, but if you try to force Ovechkin the puck on a power play that was suddenly playing very predictably, it becomes that much easier to shut down.

Turning point

Washington was getting dominated to start this game. They were getting skated out of the building in the first period and looked like they barely touched the puck through the first half of the second. Then Backstrom took a high-stick from Tyson Jost and everything changed. Washington got sustained offensive pressure for the first time all game, and Backstrom scored on the resulting power play.

The three power plays the Caps drew in the second period settled the team down and put them back in it. A different team took the ice in the third.

Play of the game

Check out this sweet pass by Jakub Vrana to set up Backstrom on the backdoor.

Vrana is a great goal-scorer, but he is also a great distributor. Be honest, did you know that after Thursday's game, Vrana now has more assists (24) than goals (23) this season?

Stat of the game

The Caps are a hard team to put away.

Quote of the game

When the Caps went down 2-0 in the first period, some players addressed the team during the intermission. Backstrom was one of them.

Fan predictions

Well, let's look at some of the predictions and see...

Yep. Things got weird.

You get the prize for the most accurate prediction. Caps looked a lot better after the first half of the game and ultimately won 3-2.

What prize did you win? A Caps victory and two standings points.

The brobeans? Never.

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Holtby comes through, the power play heats up and the 'brobeans' reunite originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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