Washington powerplay comes alive, Yakupov sits again; Caps win 4-2 over Oilers

holtby story

WASHINGTON — Adam Oates’ coaching has fianlly paid off. He preached to his team to calm down and be patient, as they have struggled to score goals early this season. Monday night he was rewarded as his team netted four goals in a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Oates kept his same three lines hoping they would finally have a spark and that they did.

Trailing 1-0, the Capitals scored three unaswered goals on three consecutive shots to take a 3-1 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. In a span of four minutes the Capitals managed to dominate the Oilers which included two powerplay goals. This win was the first in regulation for the Capitals, as they gave a great effort for the home fans at the Verizon Center.

“The fact that he believes in us and believes us in our ability in here and how our team is constructed shows a lot of his character and what he thinks of our team and our teammates,” said right wing Troy Brouwer, one of three Capitals to score their first goals of the season.

Washington once again had a slow start as they only managed three shots in the first period of play. It took them six minutes as well to register a shot on goal. For the majority of the first period the Oilers were in the Caps zone and it looked as if they were on a powerplay. Braden Holtby though stood strong only giving up one goal that period and two for the game. He also managed to make 28 saves in the game.

After the Oilers made it 1-0 on a nice wrist shot from Boyd Gordon, the Capitals came back to tie the game after Brooks Laich, who was all alone in front of Oilers goaltender Jason LaBarbera, received a pass from the point from Steven Olesky. After the first the teams were all tied at one.

From that point on the Capitals took over the game. While on the PP, the Caps broke the tie on a goal from forward Joel Ward. Ward was standing back door and received a marvelous pass from Niklas Backstrom and fired a one timer past LaBarbera, who had no chance.  A little over three minutes later Alexander Ovechkin scored again for the Capitals with a slap shot from the high slot, Ovi now has six goals on the year, Backstrom and Marcus Johansson were credited with the assists. Not even a minute later the Capitals struck again on the PP, this time it was Brouwer who scored. Backstrom started this goal as he was on the near side boards and made a quick pass down below the goal line to Mikhail Grabovski who one touched a pass to Brouwer who was in the slot and fired a shot past LaBarbera five hole.

Will Acton netted his first career goal with a little under 2 minutes to go in the game to cut the deficit to 4-2, but that is all the Oilers would get. The Oilers move to 1-4 on the season while the Capitals are 2-4.

For the second straight game Oilers young phenom Nail Yakupov was a healthy scratch. Yakupov was the number one pick in the 2012 NHL draft. Yakupov is still a young player who needs to develop the rest of his game without the puck and that is something that has frustrated the young forward.

“I’m going to play my game. I’m not going to change but maybe play better without the puck, or forecheck more, but I love playing with the puck. I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game.”

If you ask me there is definitely a rift between Yakupov and the coaching staff in Edmonton. The quicker he realizes he can’t do it all by himself the better he will be as player in the future. Also rumor has it that his father thinks there is better oppourtunity for him to to play back in Russia in the KHL. Time will tell what happens but it is clear the forward is not happy with the Oilers right now.


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