Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Anthony Mantha, Vitek Vanecek power red-hot Capitals to a rout in Columbus

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Less than eight minutes later, Mantha discovered the online once more — this time with a little luck after the puck ricocheted off the tip boards and bounced off the skate of Korpisalo — and because the Capitals remained one of many hottest groups in the NHL with a dominant 7-2 win, Mantha once more proved to be a massive motive.

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“You see him out there. He’s a big body. He’s got a really good skill level,” Coach Peter Laviolette stated. “He can make plays.”

Washington (34-18-10) is 6-0-1 in its previous seven video games, a run that will likely be put to the take a look at Friday evening when it visits the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes. The entrance finish of the Capitals’ back-to-back couldn’t have gone higher — Washington took a 4-1 lead in the second interval on a purpose from Alex Ovechkin, who two nights earlier handed Jaromir Jagr for third all-time, and goaltender Vitek Vanecek (39 saves) received his sixth straight begin.

“Vitek made some big saves,” Laviolette stated. “It seemed like he was busy the entire night.”

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Columbus (31-28-3) entered the evening 11 factors behind Washington in the Metropolitan standings with 21 video games to play, in determined want of a win to maintain its fading playoff hopes alive — and the Blue Jackets peppered Vanecek early. But the Capitals shortly took management after T.J. Oshie fed Mantha for his first purpose to make it 1-0 lower than 5 minutes into the sport.

The second line outworked the Blue Jackets on a essential shift later in the interval. After Columbus failed to clear the puck, Mantha took a wrister that landed behind the online, solely to watch the puck bounce off the boards, off the skate of Korpisalo and in.

“We came back to the locker room with a 2-0 lead and just kind of built off that and were able to put the game away,” Mantha stated.

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Korpisalo was pulled early in the second interval after Washington’s Martin Fehervary scored his fifth purpose off assists from Daniel Sprong and John Carlson to make it 3-0.

The Blue Jackets pulled inside two on a power-play purpose from Oliver Bjorkstrand at 6:57, however the Capitals responded with their very own power-play rating from Ovechkin at 10:44.

“Getting that three-goal lead back was important,” Laviolette stated of Ovechkin’s thirty eighth purpose of the yr.

Here’s what else to know from the Capitals’ win:

Mantha keys balanced assault

After lacking 4 months following shoulder surgical procedure, Mantha has performed in seven video games since he returned this month — and he has 5 factors in his previous 5, together with 4 targets.

“It feels great. I worked extremely hard for those four months, and it just feels good to be out there, to be playing, to having fun,” Mantha stated.

Mantha had 13 multi-goal video games in 5 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, however Thursday introduced his first with the Capitals. He energized his workforce with its first purpose in a win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday — and he did so once more Thursday, pacing a balanced assault that included targets from Connor McMichael, Conor Sheary and Evgeny Kuznetsov in the third interval.

McMichael was credited with a purpose, making it 5-2, after a Columbus defenseman knocked the puck into his personal internet. Sheary scored an empty-netter later in the interval, and Kuznetsov made it 7-2 along with his twentieth purpose on a power play with slightly below 11 minutes left.

Oshie exits early; Eller out once more

Oshie left the sport in the third interval after struggling a lower-body harm and didn’t return. His standing for Friday is unclear.

Center Lars Eller once more was out of the lineup and stays in the NHL’s coronavirus protocols after he examined optimistic following the Capitals’ sport at Vancouver final week. Washington has not supplied a timetable on when Eller would possibly rejoin the workforce, and the Capitals relied on a third line of Sprong, McMichael and Tom Wilson for a second consecutive sport.

Vanecek extends excellent month

Vanecek has began six of the previous seven video games for the Capitals and improved to 6-0 in March with Thursday’s win.

He stored Columbus at bay for lengthy stretches, which included a number of key first-period saves on point-blank photographs. Late in the second, he made a string of saves on a Blue Jackets power play that stored the Capitals’ lead at 4-1. Washington killed 4 of 5 Columbus power performs.

“Unbelievable,” Mantha stated. “They had a couple power plays and he was strong, as he has been the last couple months. He’s playing unreal.”

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