Wilson the OT hero in Capitals win over Winnipeg

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Tom Wilson #43 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring the winning goal in overtime giving the Capitals a 4-3 over the Winnipeg Jets at Capital One Arena on January 18, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

For the first time this season, the Capitals have an OT hero. Tom Wilson scored the game winner in Washington’s 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Wilson’s goal came 26 seconds into the extra period, tucking home a second-chance shot past Connor Hellebuyck.

While Wilson got the goal, it was Evegeny Kuznetsov’s efforts that made it happen. Kuzy broke out a nifty toe drag to split two Winnipeg defenders before circling the net and feeding Wilson.

The win snaps the Capitals futility in overtime. Previously, Washington was 2-9 after regulation with both wins coming via the shootout.

Early on, the game felt like a disaster as the Jets raced out to a 2-0 lead with goals 78 seconds apart. For a team that was coming in with losses in five of their last six games, a start like that needs to be avoided. 

Those quick goals had the makings of an early night for Vitek Vanecek. However, Washington didn’t flinch and Alex Ovechkin’s 27th goal of the season gave the fans something to cheer about after the first period.

Ovi had initially lost possession and chose to drift toward his office at the left circle. Garnet Hathaway retrieved the puck and both Jets defenders swarmed on him, leaving Ovechkin all alone. You can guess what happened next.

Coming out of the first intermission, the Caps seized control of the game with Dmitry Orlov’s fifth goal of the season. Orlov’s slapshot took a deflection off of a Winnipeg defender and found the back of the net to tie the game.

Washington took their first lead of the game less than five minutes into the third period. Aliaksei Protas threw a wraparound attempt on goal and, thanks to a nice deflection off of the skate of former Capitals Nate Schimdt, crossed the goal line.

The rest of the third period was Washington fending off wave after wave of Jets attacks. The Caps almost escaped with a regulation win, until Pierre-Luc Dubois scored right on the doorstep with the goalie pulled.

Dubois was left alone in the crease and received a pass from Adam Lowry to tie the game. Looking back at the play, Trevor Van Riemsdyk drifted a little too far from Dubois and the puck slid just under his stick blade. A tough break, but TvR needs to show better discipline late in the game.

With the overtime demons circling once again, Washington stepped up and got a walk-off win, and that is something worth celebrating. Following a run of four consecutive losses, the Caps have won two of their last three.

Next up is a revenge game on the road against the Boston Bruins on Thursday. In their last meeting, the Bruins beat up on Washington en route to a 7-3 win.

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Author

  • I have been a Washington Capitals fan my entire life as I am a DMV native. My Favorite player is Alex Ovechkin (of course) and my favorite hockey moment is Troy Brouwer’s game winner in the 2015 Winter Classic.

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