The Washington Capitals played their second game in two nights on Friday. Tired and 3,000 miles away from home, the Capitals looked like they had their sea legs early when Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 3:18 into the first period to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead over the Vancouver Canucks.
From there, the Canucks dominated in epic fasion. Brock Boeser and Tim Schaller scored goals 1:56 apart to give the Canucks the lead. In the second period, the Canucks poured it on. Elias Pettersson, Tim Schaller (again), and Jake Virtanen scored. Vancouver scored five unanswered goals. They had a 5-1 lead.
But in the final second of the second period, Evgeny Kuznetsov beat Jacob Markstrom again. The goal started an improbable and historic comeback.
Evgeny Kuznetsov’s last-second goal, 5-2
After Radko Gudas gained the zone, Lars Eller picked up the puck in the corner and found Evgeny Kuznetsov wide open at the left circle. Kuzy waited, found his hot, and ripped a wrister past Markstrom right as the buzzer sounded. The Capitals had life! Kuzy’s goal was scored at 19:59 of the second period.
Lars Eller’s shorty, 5-3
One minute and fifty-seven seconds into the third period, the Capitals struck again. The goal was a fluke. While shorthanded, Garnet Hathaway jarred the puck loose in the corner and sent a centering pass to Eller near the crease. The Danish center tapped the muffed pass towards Markstrom but it squeaked through the goaltender’s five-hole.
You guys, a two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey.
Michal Kempny’s first goal, 5-4
And then Michal Kempny became a god. The Capitals defenseman ripped a slap shot through traffic which dented the twine.
Michal Kempny ties it up, 5-5
Then he did it again. It was Kempny’s first-ever multi-goal game.
Backstrom’s game-winning SO goal
The Capitals and Canucks could not decide the game in a thrilling five minutes of three-on-three overtime so they went to a shootout. Nicklas Backstrom scored the game-winner after making a move to his forehand.
Nicklas Backstrom scores his 11th career game-winning shootout goal to give the Caps an improbable 6-5 (SO) comeback victory.
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) October 26, 2019
The goal went in so fast, the Capitals were slow to react. Eventually, they would head onto the ice and have a group hug, jumping up and down in each others’ arms.
After the game, the Capitals announced that the four-goal comeback tied a franchise record for the biggest comeback win. The last time they accomplished this was over a decade ago against the New York Rangers.
By overcoming a four-goal deficit against Vancouver, the Capitals tied a franchise record for biggest comeback win. Washington has now come back to win a game from four goals down five times, including four times on the road, with the last coming 12/23/08 at NYR.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 26, 2019
After trailing 5-1 before a goal with 1 second left in the 2nd period Friday, the @Capitals roared back to tie it in the 3rd then win in a shootout to hand the Canucks a stunning comeback that joined 4 other efforts here pic.twitter.com/Od3OFEBoKj
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) October 26, 2019
For those of you who watched the Washington Nationals’ World Series game or went to sleep, here’s what you missed.
Full game highlights
What a win.
— Washington &x1f47b; Capitals (@Capitals) October 26, 2019
Headline photo: NBC Sports Washington