Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals were in San Jose as the Caps began a four-games-in-six-days road trip. Ensuring that the team took two points on that first game was important, especially since they were coming off a 3-1 loss to division rival Philadelphia on home ice. Couple that with the Caps’ position in the standings—the first wild card position—sitting behind the New York Rangers by three points, and they needed to get something going with that first road game.
At 15:02 of the first period, Jay Beagle would get the Capitals on the board first with a wrist shot. The play actually began with some smart work by Michael Latta to keep possession of the puck as he was hounded behind the Sharks’ Antti Niemi’s net to get the puck to Brooks Orpik who made a nice pass to Beagle.
With one minute remaining in the first period, Eric Fehr would be called for hooking on San Jose Sharks Joe Pavelski, which would put the Capitals down a man gong into the second period. Fehr’s penalty would prove costly when Brent Burns tipped in a goal just 21 seconds into the second to tie the game for the Sharks. Back at even strength and Burns would put his Sharks up by one with a wrist shot just 22 seconds later.
Pavelski who drew the penalty on the Capitals at the end of the first would find himself sitting for two minutes for high-sticking Brooks Laich. And while on the power play the Capitals would tie the game from Troy Brouwer’s tip-in, assisted by Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
With just 5:12 remaining in the second period, Logan Couture would again get the Sharks ahead with his wrap-around. The Capitals would begin the third period down by a goal, and scoring would stall until more than half way through the third.
Beagle would make his second of the night with a backhand on the short side after finding himself completely open when Mirco Mueller ended up colliding with the linesman; tying the game for the second time. Roughly two minutes later the Capitals would regain the lead from John Carlson’s wrister, assisted by Marcus Johansson and Backstrom, who had his second assist in the game.
Unfortunately for the Capitals, the Sharks refused to be intimidated and just a minute later Joe Thornton would knot the score assisted by Pavelski and Melker Karlsson. Regulation would end with the score tied.
Into overtime the two teams would head, and 2:42 into that fourth frame, Joel Ward would get his wrist shot far side assisted by Mike Green and Beagle. The win would start the road trip off on a positive note and with that assist in overtime, Beagle would reach a career high with a three-point game (two goals, one assist).
With the three points, the Calgary native also set a new career high in goals (9), assists (8) and points (17) this season. Perhaps most impressive is that Beagle has earned as many points this season as he had in the previous two years combined, having scored six goals and earned 11 assists from 2012 to 2014.
Beagle could be considered the Capitals’ good luck charm, as the team is 16-0-4 all-time when Beagle scores a goal and more importantly has gone 13-0-1 this season when he earns a point.
The Capitals will continue their road trip when they take on the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center for a Valentine’s Day matchup.