How long had it been since the Washington Capitals had scored a power play goal? The number almost defied comprehension. Rather than go into a long series of statistics, let’s just say that it had been a very, very, very long time. So long, in fact, that opposing teams were likely beginning to believe that there was no danger in taking a penalty when playing the Caps — after all, Washington wasn’t going to be able to score on the ensuing power play.
All that changed this evening. The Toronto Maple Leafs outplayed the Capitals statistically, winning the battle in almost every category: faceoffs, hits, takeaways, giveaways, and shots. The difference in this game was Washington’s performance on power plays. The Capitals lit the lamp on four of six power play opportunities. That’s right, four power play goals — three of them by defenseman Dennis Wideman. It’s not often that a blue liner is the source of hats pouring onto the ice, but tonight it was a thing of beauty in Washington’s