Vegas is in a good state of mind despite a 2-1 loss at Edmonton on Saturday night that snapped the Golden Knight's five-game winning streak.
Following in the footsteps of the Matt Cookes and the Raffi Torreses that came before him, the Capitals' big-bodied winger has claimed the crown as the most polarizing figure in the National Hockey League, his slew of reckless displays of physicality complementing a genuine skill-set that helped put a championship ring on Alex Ovechkin's finger last June. William Karlsson scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights of the unassisted variety to tie it at 1-1 in the second period before the Oilers found the game-winner in the third. Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves on 34 shots to take the loss.
Anticipation surrounded the meeting of oft-suspended Capital forward Tom Wilson and Vegas tough guy, Ryan Reaves. Wilson received an interference penalty and a game misconduct for the hit, which is what Reaves got for his hit on Wilson on Tuesday. "Over 82 games, you've got to find some things to get yourself up for, and that was one of them", he said. Holtby also stopped 23 shots. Nicklas Backstrom, Chandler Stephenson, Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nic Dowd scored the goals for Washington. Washington owned a 5-1 lead late in the second period of that game, only to let it slip away as Anaheim rallied for five unanswered goals in less than 21 minutes, getting a fair amount of help from the Capitals in the process.
"That was a man's game out there".
Both hits were late, they did not contact the head and came against unsuspecting players. "I guess you could say it's a little funky just thinking about what was happening in here the last time we were walking through here". The first hit came in the Capitals' offensive zone and saw Wilson get completely outmuscled by one of the few players that's capable of outmuscling him.
"I think we all seen the hit and video, it's a clean hit, there's nothing wrong with the hit. I thought it was shoulder to shoulder and I didn't think it was that late", he said. Wilson was ejected from the game but was not subject to further discipline. Todd Reirden said after the game he would be reevaluated on Wednesday. "Reaves targeted him the entire game. That's disappointing. You can put two and two together but he targeted him the entire game". However, I'm not sure that many can side with Reirden based on Tuesday's hit, and Wilson's history.
Washington's power play went an uncharacteristic 0/4 on the night while Vegas capitalized on their first and last power plays, finishing 2/6.