Ryan Miller was brilliant early for the Canucks against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, but he could only stop Alex Ovechkin so many times before getting beat late in the third period.
At 15:05 in the third, Ovechkin beat Miller with a one-timer, giving the Capitals their first win in Vancouver since February 14, 2001.
Earlier in the period, Jay Beagle was credited with the game-tying goal and had a little help with deflections from Ryan Miller and Luca Sbisa.
If you're looking for a silver lining tonight, Radim Vrbata was reunited with the Sedins as the top line combined for five points, with Radim Vrbata scoring his first goal of the year. Henrik Sedin also scored Vancouver's second power play goal of the year.
Ryan Miller did all he could, stopping 32 shots on net, but Ovechkin got the last laugh as the Canucks dropped their fourth straight game at home to open the year, something that hasn't happened since the 1994-95 season.
The Canucks had one of their better scoring chances early on in the first period when Ben Hutton delivered a long pass to Jake Virtanen, who then found Derek Dorsett rushing in on net. Dorsett wasn’t able to beat Braden Holtby and the game remained scoreless. Moments later, Dorsett was called for boarding after checking Schmidt into the boards.
Braden Holtby stops Derek Dorsett to keep the Canucks off the board. pic.twitter.com/xOmsTiEJeu— Rogers NHL GCL (@RogersNHLGCL) October 23, 2015
With the Capitals on the power play, the Canucks nearly came up with a shorthanded goal. The puck slipped past John Carlson at the blue line and Jannik Hansen broke free with a great scoring chance. Hansen tried to hit Bo Horvat with a centering pass, but Alex Ovechkin hustled back to break up the play.
Washington is second in the league on the power play this year, so any killed penalty against them is a dodged bullet.
A few minutes later, Brooks Orpik was sent off for interference as he took out Jared McCann, putting the Canucks on the power play. It’s no secret Vancouver’s power play has been awful this year (1-for-20 at this moment, to be exact), so maybe this was just Washington's strategy all along.
Late in the first period, the Capitals struck first. Jay Beagle rushed into the zone and managed to fight off Alex Edler before hitting Jason Chimara with a centering pass to put Washington up 1-0 at 15:10 in the first period.
Chimera from Beagle gives the Caps a 1-0 lead over the Canucks pic.twitter.com/G6AIvtvvGk— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 23, 2015
Midway through the second period, Jason Chimara was sent off for high sticking, whacking Ben Hutton in the face with his stick. Once again, Vancouver wasn't able to make anything of it, failing to register an official shot on net.
Moments later, Ryan Miller robbed Alex Ovechkin of a goal off a one-timer. The save was so impressive, the red light initially went off. It would’ve been the fifth straight game Ovechkin scored a goal in.
another angle of the Miller save on Ovi - see the red light go on to the right. whoops pic.twitter.com/0ei33tARKD— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 23, 2015
Early in the second period, Radim Vrbata finally scored his first goal of the season. The goal came as Vrbata helped jam in a wraparound attempt from Henrik Sedin. Vrbata positioned himself perfectly for the goal, tying things up at 1-1.
Vrbata's 1st goal of the season ties the game 1-1 early in the 2nd period pic.twitter.com/wUkliqbL5O— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 23, 2015
Struggling to score? Just let the Sedins bank one in off your skate. There. You’re cured.— Pass it to Bulis (@passittobulis) October 23, 2015
On Vancouver's third power play of the night, Henrik Sedin snapped the Canucks' streak of 18 power plays without a goal. After moving the puck around nicely, Daniel Sedin found his brother from behind the net as Henrik knocked home the one-timer from one knee. It was Sedinery at its finest.
Henrik Sedin gives the Canucks a 2-1 lead over the Caps pic.twitter.com/uDXcn3K6vr— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 23, 2015
VRBATA JOINS THE SEDINS AND THE LINE HAS 6 POINTS ALREADY! When will Desjardins start listening to me?!?!!— Dee ☕ (@forevercanuck) October 23, 2015
The Canucks are having players choose their own goal songs this year, and Henrik tugged at all of our hearts as it appears he's gone with Green Day's "Holiday." Oh, the memories....
Early in the third, a turnover by Radim Vrbata proved costly. After Vrbata gave the puck away behind his own net, John Carlson sent a shot in on net, and as the puck bounced up and over Ryan Miller, Luca Sbisa tried to knock the puck away, but wound up deflecting it in as Washington tied the game at 2-2. Jay Beagle was the one credited with the goal as he was the last one in a white sweater to touch it before Miller and Sbisa knocked it in.
That wasn't even sbisas fault but why does trouble literally follow him like that— Kelsey Macsymetz (@stromb0ner) October 23, 2015
the Caps and Canucks are tied again, 2-2, thanks to a Beagle goal pic.twitter.com/8FSQRliDia— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 23, 2015
With just under seven minutes left, the Canucks nearly reclaimed the lead. Derek Dorsett hustled in and delivered a perfect pass from the corner back to Bo Horvat in front of the crease. Horvat slapped in a one-timer on net, but Holtby was able to adjust in time and stop the shot to keep the game tied.
Bo Horvat was all alone but couldn't beat Holtby. pic.twitter.com/WdJHqsAfBs— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 23, 2015
With five minutes left in regulation, Alex Ovechkin finally beat Ryan Miller, lunging for a pass in front of him and delivering a one-timer to put the Capitals ahead. You could tell from the emotion on his face how fired up he was to finally beat Miller after all the earlier chances.
Alex Ovechkin rockets one past Miller to give the Capitals a 3rd period lead. Can the Canucks answer? pic.twitter.com/HCuefKZxUX— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 23, 2015
The Canucks had some great pressure late with their net empty, but the Capitals were able to hang on for the 3-2 win.
Vancouver will hope to end their early season woes at home when they welcome the Detroit Red Wings to town on Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:00 PM PT on CBC.