Instant analysis: Capitals 4, Canucks 3

Instant analysis: Capitals 4, Canucks 3
March 14, 2014, 10:15 pm
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How it happened: Mike Green ripped a rising wrist shot into the top right corner of the net 10:19 into the final period for the go-ahead goal and Jaroslav Halak turned aside 38 of 41 shots to earn his second victory for the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin, Joel Ward and Tom Wilson also scored goals for the Caps, while rookie left wing Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded his first three NHL assists.

What it means: The Capitals improved to 31-27-10 for 72 points, two behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the final wild card spot in the East.

Star of the night: Kuzetsov pulled a Kuznet-trick with three assists. He picked up secondary assists on goals by Ovechkin and Green but the play that left everyone in the building gasping for air was his fake slap shot pass to Wilson that resulted in Wilson’s third goal of the season.

[RELATED: Kuznetzov records first NHL point]

Silver for Nicky: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said after the game he was thankful for the IOC awarding him the silver medal that was taken away from him when he was suspended for the Olympic gold medal game against Canada on Feb. 23. Backstrom tested positive for pseudoephedrine, an ingredient commonly found in allergy medication. “First of all, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t play in the final game against Canada,” Backstrom said. “That being said, I’m happy the IOC acknowledged everything I said from the beginning. I’m just happy that it’s over. It’s been on my mind a little bit. … I'm happy about the decision, absolutely. Who wouldn't be happy to get a silver medal? ... I’m looking forward to playing for the Caps now and make sure we get ourselves into the playoffs.”

What’s next: The Caps will practice at 11 a.m. at Kettler on Saturday, then face the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Verizon  Center.