BALTIMORE—The Washington Capitals got contributions from all over the place when it won the Stanley Cup last spring. The Caps then got some help from an unusual place when winning Game 2 of the Eastern Conference’s first-round series with the Carolina Hurricanes on April 13.
Brooks Orpik is a stay-at-home defenseman, old school in just about every way. Translation: he does not shoot much. In fact, he had three goals in 150 playoff games before this one.
Now, he has four. That one came 1:48 into overtime and gave Washington a 4-3 victory over Carolina and a 2-0 lead in the series.
Orpik came off the bench into the offensive zone where a Carolina player had lost his stick and could not do much to defend. He took a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov and quickly fired a shot past goalie Petr (cq) Mrazek and gave the Caps the win.
“He’s played a lot of playoff games,” Washington Head Coach Todd Reirden said. “You cannot put a price on experience playoff hockey. He has just a knack for (this).”
The Caps took leads of 2-0 (goals from Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie) and then 3-2 in the third period when Tom Wilson took a nice pass from Alex Ovechkin and scored. But they could not hang on as Jordan Staal scored with exactly five minutes remaining and forced overtime.
Even though the Capitals nearly scored twice in the late moments of regulation, it was Orpik’s shot that gave them the 2-0 lead in the series. They definitely realize that this locks up nothing because last year, Columbus held a 2-0 lead on them in the same series after winning the first two in Washington.
The Caps then came back and won four in a row. Game 3 in this series was set for April 15 and Columbus with Game 4 to be on April 18. If needed, Game 5 would be on April 20 back in Washington.
ORIOLES DAVIS’ STREAK ENDS
The Baltimore Orioles played pretty well last weekend when losing two of three games to the defending champion Boston Red Sox.
But the big story was that Chris Davis broke his long, frustrating hitless streak. With his single in the first inning of the April 13 victory, Davis snapped a long skid. He had been hitless in 54 at-bats (a new major-league record) dating back to last season and was 0-for-33 this year.
Plus, it had been 62 plate appearances since he’d gotten a hit. However, Davis broke out with a bang, going 3-for-5 with four RBI in the win on April 13.
“I think the way I carried myself, really for me, was really all I had a lot of times,” Davis said. “Making sure that I didn’t hang my head, I didn’t give up, I didn’t give in, and I know the guys appreciated that.”
When he got that first hit, a two-run single in the first inning off Rick Porcello, it set the tone for Baltimore’s 9-5 victory. And it ended talk about a long, painful subject.
D.C. UNITED WINS IN COLORADO
D.C. United improved to 4-1-2 on the season when it topped the host Colorado Rapids on April 13.
United got help from different places as Luciano Acosta, Chris Durkin and Lucas Rodriguez all scored once. Donovan Pines, who helped Maryland win the NCAA championship this past fall, was solid on defense in his first MLS game.
Durkin’s goal was his first of his career. He’s only 19 years old. Up next for D.C. United will be New York City FC at home on April 21.