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Connor McMichael scores on a breakaway in 3rd period to give Capitals a 2-1 win over Kraken

Washington just one point behind the New York Islanders and Detroit

Seattle Kraken left wing Brandon Tanev, center, tries to block the vision of Washington Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren (79) as defenseman Nick Jensen (3) works against Tanev during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 14, in Seattle. (Jason Redmond/AP Photo)

Connor McMichael scored on a breakaway with 8:24 left in the game and the Washington Capitals gained ground in their bid for a playoff spot by beating the Seattle Kraken 2-1 on Thursday night, March 14.

T.J. Oshie, playing in his 999th NHL game, also scored for the Capitals. Washington, now with 71 points, is one point behind the New York Islanders and Detroit for the East’s second wild-card spot. Both of those teams lost on Thursday and remain with 72 points.

Washington had lost the first two games of its Western trip, 3-0 at Winnipeg on Monday and 7-2 at Edmonton on Wednesday.

“That was a huge win for us. It’s pretty crazy to think about it,” McMichael said. “The last two games didn’t go how we wanted to at all. This was a huge response for us. We’ll just focus on one game at a time.”

Capitals goalie Charlie Lindgren made 23 saves.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for the Kraken, who have 68 points and remain nine behind Vegas for the West’s second wild-card berth.

With the game tied at 1-1, Bjorkstrand gave the puck away in his own end to McMichael, who took it down the right wing side. He beat Seattle goalie Joey Daccord with a backhander to the opposite corner, his 14th of the season.

“I’m kind of pretty familiar with (Daccord) from last year,” McMichael said. “He plays pretty aggressive to the shooter and likes to challenge. I just wanted to throw a little fake shot and beat him to the post.’’

Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said games are often decided on something like that.


“You know it’s going to come down to there’s going to be a situation where someone’s going to crack, someone’s going to make a mistake,” he said. “Whether it’s special teams or ends up being a breakaway where there’s a little bit of a bobble where there’s some sustained pressure. Next thing you know, the puck turns over, Mikey steps up and scored a huge goal.”

Kraken coach Dave Hakstol concurred.

“We just made two mistakes. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, I’m not going to make more of it than it is,” Hakstol said. “We made two mistakes, and on a night like tonight, those are two mistakes, obviously, that we don’t want to make.”

Oshie, a native of nearby Everett, was in the right place at the right time to give Washington a 1-0 lead at 14:20 of the second period.

With Seattle short-handed, Daccord tried to fire the puck down the ice. It hit Oshie, who was playing low in the slot on the right side. The puck went back toward the net, deflecting off Daccord’s outstretched stick. Oshie rushed toward the open goal and extended his stick toward the puck as it trickled in.

“Those are kind of the ones you dream about. I don’t feel like the puck has been finding me too much these first couple games,” Oshie said.

Daccord finished with 21 saves.

Bjorkstrand tied it 1-1 for the Kraken with a power-play goal at 3:32 of the third period. Yanni Gourde picked up a loose puck in a scrum behind the net, found Bjorkstrand wide open midway up the left faceoff circle, and Bjorkstrand fired into the right corner.

Up next

Capitals: Visit Vancouver on Saturday night.

Kraken: Host Nashville on Saturday night.

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