The new defensive-minded gameplan of the Washington Capitals has taken some getting used to. On Wednesday, however, defense be damned.
Led by Alexander Semin's hat trick, the Capitals escaped Honda Center with a 7-6 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in an absolutely crazy contest.
Each period featured at least four goals and the game itself featured several lead changes. Four goals were scored within 10 minutes in the first period and another four were scored in less than seven minutes in the second. The Capitals found themselves down four times during the game and four seemed to be the magic number Wednesday, but in the third period, Semin made sure that three is what counted.
After a Mike Knuble breakaway tied the game at 5-5 just 58 seconds into the third period, Bobby Ryan reclaimed the lead for Anaheim on an interesting call. The net behind Ducks goaltender Curtis McElhinney was knocked off its moorings, but the referee allowed play to continue. Anaheim took advantage as the Capitals seemed a bit confused; Ryan Getzlaf found Ryan on a 2-on-1 that beat Michal Neuvirth to give the Ducks a 6-5 lead.
As was the norm Wednesday, the Caps found a way to respond. Scott Hannan fired a tough-angle shot on McElhinney that he jumped up to stop, leaving him out of position for the rebound that popped out in the slot. Semin pounced on it and scored his second goal of the evening at 11:37.
Yet, Semin wasn't done. With less than two minutes left, Semin drove the net and found s opening big enough to sneak the puck past McElhinney to give the Capitals the lead for the first time since it was 2-1. Semin earned his fourth hat trick of the season, despite not having scored since November 28.
Eleven different goal scorers combined for the 13 total goals. Washington's seven goals were the most since its 7-2 win over the Calgary Flames October 30. With a three-game losing streak snapped, the Caps head up north to San Jose to face the Sharks Thursday night.