Jay Beagle of the Washington Capitals has enjoyed a standout season, and Monday night in Game 3 of his team’s second round series with the New York Rangers, Beagle became the hero when his wraparound attempt ricocheted off a Rangers’ skate into Henrik Lundqvist’s net. It turned out to be the winning goal as the Capitals prevailed 1-0 to take a 2-1 Stanley Cup conference semifinal series lead.
Beagle and his line-mates on the Caps’ third line (Andre Burakovsky and Troy Brouwer) have earned the nickname of the ‘Killer B’s.’
WATCH: Beagle’s game-winning goal
Beagle is another Capital who has improved under Barry Trotz during the former Nashville coach’s first spell in Washington. Beagle amassed 20 points (including 10 goals) during the regular season – both stats were career highs. His faceoff winning percentage in the postseason has been nothing short of miraculous. He won 10 of 12 faceoffs against the Rangers Monday and led all NHL players in the first round playoff matchups with a faceoff win percentage of 67.5.
Beagle Calls Andre Burakovsky ‘Barracuda’
After the game, which was Caps goalie Braden Holtby’s second career playoff shutout, Beagle sat down to speak with NBC’s Pierre McGuire. The big center let slip what is obviously the team’s nickname for his teammate Burakovsky.
“Yeah, well you know, Barracuda gave me a great pass in the slot,” said Beagle when describing his goal. “I got a good shot on and I hit his blocker. I went back after the puck and came around and tried to get it on net as fast as I could. I knew guys were crashing. I got lucky but that’s what we talk about a lot, just trying to get it to the net and create havoc there.”
Capitals Wore Down Rangers
Create havoc he did – as did the rest of the Washington Capitals. It was a total team performance from start to finish as every player was strong on the forecheck, showed immaculate communication on the ice and wore down the Rangers for a hard-earned victory. That is the way they played against the New York Islanders in Game 7 of their first round series, and it’s the type of form that can win them the Stanley Cup.
Every player is performing to the best of his ability from superstar Alex Ovechkin, to Holtby, to all six D-men, to the likes of Beagle who admitted earlier to not having much luck in recent games. His patience was rewarded Monday night.
“I’ve always said, when you’re getting chances you’re doing the right things,” Beagle said. “When you’re not getting the chances, you have to tweak something, and finally I got a nice bounce to go in. It obviously felt nice.”
Praise from the Boss
For his part, Trotz offered up praise for Beagle and the third-line ‘Killer B’s.’
“We’re going to need some new heroes every night,” Trotz said. “It’s going to be someone different for us, that’s how we have to get it done … I was really happy for him [Beagle] to get a really big goal. He always comes with a smile on his face. Even when we have bad days, he always has a smile on his face.”
Beagle is comfortable on the penalty kill and obviously in the faceoff circle and has gained a reputation as a grinder. A grinder who wins faceoffs, protects his goalie, is a an expert penalty killer and scores goals. Beagle is a quadruple threat and the Killer B’s are here to stay.
Game 4 of the series is Wednesday at 7.30 p.m. at the Verizon Center.