The Capitals took on the Vegas Golden Knights (reigning Stanley Cup Champions, in case you forgot) on Wednesday evening. With a 3-0 shutout win, Washington stunned the Golden Knights and the hockey community at large; however, goaltender Charlie Lindgren was the true shining star. With 35 saves, Lindgren netted his first shutout win as a Washington Capital and a third straight win for the team. Charlie Lindgren has been impressive in his last couple of starts, only allowing three goals so far in the month of November.
Head coach Spencer Carbery praised Lindgren in postgame media, saying, “He was the win.” He continued, “Just fantastic all night. Go down the list of the breakaways, all the different saves in tight, some screening tips and rebound stuff, he had it all. Passouts off their forecheck go right to F3; I must have seen 3 or 4 of those. All sorts of different stops. The difference in the game.” Beloved Capitals announcer Joe Beninati noted that Charlie was “simply sensational”.
Charlie Lindgren was ecstatic, to say the least. After being given the commemorative puck for his shutout, Lindgren shouted “F****** A, right?! Let’s go!” He was a bit more composed with postgame media, stating that “right from the puck drop” he felt “in the zone”. He continued speaking about his recent play, saying “I think I’ve got some really good momentum going right now.” Lindgren does, indeed, have some good momentum going– in his four starts this season, he has an average of 1.76 goals against, giving him a .947 save percentage. Those are some really impressive numbers, and with usual starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper dealing with a minor injury, the solid stats are much needed for Washington.
Several teammates played hype men for Charlie Lindgren after the game. Forward Beck Malenstyn told Monumental’s Al Koken, “That was one of the more amazing performances I’ve ever seen live.” That’s some seriously high praise! Dylan Strome also remarked on Lindgren’s performance, noting that he was making “unbelievable saves, coming up huge. Looks confident in the net, making good saves, good reads.” The fans in red gave big kudos to the goaltender as well, beginning chants of “Charlie” across Capital One Arena– earning Charlie’s thanks and adoration for the crowd and the city of Washinton, D.C. “I’ve been here for a year and a half now and I can’t say enough good things about the city, the fans, the people here,” Lindgren remarked after the arena’s cheers. “Just absolutely love it here. So to hear them chant my name, that was pretty cool.”
The game wasn’t all Charlie Lindgren, though it relied heavily on him until late in the third period. After Dylan Strome’s early first-period goal, the Capitals held their 1-0 lead until very late in the third– the final minute, to be exact. Two bottom-six forwards showed up for Washinton once again, with Connor McMichael and Beck Malenstyn scoring just 16 seconds apart to seal a comfortable win for the Capitals. “I think it’s the least we could do for Chucky tonight,” Connor McMichael said about his goal. “When your goalie plays like that, it’s the least you could do is put out a good effort.” The team, coaches, and fans are incredibly satisfied with this win against a strong team in the league. After a lull to start the season, the Washinton Capitals now sit at second in the Metropolitan Division and ninth in the league with 18 points. The team will have a few days off before facing the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.