With the regular season coming to a close the Washington Capitals still find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot, but Troy Brouwer is doing his best to make sure the Capitals make the final cut. That was evident in the Capitals 4-3 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators, in which Brouwer scored two goals to help Washington salvage a point.
Early in the first period the Capitals jumped out to a 1-0 lead, thanks to a rare even-strength goal, which was provided by Brouwer. 5-on-5 play hasn’t been a strong suit for the Capitals but if Brouwer can keep providing goals it may improve.
Later in the second period Brouwer struck again, this time to tie the game. Washington was on the power play and the Predators were shading Alexander Ovechkin to take him out of the play but this gave Brouwer the opportunity to score up-close. If teams continue to pressure Ovechkin the Capitals will have to rely on Brouwer to keep scoring or their power play may start to slip.
After a slow start to the season Brouwer’s expectations dwindled but has quickly regained his scoring touch to increase his goal total to 23 goals after Sunday night’s loss to the Predators. Brouwer has scored five goals in his last 10 games and 13 goals since the beginning of the 2014 calendar season.
If Washington is indeed going to make the playoffs this season, Brouwer will have to keep producing over the next seven games to complement superstar Ovechkin’s constant stream of goals.