For all those thankless days and frustrating years of being a Washington sports fan, Wednesday night was for you.
The Capitals and Wizards won playoff games while the Nationals stayed atop the NL East with a dominating victory. Superstars came through with T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin combining for three goals while John Wall and Bradley Beal shared 63 points. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each hit grand slams.
That has to be one of the greatest trifectas in Washington history. Swamp 2, Atlanta 0. America 1, Canada 0.
Why, Papa John’s has three 50 percent off deals on Thursday thanks to the triple triumphs. It should be completely free with toppings, too.
It’s time to walk proud, talk loud and remind the nation that Washington is more than the landlord of their dopey legislators. That there was a time when titles in this town weren’t generational. That parades down Pennsylvania Ave. weren’t just for cherry blossoms and commanders-in-chief.
On this night, Washington was no longer Loserville.
The Wiz and Caps seemed to have similar ebbs and flows when starting at the same time while the Nats quickly followed 30 minutes later. The Caps led 4-1 long before the first period’s end while the Wiz were staying ahead of the Hawks. And the Nats? Harper hits a solo homer in the first before clearing the bags with a 425-foot grand slam in the second.
It looked like an easy night for Washington teams. But, of course, there’s always drama.
The Caps drew two penalties in the final six seconds of the second period while leading 4-2. Meanwhile, Wizard Kelly Oubre picked up his fourth foul on a miserable effort and the Wiz barely led with 8:05 left. That Zimmerman hit a grand slam made the Nats an afterthought in remote roulette.
It looked like the Wiz would be the must-watch game as Atlanta led 78-74. That the Caps didn’t allow Toronto to score on nearly two minutes of 5 on 3 seemed to clinch the game, but a goaltender’s interference called against Nick Backstrom that was just a sorry penalty gave Toronto momentum to close within 4-3.
Meanwhile, Beal was starting his 16-point late run as Washington scored eight unanswered points for an 86-84 lead. Minutes later, Oshie scores his second goal for 5-3 while the Wiz start edged ahead 99-96. Wall hit a spin move for 101-96.
The Wiz and Caps were now just running out the clock. Sure, Toronto scored with 26.5 seconds left, but there would be no overtime for the first time in four games. Meanwhile, Beal and Wall combine for 18 of the Wizards’ final 19 points, and the Wizards claim a 2-0 series lead just 140 seconds after the Caps tie their series 2-2.
Two playoff wins just two minutes apart while the Nats would later triumph 14-4 made it a night to remember in Washington. And it didn’t even involve the Redskins.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.