For the first time since April 2004, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green were all out of the Washington Capitals' lineup Tuesday against the Boston Bruins. None of them had been drafted at that time.
Without nearly a third of their payroll and two leading scorers missing due to injury and suspension, the Caps would have been cheered if they just kept the game close Tuesday; the Bruins, as they have been all season, boasted nearly a full lineup and were the best team in the East.
Yet, conventional wisdom did not play out Tuesday as the Caps' role players pushed themselves to the forefront in a 5-3 upset of the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Mathieu Perreault earned his first career hat trick to lead Washington, while Cody Eakin and All-Star Dennis Wideman added goals of their own. Roman Hamrlik had his first multi-point night of the season and Mike Knuble had six total shot attempts in one of his better games this season.
Usually, the aforementioned players do not need to be the best when Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green are healthy, but with all three missing, some new stars had to shine bright.